There’s a time and a place for meticulously prepared macaroni and cheese, but sometimes you just want a no-brainer method for fast office lunches. Here’s how to pull this meal off in record time.
Photo by Food52.
This cooking method, demonstrated by Food52 founders Merrill Stubbs and Amanda Hesser, lets you customise mac and cheese using whatever short pasta you like, your favourite cheese (or cheeses), desired meat and vegetable mix-ins, and toppings.
The play-by-play goes something like this:
- Boil macaroni or short pasta of your choice in salted water.
- Make a roux with equal parts butter and flour, plus eight times the amount of hot milk. (In this case, they use a stick of butter and half a cup of flour.) Whisk until roux is smooth, barely simmering, and coats the back of a spoon.
- Season roux with salt and any other flavourings (nutmeg, mustard, paprika, etc.) and add grated cheese to your liking.
- Add any other meat or vegetables at this point (greens, shredded meat, other vegetables, etc.)
- It’s ready to eat. Or, for a baked style, transfer to a casserole dish, top with desired bread topping (bread chunks, panko, Italian breadcrumbs, etc.), and bake at 375F for 30 minutes until browned on top.
Catch the video for more detailed explanations and some flavour ideas and inspiration. Buffalo chicken mac and cheese, anyone?
Making Mac and Cheese Without a Recipe [The New York Times With Food52]