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Old 02-09-2011, 01:32 PM   #1
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Favorite Mac and cheese recipe?

It's cold here. I am craving mac and cheese. This was something that came from a box when I was growing up--I have a "void" re: how to make it from scratch. I like mine with some "hot" so am thinking of adding jalepeno peppers and onions, dash of Frank's Red sauce. I am thinking the cheese sauce would be nice re: philly cheese, shredded cheddar (don't have any monterey jack), evap. milk, a bit of flour to thicken. Baked--maybe topped with seasoned bread crumbs.

I like a creamy mac and cheese. Anyone have what they claim would be the "best ever" mac and cheese recipe (no canned soups, please or velveeta or american cheese--don't have those--don't eat those).

Thanks!
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:57 PM   #2
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It's cold here. I am craving mac and cheese. This was something that came from a box when I was growing up--I have a "void" re: how to make it from scratch. I like mine with some "hot" so am thinking of adding jalepeno peppers and onions, dash of Frank's Red sauce. I am thinking the cheese sauce would be nice re: philly cheese, shredded cheddar (don't have any monterey jack), evap. milk, a bit of flour to thicken. Baked--maybe topped with seasoned bread crumbs.

I like a creamy mac and cheese. Anyone have what they claim would be the "best ever" mac and cheese recipe (no canned soups, please or velveeta or american cheese--don't have those--don't eat those).

Thanks!
Mac & Cheese and Pimento Cheese can be many flavors. I like some softened cream cheese, Colby/Jack is very flavorful. Parmessan gives it a nice kick/bite. Cheddar can be mild or sharp. Play with different cheeses. Use lots of different kinds together. YUMMY!
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:18 PM   #3
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I like mine with some "hot"
CWS, I made mac and cheese the other day and added some canned chunky salsa, then topped it with buttered panko bread crumbs. Turned out really good.

I've made Martha Stewarts famous M&C and the recipe is excellent...

http://www.marthastewart.com/article...oni-and-cheese
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:29 AM   #4
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I don't really use a recipe. I make it often enough that I just wing it, but Alton Brown's recipe is very close to the way I make it: Alton Brown's Baked Macaroni And Cheese Recipe - Food.com - 107712 .

I don't care for breadcrumb topping so I leave it out and just top it with grated cheese. To kick it up, I'd use a little cayenne pepper (about 1/8 teaspoon should do it) or red pepper flakes (1/4 teaspoon or so). Be sure not to leave out the dry mustard. It also gives a little kick, and is important to the overall flavor. You can also add a little worchestershire sauce if you like (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon).

Use a decent quality sharp cheddar. Kraft's Cracker Barrel (gold label) is fine, you don't need to break the bank.
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:40 AM   #5
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I don't personally care for the man, himself, as he is like nails on a chalkboard to me, but I have to say that Emeril's 4 cheese Mac N Cheese is just about the best I've ever made. I do not make any substitutions for the cheeses. I use authentic Gruyere, Fontina, Sharp Wisconsin Cheddar (our favorite comes from Cedar Grove in Southwest WI and it can be ordered online) and Parmigiano-Reggiano. The hot sauce (I use Frank's) gives it just the right amount of heat. This is a fattening favorite in our house, especially of my dd's. We don't eat highly processed frankenfood either.

Macaroni with 4 Cheeses! Recipe : Emeril Lagasse : Food Network
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:24 AM   #6
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I use evaporated milk to make a creamy mac & cheese.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:29 AM   #7
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I use a can of cream soup, usually chicken or celery, to melt the cheeses in.

Evaporated milk works fine and adds a creaminess, milk too, just don't use so much that your cheese sauce is too thin.

If your sauce is too thin, the cheese will puddle in the bottom and not stick to the macaroni.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:00 AM   #8
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I like that idea, Z.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:08 AM   #9
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I like that idea, Z.
+1

Cream of mushroom sounds good to me.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:46 AM   #10
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I like that idea, Z.
The time I made that mistake, I corrected it by adding more and more cheese, but the good thing is that I ended up with a double batch of cheese sauce and had enough for other dishes.

Since then, I try for a double batch, adding in only half to the macaroni and mixing it up to make sure I have enough, then save the rest. If I don't use it within a few days, I freeze it.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:37 AM   #11
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I always make a classic cheese sauce with real american cheese and then bake with some slices on top.The browned cheese crust is always fought over.

