Michelle's Christmas party was last night.
Michelle said she was making Sriracha Deviled Eggs and pumpkin bread and Tony agreed to make pulled pork and blue cheese cole slaw, which he sometimes makes for his Super Bowl party. It's all very good.
I decided to make homemade macaroni and cheese, at Tony's suggestion.
I found a recipe from America's Test Kitchen that didn't seem too complicated. The cheese sauce was a mix of Monterey Jack and Sharp Cheddar along with mustard powder and cayenne pepper.
Easy-peasy, nice and cheesy.
I bought two pounds of elbow macaroni, $10 worth of cheese, a pound of unsalted butter, and a gallon of milk. I had some flour in the pantry, but I bought new mustard powder since I couldn't remember the last time I bought mustard powder.
While I was shopping, I noticed a huge display of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, which happened to be on sale. I rammed the display with my shopping cart.
The recipe called for homemade bread crumbs, so I made those first and set them aside. I was boiling the pasta water when Tony called and said he needed a ride, so I tried to hurry through the prep as quickly as possible.
Note to self: I need a bigger colander.
I wrestled a bit with the sauce. It took about 15 minutes of constant stirring, but everything turned out like it was supposed to. The base thickened, the sauce was perfectly smooth, the cheese was nice and melty.
For the final step, I poured the macaroni and cheese into a 13x9 pan and covered everything with my homemade bread crumbs. I brushed my teeth while everything browned under the broiler.
Here's what I learned:
1) making a roux isn't that complicated
2) my whisk is broken
3) bringing 10 cups of milk to a boil while you stir it with a broken whisk is pretty exhausting
4) when you bring food to a buffet, don't bother doubling the recipe; people are going to eat as much as they want and if you run out, great
5) sometimes, the finished product looks exactly like the picture next to the recipe