Is there anything better than a bowl full of ooey gooey cheesy homemade macaroni and cheese? Half moon shaped carbohydrates covered in buttery, smooth, creamy melted cheese is my idea of comfort food.
I'm fairly confident in saying that to date, my mom has NEVER made macaroni and cheese from a box. She would grate the cheese by hand and she serve her homemade creation to our family regularly. It wasn't until I went to college and started to do my own grocery shopping that I realized that there was a cheese in powdered form!?! Talk about an eye opener.
I've said it before but it bears repeating, my mom is the best of the best when it comes to making ordinary food - extraordinary. With just a few simple ingredients, she can turn a classic dish like macaroni and cheese into a gourmet feast. Trust me, as the girl who didn't even tasted boxed macaroni and cheese until I was 20, I knew what really great homemade macaroni and cheese was supposed to tasted like.
This version of macaroni and cheese is really pretty simple but it's also really tasty. It doesn't hold a candle to the memory of my mom's made from scratch macaroni and cheese but I still really love this recipe for the cheesy American classic.
Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup milk
8 ounces elbow macaroni
1 cup (4 ounces) American cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup (4 ounces) Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup panko
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons Parmesan
Season macaroni with salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
Transfer macaroni to serving bowl. Sprinkle panko over top. Serve.
I served my macaroni and cheese with ham, steamed broccoli, sliced baguette and a green salad.
One of my pet peeves is when I find a recipe that I want make and I have to go on a supermarket search for ambiguous ingredients. When I first looked at this recipe, none of the ingredients stood out as being potentially difficult to find so I made my list, headed to the store and started to fill my cart.
Have you ever tried to buy a block of American cheese? I went to THREE different grocery stores in search of the elusive cheese and came up empty handed. There were plenty of American cheese slices (the processed kind packaged in plastic wrappers) and giant logs filling the deli cases but there was hardly a single brick of American cheese anywhere.
In the end, I swapped the illusive American cheese for a block of Gruyere and hoped for the best. I am super happy about the way that my Gruyere and Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese turned out but if I do ever run across a block of American cheese, I'm going to remake the recipe as written.
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