The Mac and Cheese Experiment - 1 - Classic Mac

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A few weeks ago, I had a craving for mac and cheese. But, with this blog, I needed to make it interesting. So, I decided to determine how to make the best mac and cheese.

Mac and Cheese is one of my favorite things. Cheesy-salty, gooey-delicious. I'm not sure whether it's objectively good or if the flavor so ingrained in my psyche that I am simply one with the mac. It completes me.

This week's entry in this experiment is the classic, powdered cheese mac and cheese.

For this experiment, I decided to get the venerable Kraft, and the local generic, Centrella. To make these kinds of mac and cheese, you'll need some milk (I go with whole milk for creaminess) and butter.

The classic, Kraft Mac and Cheese, is still great. I had done the Kraft Deluxe before this, and was disappointed. The cheaper, original Kraft, is far superior.

The Centrella is the clear loser here. The cheese flavor was mild at best. If I'm on a budget, it's fine, I just add some tuna and veggies to make it taste like something, but otherwise, springing for the Kraft makes a world of difference.

Mixins include

To add some nutrition, you can mix things in:

  • 2 4.5oz cans of tuna (in water, drained)
  • 16 oz bag of frozen vegetables
    • California medley (Broccoli Normandy) is my favorite: broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.
  • 4-6 hot dogs, cut into sections
  • 8 oz ham, cubed
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Slices of American cheese
  • More cheese

Spices

Here are some spices I've used to change it up a bit.

  • Black pepper
  • Rosemary
    • This one surprised me, but is amazing
  • Chipotle

Main takeaways

The cheese is everything. The noodles in the cheap boxes are tasteless, so the cheese is all that it has. The powders are good for quick nostalgia comfort or a quick toss-together tuna cassarole.

Instructions / Images

The boxes have the instructions, but are sorely lacking in pictures.

The mac and cheese will take the longest, so start that first. Not pictured: Always cover the pot so that it boils faster.

Cutting the butter into chunks makes it melt faster! Science works!

When cooking the frozen veggies, only a little water should be in the bottom of the pan. 1/2" or so.

Once the water is boiling, add the veggies and bring to a boil again.

The veggies are done when they're tender.

To add tuna, get two cans of tuna (in water).

And drain the water.

And, for the Centrella:

And with hot dogs:

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