I sometimes add a diced onion to my roux.
I have added some bacon too-that was good.
Breadcrumbs on top is good.
I have tried lobster and fake crab and didn't care for either.
A little chili sauce in the cheese sauce is good and barely noticeable.

On Edit:I just thought about adding some green chili's.I may try that next time.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:42 AM   #12
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The time I made that mistake, I corrected it by adding more and more cheese, but the good thing is that I ended up with a double batch of cheese sauce and had enough for other dishes.

Since then, I try for a double batch, adding in only half to the macaroni and mixing it up to make sure I have enough, then save the rest. If I don't use it within a few days, I freeze it.
Good info. I wouldn't have thought about freezing the leftover.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:55 AM   #13
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I always make a double batch and put half in a pyrex dish that I bake that day and 1/2 in a foil pan that does not bake until thawed at a later date.
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:57 PM   #14
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Good info. I wouldn't have thought about freezing the leftover.
It very rarely makes it to the freezer, though, as I can always think of ways to use up cheese sauce!
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:13 PM   #15
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It very rarely makes it to the freezer, though, as I can always think of ways to use up cheese sauce!
Ooh... I thought you meant freezing the half can of cream soup. Seems like I'm always using half a can of something, putting the other half in a plastic container, throwing it in the fridge, then throwing it out a month later
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:22 PM   #16
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Ooh... I thought you meant freezing the half can of cream soup. Seems like I'm always using half a can of something, putting the other half in a plastic container, throwing it in the fridge, then throwing it out a month later
Nope, I always use a whole can of cream soups.

Now canned vegs... I just use about half, and put the rest into a baggie and save in the freezer. I keep them all in the freezer door, and raid that for when I make soups.

I do check the freezer before opening another can, tho.
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:30 PM   #17
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I posted this in another thread as requested. Probably better off here.

Macaroni and Cheese My Way Recipe courtesy Jan Birnbaum
Show: Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello
Episode: Pot luck Challenge

18 pieces extra-large shell pasta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup tasso ham or bacon
5 large shallots, minced
1 clove garlic, mined
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup white wine
2 cups cream
1 cup grated fontina
1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
18 medium to large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups gently packed spinach
Kosher salt and ground white pepper
Hot pepper sauce, to taste (recommended: Tabasco)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley leaves
Preheat broiler.
Bring a large post of water to a rolling boil, add pasta shells and cook al dente, according to package instructions.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, add the olive oil and tasso or bacon, cook until just crisp,
then add shallots and garlic. Cook and stir over moderate heat just until shallots are translucent. Add the flour, cook stirring constantly to blend and toast the flour, about 5 minutes. Add the white wine, reduce until almost dry. Add the cream, bring to a simmer until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheeses, shrimp and spinach. Gently stir until cheese is melted, spinach is wilted and shrimp is beginning to turn pink. Season with salt and white pepper, to taste. Season with hot sauce, to taste.
Drain the pasta, making sure to shake all of the water off and out of the shells.
In a large ovenproof baking dish, place drained shells. Add the cheese and shrimp mixture and gently fold into the pasta. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and chopped parsley. Place under the broiler until the breadcrumbs are toasted about 2 to 3 minutes.


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Old 02-12-2011, 01:58 PM   #18
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Wink

I just prepared Macaroni and Cheese last night! When I was a kid my mom made a very creamy mac and cheese, but it was made with Velveeta. I like that creamy texture, but don't want to use Velveeta, so last night I used some Fontina, a good cheddar and some cream cheese. I made a white sauce using some milk and some evaporated milk (I think evaporated milk makes a cheese sauce creamier and richer) Sorry I didn't really measure anything, but ended up with about 3 cups of cheese sauce, which I stirred into about 4 cups of al-dente cooked Riccioli pasta. I like my mac and cheese "virgin" so no hot sauce or other additions (just lots of freshly ground black pepper at serving time) Baked for about 30- 45 min at 350, (just stuck it in the oven with the meatloaf that was already there) it managed to stay fairly creamy, anytime you bake this kind of dish it's going to stiffen up. the pasta will continue to absorb moisture which in turn will make the sauce drier. I guess you just have to experiment by making the sauce thinner.
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:39 PM   #19
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I stumbled across this recipe in my Food and Drink files:

Next Mac and Cheese adventure, I'm trying this recipe (the one I made last week ended up that the sauce was too thin...did exactly what s/one said it would--cheese clumped).

Recipe Details
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