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Old 06-13-2014, 11:06 AM   #1
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Mac & cheese

What's your favorite or recommended cheese for home made mac and cheese?

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Old 06-13-2014, 11:14 AM   #2
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What ever I find in the cold cut ends bin when I go shopping. I snatch up at least two pounds of ends each time. It doesn't leave much for the next shopper. Sometimes I get a mixture of Swiss, American Cheddar, Provolone, etc. in just one packet. It could be any type of cheese that can be sliced at the deli counter. And it is a lot cheaper than paying the full price at the deli counter. No matter what kind of cheese is in the packet, it always is priced at just 99 cents a pound.
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Old 06-13-2014, 11:45 AM   #3
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I don't think I've ever made it exactly the same way twice. For me, Mac & Cheese is what I make when there are a lot of cheese odds and ends in the fridge. I've even mixed in a little blue cheese and bacon crumbles, which is marvelous.
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Old 06-13-2014, 12:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callmaker60 View Post
What's your favorite or recommended cheese for home made mac and cheese?

A mixture of gruyere and a good sharp cheddar.

Plus whatever odds and ends in my cheese drawer that melts well.

But I always make sure the majority of the cheese is really good quality and tasty. Because the cheese you use makes all the difference.
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Old 06-13-2014, 12:08 PM   #5
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I like to use an extra sharp white cheddar cheese. In this area the best grocery store cheese is McCadam Adirondack cheddar, another good one is Cabot Farmhouse Reserve or Private stock.

If you like it creamy use half American processed cheese (not cheese food) and half sharp cheddar.

I agree with the others, the best Mac and cheese just sort of happens when you clean out the refrigerator and no one is around to enjoy your masterpiece but you!
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Old 06-13-2014, 12:54 PM   #6
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It really depends on what you're used to. For my parents, especially my stepfather, the USDA Depression cheese was the only cheese to use in home made mac 'n cheese. For me, I prefer an aged cheddar (not less than 3 years old), shredded and combined with a creamy cheese such as harvarti, or gruyere. The bite and creamy texture of a good Pinconning make this cheese great all by itself. Butterkase is also great for the purpose.

Monterey Jack coupled with a hard cheese such as Parmegiano Regiano, or Asiago, Romano, Grande Padano, etc. works very well.

With all of these, I precook the pasta, shred the cheese, heat half'n half, but not to a boil, and add the shredded cheese. Remove from the heat and add the cheese. Stir until you have a beautifully creamy sauce. Combine with the pasta in a casserole dish, with maybe some sliced onion, and a bit of sud-dried tomato. Sprinkle bread crumbs, or cornflake crumbs on top if you like those, and bake to create that wonderful crispy top. Serve with good veggies and your favorite sausage (brats, ring bologna, hot dogs, etc.).

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Old 06-13-2014, 08:34 PM   #7
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I tend to use whatever I've got, as mac & cheese tends to be a "day before payday" dish so it's usually the left-overs out of the cheese box in the 'fridge although I do like it best with farmhouse Cheshire cheese and a shot of "proper" parmesan on the top. The other day I used a mix of Cheshire and red Leicester which made it a sort of very pale orange-y colour which I thought was quite pretty. After all, one eats with one's eyes as well.
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:54 AM   #8
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Chief. So no bechamel first, then the cheese?
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:06 PM   #9
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Chief. So no bechamel first, then the cheese?
I used to make a Bechemel, then add cheese to it. But as good as the mother sauce is, it dilutes the flavor of the cheese, requiring more cheese to get good flavor. By using only cream, or half'n half, and cheese, the result is creamier, and has more intense flavor to balance the pasta flavor.

A touch of yellow mustard also intensifies the cheese flavor. But be careful with mustard. It can quickly take over.

Other additions can include browned ground beef, crispy bacon, thing pieces of ham, cooked chicken, or turkey meat, and herbs such as a touch of nutmeg, or a little oregano. Paprika workswell with cheese macaroni too.

Home this helps.

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Old 06-15-2014, 12:11 AM   #10
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I like to use a mixture of cheeses on hand. I made mac and cheese today and used a sharp cheddar, some cream cheese and a bit of hot pepper jack.
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