You don’t have to eat KD – but after reading our chef tips for prettying up every Canadian’s favourite budget meal, you’ll just eat more.
“Cut double-smoked bacon into lardons or squares, give it a good sear and add it to the KD right before you add the cheese powder. If you want something a little less trailer-park, sub Mexican chorizo or ’nduja sausage.
“Finely grate more cheese and add it to the finished KD while it’s still warm. You can add more than one: Monterey Jack, smoked Gouda, even some blue cheese will give KD more complexity. While you’re at it, add a few cubes of butter, and if you’re really feeling like a king, a tablespoon or two of heavy cream.
“Put all that KD into a casserole dish, melt a couple of tablespoons of butter and mix with some panko bread crumbs, then layer the crumbs on top and put it in your oven until it gets a nice toasty brown on top. Finishing with a little fresh chopped parsley or chives is going to take that mac and cheese up to another level.”
“The packaged stuff is great, but the first thing I always do is put fresh cheddar cheese in there as well, just to make it a little gooier. I’m also a big fan of fried eggs, so I always fry an egg and put it on top. The yolk just makes it that much creamier.”
“When you’re a poor student, you gotta eat Kraft Dinner. That was where the whole gourmet mac and cheese thing started for me. I used to sauté broccoli and onions with ground beef and put it on top of Kraft Dinner, and that was my meal.
“At the time I did it straight up, but if I did it again, I’d probably add a little curry powder. With some chicken and broccoli? Boom.”
“Some nights you just want a quick, simple meal – so when I grab the KD, I’ve got my own set of toppings to make it mine. First I pan-roast some mushrooms as the water boils, then add a teaspoon or two of Chinese garlic chili paste to the sauce. Top with the crispy mushrooms and lots of fresh cracked black pepper. Delish.”