Hand-Krafted Kraft Dinner

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.

Jonathan HamiltonLa Carnita, Home of the Brave and Sweet Jesus

“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.”

Matt Basile, Fidel Gastro and Lisa Marie

“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.”

Randal So, Cut the Cheese

“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.”

Kevin Durkee, Cheesewerks

“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.”

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