Okay. Here’s what you will need:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 lb. pasta (I use Rotini or Fusilli)
1 quart + 1 cup buttermilk (regular milk might work, but buttermilk taste much cheesier)
Two beers. I have only used lager, but other kinds might work. I would recommend against stout (ie, Guiness), unless you want beer-flavored Mac & Cheese
Cheese. Lots of cheese. Probably about a pound, but use your judgment. I like to go to Big Y and buy their “Cheese ends for mac n cheese.” I buy two and throw away half of what I buy because it’s american or swiss or something else I don’t want f*&#ing up my flavor. This time I used almost all cheddar with a handful (literally) of pecorino romano (I said “pecker”).
Salt (a few dashes)
Pepper (a (1) dash)
lots of Garlic (I used powdered, but I’m trying minced next time)
Classic Rock. And none of that “soft” crap. Bad Company, Queen, Journey, Foreigner, AC/DC or Rolling Stones are all good. Joan Jett is also okay. Tom Petty, Credence, Metallica, Neil Young, Simon & Garfunkel and Elton John are unacceptable (yes, I just put Metallica in the same category as Neil Young). The Eagles are okay, but no Desperado and no Lyin’ Eyes. This is a key ingredient.
If you don’t like classic rock, electronica is allowed. but no Erasure and no Portishead. Yes, I love Portis head as much as the next bloody-wristed, tongue-pierced teenager, but they’re no good for cooking. Frank Klepacki is good, as are Massive Attack and Bassnectar. Daft Punk is almost mandatory.
My stove is an electric stove. It goes from 1-10. I won’t explain this again later, so look back up here if you forget that “5” means middle heat.
This is a “never leave the stove” recipe. Gather everything you need beforehand, because if you leave this alone for a minute, I don’t know what will happen. Chuck Norris might show up and kick you in the face, or it might be totally okay. I stir it constantly throughout cooking. You’ve been warned.
Commence to rock. Start the music, but no singing and no dancing yet. Blast it. If you’re not afraid of the neighbors, it’s not loud enough.
I use a big soup pot, but you could probably get away with a large sauce pan or something similar. In this, melt the butter. I set my stove to 5 to melt the butter and leave it there for most of the process.
While the butter is melting, crack open a beer and begin to consume. Don’t chug. Just drink leisurely. You will likely get through two beers for this recipe.
Once the butter is melted, wait just until it starts to sizzle. Pour in about a third of the buttermilk. It’s going to separate. don’t worry about it. The buttermilk is basically going to separate into cheese curd and water. It’s okay. Stir it a lot to try to keep the butter from separating out. It will separate a little, but stir it anyway.
Begin dancing, but not heavily. Just bop to the music a bit. You’re cooking for God’s sake. don’t go nuts, you’ll spill something. No singing yet.
Once the mixture begins to boil, start stirring in the rest of the buttermilk, but keep one cup out. Once you’ve stirred in all but one cup of the buttermilk, add three to five dashes of salt, one (1!) dash of black pepper, and a few shakes (not too many) of garlic powder.
Keep stirring. It is now acceptable to begin singing to the music. Don’t hurt yourself. You’re not Brian Johnson and you’re not Freddie. You could seriously injure yourself trying to be.
Once the sauce (yes, you’re making cheese sauce) starts to boil, start stirring in the cheese a little bit at a time. The first time I made this, I used WAY too much cheese, and it broke. The cheese stayed in a glob at the bottom and it was really hard to keep it mixed together. So stir it constantly, and when the cheese starts to clump up at the bottom, add the last cup of buttermilk and that should offset it enough to in-break it.
If you haven’t finished your first beer yet, do so now.
Open your second beer and pour the first ounce or two into the sauce. Stir. Add a bunch more garlic. Sorry about being vague through all this, but I don’t keep track of how much I use. I do it to taste and smell. If you don’t like garlic, don’t add very much. If you do (like me), upend the bottle (but not literally. I just mean use a lot).
Stir that for a few minutes. You should now be both singing and dancing with your music. If the neighbors haven’t registered a noise complaint, you’ve ruined the sauce. Dump it down the drain and start over.
Once the sauce has begun to barely boil, turn the heat down to 3 1/2 (three and a half, not half of thirty-one). Stir in the raw pasta. DON’T COOK THE PASTA AHEAD OF TIME. I mean, you could, but then it won’t soak up the nice cheese sauce you’ve just made. Stir it to make sure the pastas completely covered by the sauce. Any pasta that isn’t submerged won’t cook.
It will take… a number of minutes for the pasta to cook. During this time, consume your second beer and continue to dance/sing. When the cops show up, show them this recipe, explain the situation, and offer them a beer. They won’t take it: they’re on duty. But you’re a nice guy, so offer it anyway.
When the pasta is cooked (you’ll know because the one you eat will be not crunchy any more), remove the whole mess from the heat. That means put it on a cold burner, not just turn off the heat (but turn off the heat as well).
If you’re going to eat this right now, let it sit for about ten minutes so the sauce can thicken. If you’re going to eat it in twenty minutes to an hour, heat your oven to about 300 and stick the whole pot in there until you’re ready for it. Too long in the oven will totally dry up the sauce (happened to me just now). If your going to eat it tomorrow, throw it away and start fresh tomorrow. Dumbass.
If you have leftovers, shame on you. Eat it up. But if you just can’t choke it down, stick it in the fridge. It’s just as good re-heated (not like that Kraft crap that gets al… rubbery in the microwave).