Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Challenge 1: Day 7 - Slow Cooker Mac N Cheese

I love Mac N Cheese.  Home Made style, not from a box.  There is something about cheese melted over noodles with breadcrumbs that just makes my heart melt, my mouth water, and my stomach jump for joy.

I also love using the slow cooker (aka crock pot).  I think we discussed this before. I really love my crock pot... or rather I love cooking in a crock pot.

I found this recipe through... Take a wild guess... Yes, through Pinterest!  So i put it on my list of to makes and here we go.

What do you need?

You need:
1 1/2 cups milk
1 12oz can Evaporated Milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature.
3 large eggs
3 cups shredded cheese
1/2 pound elbow macaroni, partially cooked, drained (5 mins in bowling water, tender but not completely cooked.
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Spray the inside of the slow cooker with non stick cooking spray.

In the pot, combine the milk, evaporated milk, eggs, butter and salt.

Note- The recipe called for unsalted butter.  I mistakenly thought i had a whole package of unsalted butter and realized at the last minute I had two packages of regular (with salt) butter. I used that instead.  If there was a difference, it was for the better.

Whisk the ingredients together.

Add the shredded cheese.  I used a mix of shredded Monterrey jack, sharp cheddar and mozzarella.  The original recipe called for the already shredded Italian blend. I am not a fan of already shredded cheese.  I would much rather shred my own.  To give it a nice little kick, use more jack then anything else.

Add the partially cooked and drained macaroni.  Add pepper and other spices to taste.  

I didn't do this but I do recommend you add other spices to give it a touch more flavor.   Mac N Cheese thrives when all spiced/peppered up!

Stir with a spatula to make sure pasta is evenly coated.

Sprinkle with grated Parmesan. 

Again, I recommend using fresh Parmesan and not the powdery stuff. Its worlds better. 

Cook on high for 30 minutes.  Turn to low and cook for 2 - 2 1/2 hours until custard is set in the center and the pasta is thoroughly cooked.

I sauteed some Planko bread crumbs in 2 tablespoons of butter and add them towards the last 20-30 minutes of the cooking time.  

See how beautifully cheesy this is.  You'll never go back to the box after this lovely recipe.


Let me know what you thing!  Have you made this or similar recipes? What additions or changes have you made?

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