Most Saturday nights, after the kids are in bed, Paul will turn on baseball, if there’s a game, or we’ll attempt to make a dent in our TiVo lineup – actually, lately we’ve been playing video games (yes, we are 14, so what? Have you tried Temple Run? ADDICTING) – and I will sit next to him planning out my weekly menu and shopping list.
Rarely does a week go by without him asking, “Are you going to put Mac and Cheese and hot dogs on the list?” (of course referring to the KRAFT boxed variety.) To which I always reply, “Um. No.”
But when I saw this recipe, I bookmarked it, knowing it would probably be good, and also thinking I would meet him somewhere in the middle.
Everyone inhaled it, declaring it a winner, and a dish I’ll make regularly. Whew! He’ll finally stop bugging me about Mac and Cheese!
The following Saturday, I was menu planning again.
Paul: are you going to put Mac and Cheese, and hot dogs on the list?
Me: what?? I just made a Mac and Cheese dish.
Me: three nights ago!
Paul: oh. That was Mac and Cheese? That wasn’t Mac and Cheese. And where were the hot dogs?
Me: I thought you liked it?
Paul: I did. I loved it. But…so, are you going to make “real” Mac and Cheese?
Me: what I made is way more “real” then that boxed crap. That powdered uck…what is that, even? No. Just…no.
Paul: well then, can you just buy it, and I’ll make it?
*bangs head against wall*
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
• 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
• 1/2 cup ketchup
• 1/4 cup tomato paste
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons olive oil
• 1 pound ground beef
• 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
• 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
• 2 cups macaroni
• 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
In a medium bowl, whisk together the broth, mustard, ketchup, tomato paste, garlic powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Brown the beef and onions, breaking apart the meat, until the onions are soft and the meat is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and combine. Drain off grease and return pan to heat.
Give your broth mixture a quick stir and pour it into the meat. Bring to a boil and add the macaroni.
Reduce the heat to medium, and cover. Continue cooking for 10-12 minutes, until the pasta is tender, stirring a few times to make sure the pasta isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan.
When the macaroni is done, sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Stir until melted, about 1 minute, and serve immediately.