Simply Recipes to the rescue! I happened to have a small block of cheddar that worked really well once I shredded it and added a little bit of cornstarch. I wouldn't recommend using already shredded cheese because the caking agents they add makes the cheese stringy. I added some mixed vegetables (previously frozen) to make it a little healthier, and I didn't add ham because we were eating it with leftover meatloaf.
Quick Macaroni and Cheese
- 2 quarts water
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 lb cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups, packed)
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 2 teaspoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup ham, chopped into 1/4 inch cubes
- Freshly grated black pepper
1 In a medium sized bowl, mix corn starch into the grated cheese, so that the cheese is coated, set aside. This will help the cheese from getting too stringy.
2 Bring 2 quarts of water with the tablespoon of salt to a boil in thick-bottomed saucepan. Add the elbow macaroni and follow the cooking time instructions on the package, minus about 2 minutes. (If your macaroni doesn't come with instructions, start checking at 7 minutes). Cook until al dente - cooked through, but still slightly firm. Drain the water from the cooking pan.
3 While the macaroni is cooking, prepare the sauce. Melt the butter in a large saucepan on medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Slowly dribble in the milk, while whisking (to avoid clumping) until the sauce is smooth. Slowly add the grated cheese, while whisking, until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice. Add the cooked, drained macaroni and ham. Do not over-mix. Sprinkle in some freshly grated black pepper.