Cast-Iron Skillet Macaroni and Cheese
Why This Recipe Works
While boxed or frozen mac and cheese from the supermarket can certainly be a convenient family favorite, it just doesn't hold the same allure for adults as for kids. And many “quick” homemade macaroni and cheese recipes are just as lackluster, involving a tasteless, lumpy mix of shredded cheese and mushy pasta. Our goal was to develop a skillet macaroni and cheese that the whole family would enjoy as a weeknight meal. We went for simplicity and convenience when developing our recipe, opting to keep the whole process on the stovetop to make it a quick-cooking dinner. Using evaporated milk in place of whole milk or heavy cream kept the sauce from curdling and from being too rich. A mix of mild cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses provided plenty of rich flavor and gave us the right amount of meltability, and the great heat retention of the cast-iron pan kept the cheese from congealing after it was stirred in.
IngredientsPrint Shopping List
|3 ½||cups water, plus extra as needed|
|1||(12-ounce) can evaporated milk|
|12||ounces (3 cups) elbow macaroni|
|Salt and pepper|
|½||teaspoon dry mustard|
|¼||teaspoon hot sauce|
|6||ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)|
|6||ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)|
|3||tablespoons unsalted butter|
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You can substitute small shells (3 cups) for the macaroni.
1. Bring water, 1 cup evaporated milk, macaroni, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to vigorous simmer in 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, until macaroni is tender and liquid has almost completely evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes.
2. Whisk remaining 1/2 cup evaporated milk, cornstarch, mustard, and hot sauce together in bowl, then stir into skillet. Cook until sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
3. Off heat, stir in cheddar and Monterey Jack, 1 handful at a time, until melted. Stir in extra hot water as needed to adjust consistency. Stir in butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.