|Remember this little guy!?|
A few nights later my ground beef hit the hot skillet and a batch of Cheeseburger Mac was created. It looked good and smelled just like I remembered. I was actually pretty excited so I settled into my comfy TV watching chair with a bowl of sloppy, cheesy meat and after a bite or two…heavy sigh…it went directly to the trash. It’s hard to say whether the product itself has changed so much over the years or whether my tastes have changed but it truly was not for me anymore.
However, not to be daunted by one bad experience, I determined to try to revisit this and make it something I can have again and really like. Plus I added the caveat of making it a “meal for one” that I can make, eat and not have leftovers.
A little research on the web found a slew of recipes for cheeseburger macaroni. Some called for cans of condensed cream of cheddar and/or chicken soups, some for Velveeta cheese products, some a can of tomatoes and mushrooms – some of which looked pretty darned good, but made WAY more than I could eat in a single sitting without inviting half the neighborhood for dinner. So I went to an old “secret recipes” cookbook that supposedly had the original version and I decided to back into my single serving version based on that.
|Add some peas and different pasta for|
a new twist on an old favorite.
The other obvious alternative was to simply buy a box of macaroni and cheese and add some cooked ground beef to it. And realistically, that might be a great idea except that it defeats my “single serving” idea. Plus you’re stuck using the plain old macaroni they give you and sometimes I like choo-choo wheels or little shells – you’ve got to have SOME fun, right?
Here is the recipe I ended up with after a bit of tinkering. As usual, I keep my ground beef in the freezer in quarter pound balls, so deciding to make this on the spur of the moment is pretty easy, everything else sits in the pantry awaiting my whim.
|Simple ingredients make this an easy meal|
¼ lb. ground beef (turkey or pork sausage would also be tasty here)
1/3 cup macaroni (uncooked)
3/4 cup water
1 Tbls dehydrated cheddar cheese powder *
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
additional 1 tsp cheddar cheese powder
Brown ground beef (adding salt and pepper to taste) in a small heavy saucepan or skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Add 1 Tbls cheese powder and the remaining ingredients, bring to a simmer, cover the pan/pot and let cook on medium heat for 10-12 minutes until the pasta is fully cooked. Sprinkle on the additional cheese powder and stir to combine. Continue to cook uncovered until liquid is mostly absorbed.
|Cheeseburger Macaroni - don't even TRY |
to tell me this doesn't look good!
* Note - I found my dehydrated cheese powder at my local bulk food store. I also know it can be purchased on-line at King Arthur Flour.