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Old 09-01-2013, 05:05 PM
 
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I tried a new way tonight and maybe with a little tweaking I will like it. I usually do a roux then make a bechamel base to add cheeses to. This new to me recipe calls for buttering the cooked pasta first then in a bowl, mixing eggs, cheese and milk. Then pouring over the buttered noodles and baked for 12 minutes.

My only gripe was it wasn't cheesy tasting enough and all the liquid absorbed right into the pasta. I think I will double the liquid and triple the cheese. (the ratio was a can of evaporated milk to 2 cups of cheese)

I grated a jalopeno jack, australian cheddar and pecorino. Usually that blend is very cheesy in the roux based mac and cheese.

What's your favorite way of making mac and cheese? What are your favorite blends of cheeses?

The "best" blend I ever did was a locatelli, sharp provo and aged cheddar. It was both sharp, salty and creamy. Yum!
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Old 09-01-2013, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Alaska
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I am an impromptu cook - I usually do not make a menu and shop around that menu. I will take a menu and use what I have on-hand as staples or what is in the frig/freezer at that time and improvise.

My favorite macaroni and cheese is whatever pasta that I have on-hand, add milk (or 1/2 & 1/2 or whipping cream or sour cream). Add the dairy product to the al dente pasta with butter until melted then add the cheese; raise the heat on the stove-top until I see some simmer indicators.

Cheeses used depends on what is at hand: cheddar, romano, parmesan, mozzerella, jack, smoked gouda ....

That's it! If I want different flavor notes I will add them (garlic, sage, parsley, etc.) at the al dente stage.

Last edited by Naturen; 09-01-2013 at 08:14 PM..
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:22 PM
 
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Momtothree, what you made sounds like what I call a "Southern" mac & cheese. My grandmother and family made mac & cheese like that. It's not meant to be creamy or gooey. There's no real cheese sauce. You have to add the right amount of cheese and know how to get the cheese to connect with the pasta.

If you want gooey or creamy mac & cheese, then you have to go the roux/bechamel/mornay route. There are a ton of good chheses to use for that including gruyere, Monterrey jack, sharp cheddar, etc. Try this recipe: Perfect Macaroni and Cheese - Martha Stewart Comfort Foods
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:04 PM
 
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The recipes that had the eggs called it creamy Mac and cheese so I was expecting it to be so. Just was trying another way than my usual for something different.
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:26 AM
 
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Melt 2 tbsp butter in pan add 1/2 cup flour. Mix until no clumps are formed. Add 1 cup milk and mix. Then add 2 pound of your favorite grated cheese. I use extra sharp cracker barrel. Mix until the sauce is thick and cheesy colored. Add a pinch of salt, a pinch of black pepper, a pinch of cayenne and a dollop of spicy mustard. Pour over boiled noodles and bake at 350 for 30 min. It is really rich and creamy.
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:04 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandrew834 View Post
Melt 2 tbsp butter in pan add 1/2 cup flour. Mix until no clumps are formed. Add 1 cup milk and mix. Then add 2 pound of your favorite grated cheese. I use extra sharp cracker barrel. Mix until the sauce is thick and cheesy colored. Add a pinch of salt, a pinch of black pepper, a pinch of cayenne and a dollop of spicy mustard. Pour over boiled noodles and bake at 350 for 30 min. It is really rich and creamy.

I do mine this way too ^^^^^
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Old 09-02-2013, 02:58 PM
 
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That's the roux method. ^^^^

I like both the type made with a roux and the type without. They both have their good qualities.
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:16 PM
 
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My results with mac and cheese have always been uneven. But I now lean more to making it like pasta with a really simple cream sauce, without roux. A lot of times my roux breaks and there's separation in the sauce. I need more practice.

I learned this from Ina Garten: Set a sauce pot of heavy cream on the burner first to boil then low and reduce the cream by about a third. Then add your ingredients, your cheese, herbs, seasoning, etc. I like using a semi-soft or cheddar plus a blue and grated Parmesan. Ina Garten made this as a sauce for beef, but it's fine just served over cooked pasta.

What you don't get is the baked crust. Baking is always where my problems come anyway as the pasta can absorb too much and get too soft, and the sauce can break and/or get gummy. I serve something crunchy alongside instead, like pan brown a topping and sprinkle it on top.

I find I can control the texture of the pasta better, and keep a creamy sauce.
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:13 PM
 
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Yeah, that's a stove top mac & cheese.

That's why mac & cheese is such a great food. There are so many different ways to prepare it.
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Jollyville, TX
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I like to make mine starting with a cornstarch based white sauce, then add the cheese until it's nice and creamy and fold it into the pasta. Then I bake it until bubbly and add toasted bread crumbs on the top.
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