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Shinob1
05-04-2012, 12:11 PM
So I'm going to try and wow my wife, (since my previous pulled pork dinner plans were spoiled :(), and make one of her favorites, Mac & Cheese. :)

For reference, she's use to Kraft in a box and I'm bound and determined to blow it out of the water. I was hoping someone could help me with an easy recipe for cheddar Mac & Cheese.

I was thinking about using the recipe below - it seems like the basis is a rue (sp ck), cold milk, cheese and pour the sauce over cooked pasta and put it in the oven.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coYqrXsDPdU&feature=BFa&list=FLTpn9BzRTsbvOT6rxVpOBwg

99Limited
05-04-2012, 12:36 PM
That video pretty much sums up your basic mac 'n cheese. From this you mix 'n match cheeses and pastas to suit your taste. Try adding bacon or sausage, like spicy Italian or a good breakfast sausage. I would probably cut back on the salt. Your pasta water should be heavily salted which will transfer to the pasta and your cheese will also contain plenty of salt. Also when cooking your pasta, you want to take it out of the water when it's not quite al dente because it will finish cooking during the baking period.

Vertigo
05-04-2012, 12:47 PM
My "Faked Bake" Mac:

Cook off your macaroni and set aside. Take a few rashers of bacon, dice them small, and slowly render them over low heat in a sauté pan until they've given up most their fat; crank the heat a bit until they get good and crispy, then remove them with a slotted spoon and reserve on a paper towel. Add some diced onion and minced garlic to the bacon grease, sauté until translucent and smelling delicious, then whisk in flour to make your roux. Whisk the roux until it starts to cook, then add milk (I use 2%, half-and-half works too but it's a little sweet), white and black pepper, salt, cayenne, a splash of worcestershire. Bring to a simmer and let the sauce begin to thicken. You'll want it a little on the thin side so add more milk if needed.

After it's simmered and the flour taste has cooked out, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in your cheese in small batches, making sure to fully incorporate it between each handful. Most cheese will work, I like aged Irish cheddar but you can play around. When the sauce gets to the right consistency (looks and tastes like a cheese sauce), stir in your reserved bacon crumbles, some minced parsley, and a splash of white truffle oil (at the chef's discretion, of course!). In a separate bowl, make the topping--I use 1 part traditional bread crumbs to 2 parts panko, just a wee bit of "Italian" themed seasonings (garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, whatever), and a healthy pinch of salt, mix well, then slowly drizzle melted butter over the whole thing and stir to combine. Stir your cheese sauce and your al dente macaroni noodles together, transfer to oven save serving bowls, top with the buttery breadcrumb mess, and broil until the breadcrumbs are brown and delicious.

Serve with Plavix and a beer.

Edit - Just watched the video, that jerk forgot the bacon!!

Shinob1
05-04-2012, 12:57 PM
Thanks for the tips! I just found out that my company is having a cookout and I'm thinking this could be awesome to bring. How would you recommend I reheat it? I was thinking I could put it in a crockpot and set it on warm or low about 30 minutes or so before serving. Or would Mac & Cheese not be a good thing to bring?

TB_London
05-04-2012, 01:01 PM
Some mushrooms are good for a twist too

Pabloz
05-04-2012, 01:06 PM
I'm making that one TONIGHT!!!

SameGuy
05-04-2012, 01:18 PM
Onion flakes add some salty-sweet zest.

Shinob1
05-04-2012, 01:19 PM
How much flour do you add?


My "Faked Bake" Mac:

Cook off your macaroni and set aside. Take a few rashers of bacon, dice them small, and slowly render them over low heat in a sauté pan until they've given up most their fat; crank the heat a bit until they get good and crispy, then remove them with a slotted spoon and reserve on a paper towel. Add some diced onion and minced garlic to the bacon grease, sauté until translucent and smelling delicious, then whisk in flour to make your roux. Whisk the roux until it starts to cook, then add milk (I use 2%, half-and-half works too but it's a little sweet), white and black pepper, salt, cayenne, a splash of worcestershire. Bring to a simmer and let the sauce begin to thicken. You'll want it a little on the thin side so add more milk if needed.

