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Old 02-14-2009, 10:14 AM   #1
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ISO TNT Mac and Cheese WithOUT Heavy Cream

I wanted to try real mac and cheese but the only recipe I found had heavy cream and at $4 a quart, it just seems to be too expensive. For $4 I can buy 2 boxes of the top shelf boxed stuff. And the $4 is just for the cream, it doesn't include the cost of the cheeses to put in it. So I'm looking for a good cheese sauce that doesn't include heavy cream that I can use to make mac and cheese.

Mods ~ if this was supposed to go in Pastas, I'm sorry, it was a 50/50 shot of getting it in the right spot.

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Old 02-14-2009, 10:25 AM   #2
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Callisto, I make my cheese sauce with milk. I'd rather save the cream for dessert.
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Old 02-14-2009, 10:46 AM   #3
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[quote=Loprraine;791776]Callisto, I make my cheese sauce with milk. I'd rather save the cream for dessert.[/quote

So do I.
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Old 02-14-2009, 10:48 AM   #4
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Can either of you post your recipe? I've only got one from the Better Homes cookbook that is eons old and a couple Rachel Ray recipes and with her budget, she goes all out with the most expensive ingredients.
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Old 02-14-2009, 11:56 AM   #5
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I don't follow an actual recipe for mac and cheese, it's usually a "clean out the cheese bin" meal. My basic sauce recipe is 1 tsp each of butter and flour to 1 C milk. Seasonings are salt, pepeer, bit of cayenne, bit of dry mustard. The cheese is added to the sauce off the heat. It's a great way of using up leftovers.
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Old 02-14-2009, 12:02 PM   #6
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ditto loprraine's menu. I add a bit of dried onion and garlic to the noodles while they cook. I also add a bit of nutmeg.
Make a roux with the butter and flour, then add the milk slowly, stir till thickened.
Then add the cheese and stir it till melty. (whatever melty is, LOL)
Mix it into the noodles, top with crushed chips or flavored bread crumbs if desired,
bake about 20 minutes at 350 or so.
I like cheddar and montery jack cheese, but just about any cheeses will do just fine!
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Old 02-14-2009, 12:10 PM   #7
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Yum. Is 1% milk okay or should I pick up some whole milk?
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Old 02-14-2009, 02:01 PM   #8
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It might be better with whole milk, but I've used to make it on a regular basis it with 2%, and it was.

Grillingfool, I forgot the nutmeg, thanks! If you don't have dried onion, you can add finely chopped onion to milk (if you heat the milk before making the sauce).
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Old 02-14-2009, 04:06 PM   #9
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I never use cream for mac and cheese. It would be too rich and gooey. I don't use a recipe, but here is roughly what I do:

Take 8 ounces macaroni, any shape you want. Boil for about 8-10 minutes, drain and rinse and set aside.


Grate 3 cups Cheddar cheese, or use a combo of cheddar, swiss, muenster, gouda, whatever you like. Set aside one cup for topping.


Melt 3 TBS butter and add 3 TBS flour. Stir rapidly to make a roux and let it bubble a bit. Add two cups milk (2% is fine). Let it cook for about 3 minutes to cook the flour.
Add 2 cups grated cheese,. remove from heat and stir to melt cheese. Don't let it boil at this point or cheese will break down into yucky lumpy things. Salt and pepper to taste. Here, you can also add dry mustard, diced onions, anything else you want to perk it up. My DH is a purist, so I don't add anything else.


Butter a baking pan. Mix the cooked macaroni into the sauce. Pour into pan and top with the remainder of the cheese. Bake for about 15 minutes at 350F, just to melt top cheese. Don't let it get dry.

Lots of people add bread crumbs, bacon, other stuff. We like it just like this. Hope you do, too.
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Old 02-14-2009, 05:17 PM   #10
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Karen that sounds fantastic. I actually picked up some extra cheese at the store to try that. I was thinking of maybe adding bacon and bread crumbs to the topping. The cheese I bought is Cheddar-ella which is mozarella and cheddar combined but I have some cheddar cheese and some Velveta (I hear that stuff is really good in mac and cheese). We'll see how it goes.

