The Jazz Chef’s Diner M&C

QUICK Diner M&C

SERVES 5-6

This is a quick mac and cheese that has that diner-grade sticky gooey that can go toe-to-toe with my chili in my split dish Chili Mac Attack plating, and it’s a star in my scrambled mac sandwich, with scrambled eggs, ham and mac and cheese in a hoagie roll.

I do several mac and cheese recipes, depending upon how upscale I want to go with it.  You can either lovingly grate quality cheese and go A-game grandma mac and cheese, or if you have a need for speed, you drop to Diner M&C.

Yes, greasy spoon Mac is all about speed, which, if you’ve made this stuff, usually means Kraft’s Velveeta. Please don’t go there for your base.

I have no problem with whey, which is most of a “cheese food.” Whey may not be cheese, but it is high in protein, and, if the fats are kept under control, and the other junk out of the product, there’s nothing wrong with it from time-to-time as a protein in your family’s week.

Big K, though, still manages to work in some really cheap stabilizers and other ingredients that aren’t things that I choose to feed my family, and you shouldn’t feed yours, especially with any weekly regularity. One of these days they’ll get the hint.

Amazingly, Walmart, of all places, the mecca of mass produced foods, your Official Obesity Center, seems to be on a better path with more organic foods and its in-house generics.  Their reduced fat, Easy Melt cheese is far less full of junk than what is made by our friends at Kraft.  Always good to read the labels!

I put in a little good dijon and white pepper to add a little of that sharp-cheddar edge that a better mac-and-cheese would have from using a higher-grade aged cheddar.

THE STUFF

  • 1 32 oz. block Walmart Easy Melt Reduced Fat Cheese Food
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp Fallot or other quality dijon mustard (1.5 tsp for American Grey Poupon)
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 16 oz. box macaroni elbows (Barilla or Italian equivalent)
  • Salt for pasta water

THE GEAR

  • Pasta pot with insert for draining
  • Melting Pot big enough for cheese and all the mac

THE STEPS

  1. Add water and salt to the pasta pot. Set on high
  2. In the melting pot, put in the cheese block and the milk. Set heat to low. Stir periodically to even the melt.
  3. When the water boils, add the pasta and reduce the heat slightly. Set a timer for 6 min.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients to the cheese melt
  5. When the pasta is just al dente, remove and drain.  Put it into the cheese pot. Stir in, and let absorb the liquid in the cheese pot, turning occasionally for about 3-5 minutes. If it’s a bit thick, add a little milk, but not too much. We want it thicker, but we want the pasta sucking in some of that good cheesy liquid to bind inside the noodle.
  6. Take off the heat and serve immediately.
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