Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Powdered Cheese Macaroni and Cheese


Our Mac and Cheese Dilemma:  
At our house my kids love the macaroni and cheese that comes in the blue box.  The adults at our house would prefer something more grown up.  Honestly if I never eat Kraft macaroni and cheese again I will be happy.

I have heard great things about the Shelf Reliance Cheese Powder  which they call “Cheese Blend” and how it makes amazing macaroni and cheese. Honestly I was skeptical.  How good could powdered cheese be?   It turns out it is pretty good.

When I was making it I was surprise by how it smelled like cheese and as the sauce came together how much it look like real cheese sauce (not the Kraft powdered kind).

So I fed it to my family.  And they loved it.  I thought the kids would revolt because it is not the fake orange color of Kraft, and it the sauce is a little thicker and tastes of cheddar cheese.
But my kids loved it. My 6 year old said “This is just like IKEA macaroni and cheese”
Since my kids love it I was not sure I was going to (remember my hatred of the boxed variety), but I was surprised that I liked it.  It is not gourmet or anything but it was pleasant.  My husband liked it, and the kids liked it.  It is a keeper for our family.

Because the powdered cheese had made good plain mac and cheese I decided to use it in my favorite homemade mac and cheese recipe.  Usually I use shredded sharp cheddar in the recipe.  I like how it turned out.  The cheese flavor was not as intense as normal but I liked it.  If you want a stronger cheese taste try adding 1/4 cup more powdered cheese. 

Tips for success:

o    Both of these recipes make a little more than a box of mac and cheese, this recipe does not make a huge amount ( they both make a 9 x9 pan full) so if you have a large group to feed you probably want to double it. .

o    I always add veggies to my Mac and Cheese, my kids will eat most anything if it is covered in cheese sauce so I try to get a few more servings of veggies in by adding broccoli or any other veggie I think of.  If your kids are weirded out by green stuff in their macaroni try adding freeze dried cauliflower instead.  It is white and soft and most kids don’t notice it.

Kids Macaroni and Cheese from Powdered Cheese

This recipe is based off of the  Cheese Blend Macaroni recipe by Natalie Riley.

1⁄2 c thrive cheese blend
1⁄4 c thrive butter powder or 6 tbsp butter
6 T thrive powdered milk, prepared
2 cups uncooked cooked  elbow macaroni  plus water for cooking
2 cups freeze dried broccoli  (optional)

1.    Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil.  Add macaroni.  Boil 5 minutes.  Add freeze dried broccoli.  Cook another 3 minutes or until the macaroni and broccoli are tender.  Drain.

2.    To make the cheese sauce:  combine cheese blend, butter or butter powder, and milk in a saucepan over medium heat.   Stir and heat until sauce is thick and bubbly.

3.    Pour sauce over cooked macaroni and broccoli, stirring through until noodles are coated.  Serve hot.

Adult Macaroni and Cheese 
from Powdered Cheese

Bread Crumb Topping
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
Pinch salt

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
2         large eggs (2 tablespoons powdered eggs plus ¼ cup water)
1 can evaporated milk
¼ teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 cups macaroni (Approximately 1/2 pound)
½  cup butter, divided
½ cup THRIVE Cheese Blend (powdered cheese)

1.       For Bread Crumb Topping: Combine melted butter and bread crumbs; tossing to coat. Season with salt and set aside.
2.       For Mac and Cheese:  Mix eggs, evaporated milk, pepper sauce, salt, pepper, mustard and ¼ cup melted butter in a small bowl. Stir well to combine, leaving no lumps. 
3.       Boil 2 quarts water; add macaroni and cooking until tender but still firm.  Do not overcook.  Drain and toss with ¼ cup butter.
4.       Place noodles in greased 9 by 9 baking dish pour sauce over and toss to coat.  Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top.
5.       Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  Crumb topping should be browned. 

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