Hello again! Today I have another food review for you, minus the accompanying video review. With my little kiddo running amok, it would've been hard to capture a quality video I would've been proud of, so I am just doing a written review this time.
A few weeks ago, I was super psyched to learn that Betty Crocker now makes a boxed Macaroni & Cheese (comparable to the kind Kraft & Velveeta Make). I was even more pleased when I found it locally for about .65 cents per box. I picked up the Extra Cheesy flavor; there were several other flavors to choose from: Original, Twists, Grilled Cheese, and Cheese Pizza.
I decided to make it as a side dish to our meatloaf we were having this evening. An interesting thing to point out is that the Betty Crocker Mac & Cheese is different from Kraft in the preparation of it. With the Betty Crocker, not only is this a "no-drain" preparation, you dump all the ingredients (1 1/4 cup water, 1 cup of milk, 4 TBPS of butter or margarine, dry pasta, and the cheese flavoring packet) in your pot at the very beginning. It says on the box that it is "easy prep". However, I felt like I had to constantly stand around the pot stirring the entire time. From bringing it to a boil, to simmering and thickening the sauce, I was directed to 'stir frequently.' When I walked away for several minutes getting other items for dinner ready and came back, my macaroni noodles would be stuck to the bottom of my pot. Guess that's the cause for the frequent stirring recommendation. As a personal preference, I would rather drain it and add a few ingredients at the tail end, than be chained to my pot.
The method of preparation being 'no-drain' makes for a very watery sauce, which did not thicken to my liking even after I took it completely off the heat and let it sit for a few minutes. Granted, it did thicken significantly from the beginning of cooking, but when I dished it, sauce leaked from my macaroni, merging with the other food on my plate. (Boo on that.)
As for the taste, the most important factor, I was quite underwhelmed. The sauce, as it was, was not as creamy and smooth as what I'm used to enjoying when I have mac & cheese. It was thin and almost grainy. Despite this being the extra cheese flavor, I felt that the Original Kraft Mac & Cheese that I typically buy has a stronger taste. My hubby was in agreement that we've had better in the boxed mac & cheese department.
I was really pumped for Betty Crocker's Macaroni & Cheese and was really expecting to like it, but was pretty disappointed. I know the 'easy prep' was meant to simplify our lives, but why change a tried and true method that we know produces good results (as far as boxed mac & cheese goes)? I will be passing on this for the time being... maybe since it is new they will take feedback and improve it later on and I'll try it again.
If you've tried it, let me know what you think. Which is your favorite boxed mac & cheese?