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Old 04-30-2006, 05:58 PM   #1
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Macaroni And Cheese - Roux = Pointless

I made a DELICIOUS mac and cheese today that rivalled anyone i made with a roux..and i made it in ONE DISH... a big stainless steel sauce pan

i cooked pasta shells al dente, drained , put em back in hot pan.

i added 2 tablespoons butter, but 1/4 cup of cream, bout half cup of milk, and a nice sized amount of provolone, velvetta, and sharp cheddar, finished with parm reggiano. then cracked pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne.

stirred and it's creamy and thick as all can be. screw sitting there whipping up a roux and dirtying another skillet while making mac. waste of time in my opinion.

btw, this is for a skillet mac, not one of those casseroles.


Hey - I am wanting to explore new cheeses for mac and cheese. I know i need some velveeta in there for creaminess, but what are some other delicious cheeses i can add in to my mac. skillet dish again, not oven.

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Old 04-30-2006, 06:21 PM   #2
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MLB, the title of your thread should be "Macaroni and Cheese + Roux = Pointless", not minus right? Because you're saying that a roux is not needed.

Anyway, back to your question, look for soft or semi-soft cheeses as the base, and try to go for a theme so that you can taste the cheeses better. As long as you melt the cheese properly, velveeta is not needed.

For example, for Italian, you could use:

Marscapone
Fontina
Boschetto 'al Tartufo
Parm or Pecorino-Romano

French:

Montrachet
Boursin
Camembert
Babybeh

Mexican:

Queso Asadero
Queso Requeson
Queso Cotija
Queso Anejo
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Old 04-30-2006, 06:29 PM   #3
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is french shells and cheese good?

Give me a quick off the top of your head recipe for french mac and cheese if you will, using 2-3 cheeses. And of course the ratios to use.

Ive never made a dish like this and have never really eaten french chese.

jusr give me some basics, a good starter mac and cheese dish with french cheese. will be using sea shells,and will be a skillet dish. any good seasonings go good with french cheese?

Cheers.
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Old 04-30-2006, 06:42 PM   #4
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Pick three of the french cheeses that iron chef suggested and melt them down as you did with the one you made today. Sea shells will work just fine, I usually use elbow macaroni for my mac and cheese. Not sure which seasonings would be best, but I would go with whatever ones you like. A hot salsa is really good mixed in too! I like Newmans' brand.
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Old 04-30-2006, 06:44 PM   #5
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I don't really know MLB, I was just tossing out an idea. I've done the Italian version but with risotto, never with pasta. As far as proportions, I use equal parts of whatever cheese I'm using. I would do the Italian version because it would be easier to find I think then the French cheese.

With the amount of liquid you're using in your original recipe, plus the residual liquid from the pasta, I'm guessing that you'll need between 1 1/2 to 2 cups of cheese. I would probably use:

1/3 c. Marscapone
1/3 c. Fontina
1/3 c. Montasio
1/3 c. Parmesano-Reggiano

Add more cheese if needed to achieve the consitency you want.

I don't think you really need seasonings other than salt and pepper to taste because you'll want the flavor of the cheese to be the star of the dish. Maybe chopped parsley or a dash of cayenne pepper would be all you'd want to add.
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Old 04-30-2006, 08:28 PM   #6
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MLB, the one you made sounds delicious. Velveeta is ideal for macaroni and cheese. It is bland, though, and I think you really woke it up!

Suggestions:

Cream cheese is good in macaroni...you could mix it with herbs to mimic Boursin, if you wanted. Just about any other cheese would blend with that.

My first MIL made a delicious mac & cheese that was crunchy on the outside and moist and creamy inside. She just used cream and butter and a hard yellow cheese that melted into strings...Colby, I think. She topped it with pieces of butter, then put in the oven, uncovered...don't remember for how long. That's been a long time ago...40 years, actually.

I think a good bleu cheese would be outstanding in mac'n cheese. I have a recipe that calls for half and half, Monteray Jack, cream cheese, bleu cheese and parmesan.

I like buttered bread crumbs on top of my macaroni sometimes. I make them myself out of odds and ends of bread that I let set out on a plate to dry out all day. If they don't get dry enough, I toast them on med/low heat for a few minutes in the oven. They go in the food processer, and then into a skillet with a little melted butter. Once they are all coated, put them on top and put pan in oven.

MBL, I did a search on French cheeses, and I don't know what to tell you. I'd never heard of most of them. But if you started with the Boursin (herb flavored cream cheese), added some rich, nutty Munster, and something more assertive...I'm lost here. Ideas?
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:57 PM   #7
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Dill Havarti is a great herbed melting cheese. And swiss cheeses get nice and gooey too.
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Old 05-01-2006, 04:53 AM   #8
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My grandmother always made hers in a pot. She made the best I've ever had and it was always the first dish to empty. After draining the macaroni, she put the pasta back in the pot, added the cheese with butter and milk and let it all melt together, sometimes on a very slow burner, sometimes it was hot enough to melt while everything else was finishing. I think she used colby and sharp cheddar. My aunts do an almost as good version.
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Old 05-01-2006, 05:27 AM   #9
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Spanish manchego adds a nice depth to mac and cheese. I've also made it with smoked gouda - you'd be surprised what a nice twist smoked cheeses makes to pasta! Smoked gruyere would work well too, I'm sure.
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Old 05-01-2006, 11:36 AM   #10
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One of the reasons that you would use bechemel sauce is that oftentimes cheese (harder like chaddar and gruyere) will not melt very nicely if just added to hot pasta or to cream or milk.. They can get stringy, rather than creamy..

And I never dirty two pots when I make bechemal mac and cheese. I boil the pasta, drain it and let it sit in the colander with a little butter. I maker the bechemel sauce in the same pot and then add the pasta back in.

You only need one pot and a colander.
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