You're a parent. That makes me relatively confident that you're an expert at Kraft Mac & Cheese. If you consider yourself a novice or, worse yet, a Non-Cheeser, then you can probably skip this post. But for the rest, I'd like to share two protips for Proper Mac Making.
As a self-proclaimed expert, speaking to other assumed experts, I'm sure I can skip over most basic and advanced techniques, such as:
- Melting the butter prior to mixing in a separate, microwaved bowl.
- Adding salt to taste to individual servings, not the whole.
- Adding garlic salt to taste.
- Adding basil if you're wearing a tuxedo t-shirt.
- Maintaining low heat during mixing to sustain temperature.
- Not serving, ever, with vegetables.
- Following the noodles back from the strainer immediately with milk to prevent burning, then butter (especially if not pre-melted, to hurry the melting process) and finally the Magic Cheese Packet.
- Substituting cream or using whole milk.
- Etcetera, etcetera.
No, as the Apostle Paul says, what you need is not milk, but solid food: true tips leading to the artistic mastery of Mac Making. What I'd like to share are two tips for more advanced users - two recovery tips.
Both of these pertain to fixing a most terrible crime: Soupy Mac.
Listen, I don't know how long you've been krafting Golden Crescents of Delight, but no matter your mastery you have at some point, probably in your haste to avoid burning, poured in too much milk. Surely it didn't seem too much at the time, but when the mixing was finished you found yourself looking at a watery Mac Chowder.
How do you recover? Two solutions:
One, simply turn up your burner. It's already on, maintaining optimum heat, and turning the burner up almost all the way should actually fix Lachrymose Mac like that. Maybe two minutes. A little boiling, and it's done.
I know, it's pretty easy. (that's why it's a protip)
But be forewarned - while the first batch quality is probably near perfect, I've found the reheat value of boiled down Cheese King to be diminished. Your initial failure is clearly noted, and you are punished by the laws of nature.
And of course, if you're a true believer there are never leftovers.
The second option is more elegant: Simply add cheese.
No, not another cheese packet - (!) - that's like crossing the streams in Ghost Busters! Simply some other cheese you have in the fridge.
American is acceptable, and it's in keeping with the Kraft tradition of utter un-health. A mild cheddar will suffice too. Swiss? What? Ultimately, a mozzarella is supreme - even string cheese (although pull it apart if you don't want to stir for the next hour), and a pepper jack raises the bar quite high.
This will thicken your stew quite a bit, so be forewarned that you might need to add extra milk yet. It'll also significantly change the textual makeup of your dish. But, it'll save your lunch/dinner/snack/breakfast/workout/whatever, so dats coo, right?
... I think, when I look back at my most significant addition to parenting, this might be near the top.