Any chance I can freeze if there are left overs?
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Old 02-14-2009, 06:32 PM   #11
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Thanks, Callisto! I've never tried freezing the leftovers from mac and cheese. I think it might change the texture of the sauce....but then Stouffers does it all the time, don't they? Cheddarella sounds good...DH can sniff out Velveeta wherever I try to hide it, so I've never used it in mac and cheese. Bacon on top? How can you go wrong with bacon? I've served it with little fried pork sausages on top, also good with sliced fresh tomatoes on top. Have fun!
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Old 02-14-2009, 06:38 PM   #12
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I have to say, for a first attempt it was pretty good. It was a little grainy but I think I let the milk and butter/flour mixture go a bit too long. It was good. I ended up with cheddar, mozarella, Velveeta and a hint of parmasian as the cheese. Top with bacon and cheddar. I will definitely try again because the first batch came out quite edible. I did add a dollop of sour cream to a couple of bites, just out of curiosity and it was very good. Thanks again for the recipe.
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Old 02-14-2009, 06:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
It was a little grainy
Did you add the cheese off the heat? As long as you don';t overcook it, it should be fine. A bit of sour cream is always good.

I find it does change texture when frozen, not a bad thing, just different. Stouffers can do it because they flash freeze at temperatures I can only imagine. Bacon on top, or leftover ham inside is always nice.
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Old 02-14-2009, 07:01 PM   #14
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I did add the cheese off the heat, it could just be I'm not used to real mac and cheese. I've added a picture. This was after it cooled so it would stay together. Again, this was another hit with my cats (apparently they like my cooking far better than my daughter ). At least someone's easy to please in this house.
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Old 02-14-2009, 07:25 PM   #15
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It looks wonderful!!!
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Old 02-15-2009, 03:34 PM   #16
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Here's mine that uses Evaporated Milk:

Macaroni and Cheese (Stove Top)

8 ounces elbow macaroni -- uncooked
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper -- or to taste
2 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
6 ounces evaporated milk
10 ounces sharp cheddar cheese -- shredded
1/2 teaspoon Louisiana-style hot sauce -- or to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Cook your macaroni in this until just al dente, according to the package directions. Drain well, then return to the pot. Add the butter and toss the macaroni well to coat. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, evaporated milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir the egg/milk mixture into the hot pasta, then add the cheese. Reduce the heat to low, and continue to stir and cook until cheese is melted and mixture is creamy. Serve.

Serving Size : 4
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Old 02-18-2009, 04:31 AM   #17
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Hellosies!

About the only recipes that are my own are for stove top noodle dishes and I absolutely LOVE playing around with mac n cheese.

Instead of using cream I've used Ranch Dressing ( yes I know it's for salads but I was out of milk one time and mac n cheese with water is yucky). I've also used a small can of mushroom soup ( just the condensed stuff no water added). Cream of chicken works well too ( and gives it an interesting flavor).
For the cheese I love the grated 4 cheese mexican blend because it is mild and yet has a good flavor that is not overwhelming ( plus Sargento brand is super fine grated so makes for melting it so much smoother).
If you like veggies you can always add some finely chopped broccoli and finely shredded carrot ( I have a mini food chopper I use for doing that).

So as a recipe it would look something like this:

In your medium pot cook your noodles as directed.
When done turn your heat down to low ( med-low)
Drain noodles.
Put noodles back in your pot.
Now with the pot of noodles back on the stove top you wanna add in :

1 TBS butter ( optional really)
1/4 cup of ranch
OR 1/2 to 1 10 oz. can of cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup ( depends on how much noodlage you've cooked up)
2-3 cups of shredded cheese ( or however much cheese you like really)
Stir all this on low ( med-low).
Your cheese should get all blended and gooey quite fast. When that happens take it off the heat and serve.

For veggies you can add them right away for a crunch ( and some vitamins) or you can cook them a bit before stirring in.

For seasoning you can add whatever floats your boat. Heck you can add baco bits too if you like.

At any rate the recipe is just an approximation as I'm one of those eyeball it and toss it in rather than stringently measure it out types when I'm "free for all " ( instead of recipe) cooking.

I hope this has helped.

-NWM
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:08 AM   #18
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Try this video recipe from Chef John Mitzewich: Food Wishes Video Recipes - Free Video Recipe Blog

His recipes are always great and his instructions are clear and well-explained.
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