Annie’s Mac and Cheese. Annie’s Shells & White Cheese. It has Bernie’s “Rabbit of Approval” so it has to be good, no?
Unfortunately this simple but wholesome fare is so easy to ruin that I’ve had plenty of bad bowls of Annie’s. Runny sauce, clumpy sauce, limp noodles- egh. My own parents can’t seem to produce a decent batch. And no, I’m not picky, I just know what I like and am not afraid to say so.
Don’t despair, there is a way to produce it in a way that makes you just moan with joy. You just need to know how to produce it just right. Let’s look at what the box says:
- “Boil: 8 cups of water in a medium saucepan.
- Stir In: pasta, bring to boil again.
- Cook: 8-10 minutes, until done. While pasta is cooking…
- Measure: 1/3 cup lowfat milk in a measuring cup. Add cheese and stir until smooth.
- Drain: pasta in colander. Return to saucepan.
- Pour: cheese sauce over pasta and stir well.”
In my opinion they left out a few things. Let me show you:
- “Boil: 8 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Fine.
- Stir In: pasta, bring to boil again. Stir these noodles in! Try to keep the noodles from sticking to the bottom of your metal saucepan. (You paid good money for this and want every noodle.)
- Cook: 8-10 minutes, until done. While pasta is cooking… 8-9 minutes depending on your stove. 10 minutes pushes it for my taste buds.
- Measure: 1/3 cup lowfat milk in a measuring cup. Add cheese and stir until smooth. Stir? Beat. Beat that cheese into the milk (I say whole milk but that can depend on your dietary needs). It’s smooth? Beat it more. Your wrist hurts? Beat it more. Your fingers bleed? Beat it more. Your measuring cup has broken from your viciousness beating? Done.
- Drain: pasta in colander. Return to saucepan. Rinse it before returning to the saucepan and then add a dollop of butter to the pasta. And I’m using the Julia Child measurement of a dollop of butter (conversion: two sticks of butter.)
- Pour: cheese sauce over pasta and stir well. Remember the instructions for the beating of the cheese? Do the same (but a bit more gently, pasta breaks and broken pasta is impossible to stick on your tongue like a yarmulke.)“
Keep in mind that these instructions are based off of my own personal taste buds. You can go ahead and ignore these instructions if you want, it’s a free country (despite what Mr. Beck likes to claim.)