So, I'm a sucker for things I can make in my slow cooker! And, while I love the ease of throwing a bunch of items in the slow cooker in the morning and lifting the lid at night to a ready-made meal, it is, also, nice to have some things to make in the slow cooker that will be done in just a few hours. This fits the bill!
On days that the kids come right home after school, there are those couple of hours between bus drop-off and dinner that can get pretty hairy due to the kids' homework load, permission slips to sign, letters from the school to read, lunch totes to unpack and trying to listen to more than one child tell me all about his or her day!
So, this recipe seems like a winner as we enter into the new school year! What I adore about this recipe (adapted from the talented Trisha Yearwood) is that I'll be able to get this going in the slow cooker shortly before I hear the bus pulling up and it'll be ready by the time we are ready for dinner around six. Fabulous! Tonight I roasted off a few chicken breasts about 45 minutes before the macaroni and cheese was set to be done. Paired with some fresh veggies I had cut and prepped earlier in the day, we had a well-rounded meal with little effort at the last minute ... when those minutes will matter most once next week comes!
A warning, however ... this is NOT diet food! It has pasta and butter and cheese and milk and eggs and more cheese! So, just eat lots of carrot and celery sticks on the side (or a big salad!) and you'll feel better about this dish! And, while this isn't something I'll necessarily make on a weekly basis due to the high fat and caloric count, I am thinking it is perfect for a potluck, as well!
12 ounces cooked elbow noodles (I only let mine cook for about 4 -5 minutes)
One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 stick real butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Dash of pepper
2 large eggs, beaten
5 cups of shredded cheese (I used a combination of sharp cheddar and a Colby-jack blend)
Dash of paprika
In a large four-quart slow cooker sprayed with non-stick spray, mix the pasta, evaporated milk, whole milk, butter, salt, pepper, eggs and all but 1/2 of a cup of the cheese. Sprinkle the reserved cheese on top of the mixture and then sprinkle on some paprika.
Cover and cook on low for around three hours. Turn off slow cooker and serve hot.
NOTE: You can make an this an all-in-one meal by adding in some sliced smoked sausage to the mixture. Also, I did lessen the amount of butter called for in Trisha's recipe because I had read in some reviews that adding too much can leave a heavy greasiness to the dish. I would think that if you plan to add in sausage, maybe the butter may not even be necessary due to the grease sausage can release. For vegetarians, try adding in some frozen peas or corn!