The technique or tip I learned from this article was to cook the sauce until it "does not feel grainy when a small amount is rubbed between two fingers". How long have I been cooking now? 20, 30 years? How have I lived without this piece of information? It's such a silly little thing but what a difference it makes in the final sauce. Unbelievable. This stovetop method is my new favorite way of making mac n cheese. I'm not sure why homemade mac n' cheese is typically baked anyway. It can get "eggy" and dry and who needs bread crumbs anyway? This version is creamy, dreamy 'I'm in love' good and with no oven time, it'sfaster! The basic recipe is here but you could go crazy adapting this until pig's fly. "Do you want a side of bacon on that mac n' cheese"? Uh..yes please? As always---Enjoy!
Recipe: Stovetop Macaroni And Cheese
From Everday Food
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 pound small shell pasta or elbow macaroni
4 cups coarsely grated sharp yellow cheddar (3/4 pound)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1.In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium; add onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is pale golden, has a slightly nutty aroma, and is the texture of cooked oatmeal, about 5 minutes.
2.Whisking constantly, pour in 2 cups milk; add 2 more cups milk and cayenne and whisk until smooth. Cook mixture, stirring constantly along bottom of pan, until boiling, 6 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and does not feel grainy when a small amount is rubbed between two fingers, about 10 minutes.
3.Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente; drain thoroughly and return to pot. Remove sauce from heat and let cool 10 minutes. Quickly whisk in cheese, mustard, and Worcestershire. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and stir to coat.