This amazingly good, decadent, rich and creamy recipe is from Cook's Illustrated in the original The Best Recipe; the recipe in the New Best Recipe is not the same (side note vent here: I HATE it when a new edition of a cookbook I love comes out. I write all over my cookbook, adding comments, mentioning when I served the dish, suggestion alterations. When the new edition of a book I love comes out, I have to decide to buy it, and either start all over again transferring comments, or stay with the old one and risk missing something new and wonderful. It's especially bad when the new edition leaves out some of my favorite recipes from the old edition. So much for trying to simplify; now I own both). I don't think you can even buy the cookbook anymore (new, that is).
It's a stovetop recipe, my daughters both love it, it's very easy, and the keys to making it insanely creamy are:
*having part of the cheese (half for me, usually) be smooth-melting American, which I normally avoid like the plague
You can saute some bread crumbs in butter and garlic and or parmesan if you'd like, to serve on top. If you do that, run the pan briefly under the broiler to brown the topping. I never even bother.
2 large eggs
1 can evaporated milk, divided
1/4 tsp tabasco
2 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp dry mustard, dissolved in 1 tsp water
1/2 lb elbow macaroni
4 tbs unsalted butter
12 oz cheese (I use half sharp cheddar, half american) grated
*Mix eggs, 1 cup of the milk, tabasco, 1/2 tsp of the salt, pepper, and mustard mixture in small bowl and set aside.
*Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in large, heavy saucepan. Add remaining salt and macaroni; cook until tender. Drain and return to pan over low heat. Add butter and toss to melt.
*Pour egg mixture over noodles along w/3/4 of the cheese; stir until thoroughly combined and cheese begins to melt. Gradually add remaining milk and cheese, stirring constantly, until mixture is hot and creamy (5 minutes or so).