Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Macaroni and Cheese - Cheater Version

I'm going to let you in on a little secret.  I don't really like to cook.  I can cook.  I'm a pretty good cook, actually.  But it's not something I really enjoy doing, like baking.  (And no, cooking and baking are not the same.)  So when it comes to making dinner, I like to go with as little fuss as possible, unless it's a special occasion.  (I do love to put on a big Thanksgiving dinner...I'm really not sure why...)  Although, in an attempt to be a little more healthy, I make our dinners from scratch, and don't buy ready-made food from the grocery store.  Go figure.  Anyhoo, this recipe fits the no-fuss rule.  And it's very popular at potlucks.  It's a win-win.

Now that we've got all that out of the way, here's the recipe.  It's really yummy, too.  I make this when I don't feel like making real macaroni and cheese.  Which is pretty much all the time. 

First, gather your ingredients:

You'll need elbow macaroni, cheese, an egg, cottage cheese and sour cream.  (Not pictured, salt and pepper to taste.)

While your macaroni is boiling, turn your cheese into this:

This is sharp cheddar and colby jack.  Sometimes I use a mix of sharp and mild cheddar.  You can use whatever cheese you like, really.  And if you buy pre-shredded cheese, it's even easier.  And then you can do something productive, like organizing your icing colors, while the water boils.  See, I'm looking out for you.

Once the macaroni is cooked just short of al dente, drain it and return it to the pot.  You can either let it cool naturally, or rinse it under cold water, whatever floats your boat.  But don't add the egg until it's cool.  Or you'll be sorry.  Very, very sorry.

When your egg is incorporated, mix in the cottage cheese and sour cream.  Followed by the shredded cheese.  Doesn't look very appetizing, does it?  Never fear, it will be lovely once it's been baked.

Now, don't be like me and forget to hold back a cup or so of cheese to sprinkle on top once the macaroni and cheese is in the baking dish.  That would just be sad.

Bake it in a 350 oven until it's nice and bubbly.  Then put it under the broiler to crisp up the cheese you sprinkled on top.  I'm going to have to ask you to use your imagination on this last shot.  Pretend there's a nice golden brown layer of perfectly broiled cheese sitting on top.

It's really good and really easy, especially on a busy week night.  Here's the recipe:

Macaroni and Cheese

16 oz box elbow macaroni
1 egg
16 oz cottage cheese
8 oz sour cream
4 cups sharp cheddar (approx. 16 oz)
2 cups mild cheddar (approx. 8 oz)
salt/pepper to taste

Boil macaroni to just short of al dente.  Drain, cool and add egg.  Mix well.  Mix in cottage cheese and sour cream.  Mix well.  Add cheese, reserving 1-2 cups.  Mix well. 

Transfer to a 9 x 13 baking dish and sprinkle with reserved cheese. 

Bake at 350 for 30 - 35 minutes.  Increase oven temp to broil and broil for 2-4 minutes, being careful not to burn the cheese.


1 comment:

  1. Looks sooo YUMMY... think I'll try this - soon!!! TFS!