After it's simmered and the flour taste has cooked out, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in your cheese in small batches, making sure to fully incorporate it between each handful. Most cheese will work, I like aged Irish cheddar but you can play around. When the sauce gets to the right consistency (looks and tastes like a cheese sauce), stir in your reserved bacon crumbles, some minced parsley, and a splash of white truffle oil (at the chef's discretion, of course!). In a separate bowl, make the topping--I use 1 part traditional bread crumbs to 2 parts panko, just a wee bit of "Italian" themed seasonings (garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, whatever), and a healthy pinch of salt, mix well, then slowly drizzle melted butter over the whole thing and stir to combine. Stir your cheese sauce and your al dente macaroni noodles together, transfer to oven save serving bowls, top with the buttery breadcrumb mess, and broil until the breadcrumbs are brown and delicious.

Serve with Plavix and a beer.

Edit - Just watched the video, that jerk forgot the bacon!!

Vertigo
05-04-2012, 01:25 PM
How much flour do you add?

Hard to say, I cook by eye. Enough flour to make a roux with the bacon fat rendered off, lol. It should look like the roux the guy made in the video, but with onions and garlic in the mix, and little bits of bacon proteins.

I made myself hungry so I'll probably cook that off for dinner tonight, and try to give you some better measurements.

jwpark
05-04-2012, 01:25 PM
I really like that youtube channel, Food Wishes. He does a good job.

SpikeC
05-04-2012, 01:36 PM
Then there is Alton Brown's version, you will have to google it, though!

Shinob1
05-04-2012, 01:40 PM
This one? (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/stove-top-mac-n-cheese-recipe/index.html)


Then there is Alton Brown's version, you will have to google it, though!

Eamon Burke
05-04-2012, 01:45 PM
Alton Brown does a great job breaking down the details of mac and cheese.

99Limited
05-04-2012, 01:52 PM
The general rule of thumb for a roux is 1 part fat to 1 part flour. When I make mac 'n cheese, I use 1/4 cup butter with 1/4 whole milk or sometimes half 'n half. Emeril's kicked up mac 'n cheese (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/kicked-up-sausage-macaroni-and-cheese-recipe/index.html) is really good too.

SpikeC
05-04-2012, 02:30 PM
I was thinking of this one:

This one? (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/stove-top-mac-n-cheese-recipe/index.html)

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/baked-macaroni-and-cheese-recipe/index.html

Shinob1
05-04-2012, 02:32 PM
Hmm both look very tasty. Why not both? :D

sachem allison
05-04-2012, 03:23 PM
In my restaurant, which is very well known for our mac & cheese we keep it even simpler than that. We make it in a saute pan and brown in the oven.
1 cup heavy cream (thats right)
1 qt cooked macaroni
1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar sharp
1/4 cup grated parmesan
s&p

put it all in a saute pan, bring to a boil and keep stirring until you get the consistency you want about 2 to 4 minutes, put in a casserole pan , sprinkle with bread crumbs, pop in a 450 degree oven 5 to 10 minutes until golden brown let sit 5 minutes and beware when you eat it, because you will burn yourself.

** if you don't like bread crumbs omit and sprinkle with more cheese and bake 15 to 20 until golden brown and crusty.

sachem allison
05-04-2012, 03:27 PM
we make a chorizo version and a chili mac version. It is also really good with smoked shrimp, salmon or lobster. oooh! scallions awesome!

Andrew H
05-04-2012, 04:11 PM
I was thinking of this one:


http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/baked-macaroni-and-cheese-recipe/index.html

I've made that one a couple of times. Alton hasn't failed me yet.

Lucretia
05-04-2012, 04:17 PM
Son, I just happened to pick up some chorizo at the grocery store yesterday--might have to try this. Chorizo & scallions sound great. Have some oven-dried roma tomatoes from last summer that need to be used up--maybe add a handful of those. Although hubby just had his physical and his cholesterol has him freaking out...might be better not to tell him what's in it!

Pabloz
05-04-2012, 05:29 PM
Well you guys just rained on my TO BE parade. I was going to try this tonight thinking a Southwest Variation...HUH...no such luck.

Shinob1
05-05-2012, 06:57 PM
Here was my first attempt. Came out pretty good, but I need to make some tweaks. The breadcrumbs really made it though.

http://i.imgur.com/c8tqD.jpg

Andrew H
05-05-2012, 07:04 PM
Here was my first attempt. Came out pretty good, but I need to make some tweaks. The breadcrumbs really made it though.

http://i.imgur.com/c8tqD.jpg

Looks good from here. What was it missing?

sachem allison
05-05-2012, 07:11 PM
what recipe did you finally go for?

