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Creamy mac and cheese help - Page 2

post #31 of 48

lulu...

I often "hear" between the lines when reading an email, text or even a note inside a bday card.

Is one of those "new age of electronics" problems yet to get fixed.

Altho we all wonder what the author is "really" trying to say sometimes (this is me and I totally own it) probably 99% of the time is just the little voices (hate those voices, lol) working on our self esteem.

Not to say that you (or anyone else that posts on any forum on the net) has poor self esteem.

mimi

post #32 of 48

You've got 30oz of cheese for 1lb pasta????  This is just a wild recipe all around.

 

try:

16-20oz cheese

2 tbs flour

2 tbs butter

2 cups milk (or half ratio white wine with alchohol boiled off and sugar to balance)

salt, pepper and whatever other seasoning (goodness but do add some thyme anyway)

 

Oops, you can make that 3-4 cups of milk/wine and equal tablespoons flour

 

This will be creamy, half the proper degree of liquidity, and give you some pasta to experience with your cheese.

 

Rick


Edited by Rick Alan - 1/21/13 at 4:19am
post #33 of 48
Thread Starter 

I tried using the recipe I had with whole items and also the way another person posted with even heating the liquids before hand and still turned out grainy.  I used quality cheese with no oil listed in the ingredients.  I think I am just destined to not make a real make and cheese.

 

frown.gif
 

post #34 of 48

Just curious, have others outside your family tried your MC and also found it grainy?  Hypersensitivity to texture does occur in some folks and can run in families.  You and yours may be amongst those few.

 

Rick

post #35 of 48
Thread Starter 

My wife and I both feel the same way, you can even see it when you are spooning it up. The grainyness is always there before I even add the cheese.  I am guessing it has something to do with my whisking and I think I am whisking the dickens out of it.

post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by scribble View Post

My wife and I both feel the same way, you can even see it when you are spooning it up. The grainyness is always there before I even add the cheese.  I am guessing it has something to do with my whisking and I think I am whisking the dickens out of it.

 

It has everything to do with using too much flour (which I used to do) and with using too much cheddar cheese (which I also used to do). 

 

It's surprising how little roux is necessary to make a creamy mac n cheese.  A couple of tablespoons of roux is more than enough.  Cook the roux on medium heat stirring lightly, you don't have to whisk the bejeezus out of it!  Cooking the roux is very important, this is where you break down that graininess. Add plenty of milk so that the mixture is more liquidy than it is stiff.  Add as much cheese as you want but make sure it's grated and that you add it a little at a time so that it melts slowly before it has a chance to break.  Then add your cooked noodles.  The starch from the noodles will make it stiffen considerably so don't worry if it looks too liquidy to start with. 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #37 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

 

It has everything to do with using too much flour (which I used to do) and with using too much cheddar cheese (which I also used to do). 

 

It's surprising how little roux is necessary to make a creamy mac n cheese.  A couple of tablespoons of roux is more than enough.  Cook the roux on medium heat stirring lightly, you don't have to whisk the bejeezus out of it!  Cooking the roux is very important, this is where you break down that graininess. Add plenty of milk so that the mixture is more liquidy than it is stiff.  Add as much cheese as you want but make sure it's grated and that you add it a little at a time so that it melts slowly before it has a chance to break.  Then add your cooked noodles.  The starch from the noodles will make it stiffen considerably so don't worry if it looks too liquidy to start with. 


ok so I will lessen the amount of flour and not whisk it to death.  I will lessen the amount of cheese. I really want a supper creamy cheese sauce.

post #38 of 48

Julia Child recommends adding hot liquid to hot roux - for bechamel or veloute sauces.

 

Adding cold roux to hot liquid or visa versa I always thought was to thicken sauces in stews and the like. In this case the roux is the base for a bechamel, yes?

 

I only learned bechamel from Julia

post #39 of 48
Thread Starter 

I believe so but I am not familiar with a bechamel
 

post #40 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by scribble View Post

I believe so but I am not familiar with a bechamel
 

 

Bechamel is the best substance on earth.  I could eat it in bowlfuls!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #41 of 48
Thread Starter 

Ok so I am getting so frustrated with myself and my failed mac & cheese attempts that I am not going to try another attempt until I can work with someone who can make a decent version and work with me step by step in person.

post #42 of 48

Is your sauce boiling after you add the cheese.  Never boil the sauce after the cheese is added as it will turn it grainy especially when dealing with harder cheeses such as cheddar.  Usually when I bake my mac & cheese I use a slilghtly different recipe, enriched with eggs.  It doesn't come out as creamy, but then it isn't like my stove top version that ends up super creamy.  Your recipe seems more like my stove top version.  I would try not baking it. If you want browned, melty cheese on top just pop it under the broiler for a couple of minutes.  But my guess is overheating (boiling) your sauce once the cheese is added. 

