Friday, July 31, 2009
Kraft Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese: Sharp Cheddar
Sometimes after a long and hard day (well, night in this case) at work you just want to get home and treat yourself.
Maybe it's a foot rub, maybe it's a glass of wine. In my case tonight, it was having Mac & Cheese for dinner. But not just any old Mac & Cheese. NOOOO! I had DELUXE Mac & Cheese (I am just a baller like that).
The only kind of boxed Mac & Cheese I like is Kraft (yes, I know homemade is like 10000 times better...but at 1:00 A.M. I have no desire to make it). In terms of prep, the deluxe version skips the alchemy stages of mixing milk and butter with an oh-so-unnatural packet of dried orange cheese and tossing it all with the cooked pasta. Instead, it replaces those steps by providing one single packet of oh-so-unnatural orange quasi-liquid cheese and mixing that onto the cooked pasta. (A step I should have taken a photo of but didn't...and we are just going to have to learn to live with that.)
The Deluxe version also replaces the thin hollow tubelike noodles of the classic Kraft Mac with a more grown-up elbow rigati (a fancy word that means the pasta was ribbed for my pleasure).
I have to admit that the some-what liquidy cheese had me nervous because it reminded me a lot of the Velveeta Shells and cheese...and I HATE the Velveeta Shells & Cheese. (My friend Sam, however, could live on it-- but she hates the Kraft version, so figure that one out)
My worries faded away on the first bite. The Cheddar cheese made the Mac taste closer to homemade (well, my homemade anyway). It had a really nice, sharp tang to it. The texture was rich and creamy, but it didn't taste as milky as the classic version. The ridges in the pasta helped the sauce cling better. I bet this version would be passable for homemade if baked and topped with something crunchy.
I never thought I would say this, because I love the classic version...but I actually liked this one even more!