Shinob1
05-05-2012, 07:40 PM
I did a variation of Alton's. My wife is a picky eater so I didn't do the paprika or onion. It turned out a little too plain, even for her. So next time I am going to do onion powder, (she likes that, just not the actual onion), and some other spice. Not sure, maybe some dry thyme or something.

SpikeC
05-05-2012, 07:54 PM
A little Herbs de Provence might work there.

Mingooch
05-10-2012, 12:53 AM
My Cheese and Mac has always been a HUGE hit at parties and with friends.
Ingredients

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter (more if you like)
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
3/4 pound shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 pound American cheese (like velveeta)
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon yellow or dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot sauce to taste
Smoked paprika for garnish


Preparation method
Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 30 mins
1.Cook the macaroni per package instructions until slightly under-cooked. Once done, drain, but do not rinse.
2.While the macaroni cooks, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Beat the eggs and combine with the mustard
3.Dump the macaroni into a casserole pan that is deeper than it is wide (VERY IMPORTANT). Drop the butter in and toss until melted.
4.Add the American cheese, 2/3 of the milk, the egg mixture, and mix well.
5.Place in the oven and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from oven, season with salt, pepper, and Tabasco and stir.
6.Add the the remaining cheese and milk at 5 minute intervals and stir each time.
7. Optional, top with bread crumbs for that crispy texture on top

cnochef
05-10-2012, 10:59 PM
I like the recipes that use a custard made with eggs and evaporated milk rather than a bechamel, because of the sweetness the evaporated milk brings to the dish.

Deckhand
05-11-2012, 02:12 AM
You could order lobster mac and cheese and pretend you made it:biggrin:
http://www.hancockgourmetlobster.com/product/139/Main_Entrees,

Deckhand
05-11-2012, 01:01 PM
Looks like Alton used panko crumbs
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/baked-macaroni-and-cheese-recipe/index.html
Panko here too*
http://www.chow.com/recipes/11582-three-cheese-mac-and-cheese-with-panko-bread-crumb-topping

Shinob1
05-11-2012, 02:42 PM
I used Panko for mine and that was definitely one of the better components of the dish. I have a cookout coming up with my in-laws and I think I'll be making this again. Should be a big hit.

Deckhand
05-11-2012, 02:56 PM
I used Panko for mine and that was definitely one of the better components of the dish. I have a cookout coming up with my in-laws and I think I'll be making this again. Should be a big hit.

Sounds fun. I need to try it myself and then once it's dialed in vary the cheeses add king crab or lobster etc. good luck

Tristan
05-14-2012, 02:53 AM
Thanks a bunch guys for the big push to try out all the recipes that pass muster from the lot of you. I don't post them all, but one appreciative soul here.

Anyway tried out Alton's Mac N Cheese and it turned out a treat. First time I made Mac N Cheese too... :hungry:

Could use some minced garlic and slow cooked bacon bits. Sort of like baked mac carbonara...

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7231/7194350724_3b6c1c0526.jpg

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7083/7194351326_60e0101ec6.jpg

Shinob1
05-14-2012, 01:00 PM
Looks good! :D


Thanks a bunch guys for the big push to try out all the recipes that pass muster from the lot of you. I don't post them all, but one appreciative soul here.

Anyway tried out Alton's Mac N Cheese and it turned out a treat. First time I made Mac N Cheese too... :hungry:

Could use some minced garlic and slow cooked bacon bits. Sort of like baked mac carbonara...

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7231/7194350724_3b6c1c0526.jpg

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7083/7194351326_60e0101ec6.jpg

SpikeC
05-14-2012, 05:33 PM
"Sort of like baked mac carbonara"

Love it!

Shinob1
05-14-2012, 07:12 PM
I was thinking of trying to render bacon fat to use for the roux and later put the bacon back in.

Andrew H
05-14-2012, 07:15 PM
I was thinking of trying to render bacon fat to use for the roux and later put the bacon back in.

It's not a bad idea, but if you want to use bacon fat as your only fat for the roux your mac will come out tasting like bacon and nothing else. I say render your bacon, remove most of the fat (but not all) and then add your aromatics and butter.

Vertigo
05-14-2012, 07:43 PM
I was thinking of trying to render bacon fat to use for the roux and later put the bacon back in.

So glad I typed up that recipe earlier, Rofl.

Shinob1
05-14-2012, 08:38 PM
So glad I typed up that recipe earlier, Rofl.

LOL Sorry, didn't mean to make it sound like it was my idea.