One of the best things about boxed mac and cheese, in addition to it being a delicious and creamy dish, is that you can make it fairly easily and quickly. However, no matter how swift the conventional cooking method of a dish may be, any tip that streamlines the cooking process, or lessens the workload in the kitchen, is a tip worth considering. And when it comes to boxed mac and cheese, one TikTok user has found a way to achieve both. How? By cooking the mac and cheese in one pot while letting all of the boiled water simply evaporate instead of straining it.
The cooking method for boxed mac and cheese usually calls for boiling the macaroni (oversalt your water first for best results), straining the boiled water from the macaroni, transferring the macaroni back to the pot, adding milk, butter, cheese sauce, and other seasonings, and finally, stirring it all together until it reaches a creamy consistency. However, as TikTok user Nikki Gillespie demonstrated, you can eliminate having to strain the boiled water and transfer the macaroni back and forth by simply allowing the water to cook down. Then, you can add various ingredients to upgrade the mac and cheese's flavor profile. Not only will this spare you those extra steps, but it can also save you some cleanup. And the one-pot cooking method for mac and cheese used by Gillespie is pretty simple.
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How To Cook Boxed Mac And Cheese Using The One-Pot Method
To make this creamy, flavor-packed mac and cheese, first pour the pasta from the box into a cooking pan. Add enough water to cover all of the pasta in the pan. Open your packs of cheese and pour the contents into the pan with the pasta and water. Stir the water, pasta, and cheese sauce together until it's all mixed up. Then, add two cubed slices of softened butter to the pot and season the mixture with your preferred spices. Gillespie used black pepper, which adds a hot, woody flavor to the mac and cheese.
Now it's time to cook the mac and cheese. Set the pan of food on your stovetop, turn your burner to high heat, and mix all of the ingredients together. Let the mac and cheese cook until it comes to a strong, bubbling boil. Once the boil gets vigorous, lower the temperature. As the mac and cheese simmers, leave the pan without the lid on, so that all of the water in the pan evaporates while the mac and cheese cooks. When most of the water has cooked down, taste a few of the pasta noodles to see if they're done. If so, you might want to add some heavy cream or sweet milk to your mac and cheese (or even buttermilk for a tangy, creamy mac and cheese), and stir it all together until the mix reaches a smooth consistency.
The One-Pot Method Simplifies Cooking Boxed Mac And Cheese
The one-pot cooking method for boxed mac and cheese has several benefits. If you cook boxed mac and cheese the conventional way, including straining the boiled water from the macaroni in a colander, then you'll be left with another dish to clean. By allowing the water to cook down, you won't have to use a strainer at all. If you don't have a colander, the one-pot cooking method also saves you from standing over your sink and dealing with trying to carefully remove the boiled water from the pot. Save yourself the trouble by just letting the water in your boiling macaroni vaporize.
This method also has the benefit of yielding more flavor-packed noodles. By mixing water with the cheese, butter, and other spices, you're creating a delicious cheese sauce for the noodles to cook in. Per Gillespie, the macaroni soaks up this cheese sauce as it cooks, which makes it more flavorful than if you stir the cheese sauce in after cooking the pasta. Once you've got that creamy consistency, you can upgrade the flavor of your boxed mac and cheese. Gillespie added shredded cheese to make it even thicker and cheesier. You can also go wild by garnishing with some surprising toppings for your mac and cheese, including kale chips, crushed Doritos, or Cheez-Its.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.