Mac and Cheese

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Is there anything better than a good helping of macaroni and cheese?  So simple, yet so satisfying.  It doesn't matter how haute my cuisine may become, mac and cheese will always be near the top of my "all time favorites" list.  I smile to think about it, but as a kid I felt like we were really reaching into the richness of the food world when my mom would make Velveeta Shells and Cheese.  I loved that package of viscous Velveeta cheese, which would be squeezed out and mixed in with pasta shells.  Its ochre color and sharp taste mixed with creaminess made my eyes roll back in my head.  I could have eaten it every day. 

Now that I am a little more concerned about what I eat, the Velveeta box is nowhere to be found in the house, but thankfully, mac and cheese is still welcome.  This recipe is my go-to recipe when I want mac and cheese, and it is one of the first recipes I started making on a somewhat regular basis when I became a functioning member of society and lived in my apartment. 

A word on the mac and cheese: there are two schools of thought with mac and cheese.  One school likes the mac and cheese baked like a casserole, with a crunchy topping.  The other school (the better one, in my opinion), likes the mac and cheese creamy and uniform throughout.  This recipe is a stove top version, and is that creamy, uniform cheesy goodness dish. 

Stove Top Mac and Cheese
from Alton Brown's Good Eats

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
10 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente and drain. Return to the pot and melt in the butter. Toss to coat.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir into the pasta and add the cheese. Over low heat continue to stir for 3 minutes or until creamy.

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