I always want to call mac and cheese a one-pot dinner, totally forgetting that it’s definitely not. It just really seems so easy? Boil pasta, make a simple bechamel, chuck in the oven: voila! easy mac and cheese.
I’m also one of those people who overdo the cheese sauce situation because it’s a pretty devastating affair to have a dry macaroni cheese. I mean, I’ve had it, and I didn’t die – but I’m all about cheese sauce. The saucier, the better.
Homemade mac and cheese can be a real bummer if not done right, and I know plenty of people who have attempted it and never bothered again because it looked anaemic and tasted like glue. I feel ya. That’s what happened to me the first few times, but I was determined to crack the mac code.
Find the rules thusly:
- You need sharp cheddar for this kind of carby comfort food, because everything else just gets a bit lost. Find the cheese with the strongest flavour you can and put about three different kinds in. Don’t be shy! Parmesan-style, gruyere, vintage cheese, the stronger the better.
- Same goes with the salt, you’re gonna need more salt than you think is ever necessary. It can get mighty bland if you’re a lax hand with the flavouring, and then you’re entering glue territory aka hell
- A smidge of mustard. Not so much that it tastes like a cheeseburger, but enough piquancy to get yourself going
Listen, I’m not gonna tell anyone if you make it in advance and then just pop it in the oven and call it a one-pot dinner. You can even freeze it for the ultimate in dinner organisation. Then leisurely take it out and have dinner on the table with almost-zero effort. I’m a fan.
If you enjoy a bit of a fancier mac and cheese, go right ahead to this sundried tomato version. Say hi for me!