To those of you who didn’t grow up in America, this may look like a boring meal. For me, however it was the most exciting meal I’ve made in a very long time.
In high school and university, my friends and I would prepare boxes of Kraft macaroni and cheese which we would eat in massive portions with illegally acquired alcohol. We weren’t rebels. We were just adults living under America’s rather draconian alcohol laws that state you have to be 21 before you can have your first sip of beer. Don’t get me started on that one!
The boxes come equipped with macaroni and a pack of dried yellow cheese ( with perhaps a few other things in the mix ) that you then mix with butter and milk to make the cheesy sauce.
Anyway, the mac and cheese was rather bland but it hit the spot. It was moreish and you really couldn’t get enough of it. I’m not saying it was the best. By no means. If I were cooking pasta and cheese for a party, it would have to be this recipe.
That said, whenever I go back home to the US, I always bring a few boxes of Kraft back with me. My kids love it too. The problem is, when the boxes are gone, we have a long wait before we can get more. Kraft pasta and cheese if available online here in the UK from specialty shops but this copy cat recipe tastes just like the real thing. In fact, it’s better. My blend is made with 100% strong Aldi Cheddar that I purchase from my local Aldi supermarket.
I then dehydrate the cheese for 12 hours using a dehydrator. If you don’t have one, don’t worry. You can still make this recipe. The dehydrator uses less energy.
If using an oven, simply set the temperature to about 50c (120f). The following photographs show me making the dehydrated cheese in my dehydrator.
You might be wondering why you don’t just use freshly grated Cheddar. You can but it won’t taste like Kraft’s. When you dehydrate cheese, it takes on a slightly different flavour. When mixed with the milk and butter, the dried cheese becomes so smooth and nice.
Depending on how much cheese you dehydrate, you may have more than you need. The cheese will reduce in size by almost one half. Any leftover dehydrated cheese can be stored in an air-tight container for a long time. I vacuum seal mine in plastic bags though that probably isn’t necessary.
This recipe will serve four. I bet if you make it for yourself though, you’ll have a hard time putting your spoon down. Enjoy!
Note: I used grease proof paper in the photograph. I recommend using paper towels as it soaks up the fat from the cheese better. If cooking in an oven, use grease proof paper if you are not going to be watching it constantly.
- 500g dry pasta of your choice
- 3 heaping tablespoons dehydrated Cheddar
- 70ml ( ¼ cup) milk
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Following the cooking instructions for the pasta you use. Cook it and drain.
- Place the cooked pasta in a large pan over low heat and stir in the dried cheese, milk and butter.
- Stir slowly until the butter, milk and cheese turn into a smooth sauce that coats the pasta.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Disclaimer: Aldi UK is a sponsor of my blog. All of the ingredients used in this recipe were supplied by my local Aldi. You are going to love this recipe!