Most of us have grown up enjoying good old Kraft Macaroni & Cheese dinner our whole lives. This shelf-stable food was first introduced in the 1930s and became popular due to its low cost and ease of use and storage. During the Great Depression many people didn’t have refrigerators and most people were tightening the purse strings. The reasons people loved it back then still apply today and for many folks this is classic comfort food at its finest. You might think you already have all the knowledge to make mac & cheese to perfection, but there is actually an easier and tastier way to make it that’s been going around TikTok.
The chefs of TikTok have been making this ooey, gooey variation on the American classic and their videos have garnered millions of views. It’s sort of like someone saying you’ve been tying your shoelaces wrong your whole life. But, in this case this novel method really does result in a far superior dish.
Instead of boiling the water for the noodles, adding them, cooking them, and then draining them for this style of cooking you add just enough water to cover the noodles. Then stir in the cheese packet and add your butter and spices. I always have to have lots of fresh black pepper in my mac & cheese, but garlic powder, nutmeg, onion powder, and rooster sauce are also yummy.
Don’t cover the pan and set the heat to medium-high heat. Stir often until the water comes to a rolling boil. Cook until the noodles are done, tasting to make sure they are how you like them.
Then reduce the heat and add in a bit of milk or cream and stir until it’s perfectly creamy. For an optional kick of flavor add some cheddar cheese or cheese of your choice and stir well. What you’re left with is much creamier and more flavorful than when the same boxed mac & cheese is made to the package directions. But, why is that?
In this case the cheese powder and spices had a chance to cook into the pasta, giving the pasta more flavor. In Italian cooking it’s common to cook the pasta to al dente and then add it into the sauce along with a bit of pasta water to finish cooking. The reason is so that the pasta can take on the flavor of the sauce it’s in.
To make mac & cheese the “normal” way you’re adding the tastiest ingredients last and it can sometimes taste thrown together. But, this new method means that all the flavor is locked into the noodles in a shockingly creamy sauce. Try it for yourself and see if your mac & cheese game doesn’t rise to a whole new level with this no-drain, one-pot method.
♬ original sound – Nikki Gillespie
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