Stop Adding Milk to Packaged Pasta and Cheese (but Do That Instead)
Last week I went on my first moose hunt with my dad and a couple of other guys. I haven’t been camping since I was a kid, so the trip was educational. I learned about “tags,” “thorns,” and “bald hornets,” but I also learned that hunting and food don’t go well together, at least for me.
Not only did I have the weakest appetite, I didn’t feel like I was cooking at the end of the day, especially since every evening was a race against the setting sun and cooking on a single propane burner while wearing a headlamp was not the case. t fun.
Hot water and single skillet meals prevailed, but kraft macaroni was (as you would expect) my favorite dish on the trip. (Actually, it was my second course – the meat board I took on the first night was the most delicious meal, even though I hadn’t hunted that day and hadn’t lost my appetite yet.)
Those of you familiar with the blue box know that it requires the use of butter and milk to make a craft dinner, but we didn’t bring milk to Eastern Oregon. However, we brought oil because the oil does not need to be refrigerated. My plan was to keep adding butter to the hot (rather damp) pasta, letting it melt and emulsify with the residual water from the pasta until there was enough liquid for the orange powder to dissolve and turn into a sauce.
Not only did it work, it was some of the best packaged mac and cheese I have ever eaten. The sauce was thicker, creamier and shinier. He acted like real cheese, with tiny strips of cheese between the noodles on the elbows. I may never add milk again – or any other liquid dairy products for that matter.
It was an out-of-the-box trick, but I will incorporate it into my indoor cooking routine. No need to measure, just cook the pasta as usual and drain, leaving the pasta moist with about a tablespoon of starchy water (leave some water if you’re nervous). Then add the butter slices, a couple tablespoons at a time, stirring in between additions, until the bright orange powder turns into a bright orange sauce. Eat immediately, especially if you are outside and the temperature drops rapidly. Like the butter itself, this sauce freezes in the cold.
Updated at 01:17 PM ET 09/07/2021 to add water information for the pasta.