 

I have to disagree with everyone that is focusing on the roux.  I've made cheese sauces with a heavily rouxed sauce and a lightly rouxed sauce and both have come out perfectly as long as you have fully cooked your roux and you are careful not to overheat the sauce after the cheese is made.

post #43 of 48

When it comes to mac & cheese, I have very simple tastes -- and my "recipe" has not failed me yet and is never grainy.  Its basic and simple and some may argue its junk food -- but its what we grew up on and is a real comfort food.  The secret is Velvetta Cheese.  The recipe is as follows.  Boil up pasta (I prefer medium shells).  In the meantime, make a basic white sauce (2 C hot milk, 4 T butter, 4 T flour, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper).  To this I add the Velvetta, a block about 3" cut into cubes.  When the cheese is nearly melted, mix it with drained cooked pasta.  Put in greased baking dish or casserole and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Not complicated or "gourmet" -- just darned good! licklips.gif

 

Note:  I use a whole "small" box of pasta - adjust the amount of white sauce and cheese as needed. 

post #44 of 48
Thread Starter 

I seem to be having the grainyness come in when initially making the rough.  I have the grainy base before even adding the cheese.  I thought I wasn't whisking it in enough to break up the flour but the last 2 times I tried I whisked for 10-12 min straight. My arm felt like it was going to fall off.

post #45 of 48

How are you making the roux? Are you using all purpose flour? Basically what you want to do is equal parts of butter and flour. Melt the butter over low heat. When melted, whisk in the flour. Once well incorporated, let cook over low heat heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Slowly whisk in cold milk and increase heat to bring to a boil. Stir while coming up to a boil. Once it comes to boil, cook until thickened to desired consistency. Remove from heat and whisk in cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #46 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scribble View Post

I have tried to make a creamy mac and cheese but everytime it comes out grainy textured.
The closest recipe i have uses the following

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
salt, pepper, and garlic granules
2cups milk
2 cups half & half
2 10oz blocks of sharp chedder
1 10 oz block of extra sharp chedder
1 lb pasta

In a skillet our sauce pan melt butter and then gradually stir in flour until smooth about 2 min. add in salt, pepper, and garlic and mix. Add the milk and half & half gradually until combined and continue cooking and whisking for 8-10 min or until thick. add 1/2 the sharp cheddar and the extra sharp cheddar until combined. remove from heat and combine with cooked noodles. Pour into a greased casserole dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese over it. Bake @ 350 for 20 min.

I think the mixture appeared to be a little grainy before even adding the cheese.

I appreciate any help offered,


Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T using Tapatalk 2

Here is the initial recipe I was working with that I was unsucesfull many times now.  I was using All purpose flour and I did try it with whole milk and heavy cream substitued at times also.

post #47 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheflayne View Post

How are you making the roux? Are you using all purpose flour? Basically what you want to do is equal parts of butter and flour. Melt the butter over low heat. When melted, whisk in the flour. Once well incorporated, let cook over low heat heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Slowly whisk in cold milk and increase heat to bring to a boil. Stir while coming up to a boil. Once it comes to boil, cook until thickened to desired consistency. Remove from heat and whisk in cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.


I will give your directions a try tonight late or tomorrow.  I would like something creamy like a Bar we go to or like the noodles and company version. I know they add bear to the sauce at the bar but I am not sure were to add the beer in.

post #48 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by scribble View Post


I will give your directions a try tonight late or tomorrow.  I would like something creamy like a Bar we go to or like the noodles and company version. I know they add bear to the sauce at the bar but I am not sure were to add the beer in.

 

I often add white wine, half n half ratio with milk.  I boil off the alchohol first as I feel alchohol draws off aromatics from the spices as it evaporates, but that probably isn't necessary with beer's low alchohol content.

 

I typically just eyeball amounts but measured things more carefully last time:

4 cups liquid

1 pound cheese

1 pound shells

2 tbls flour and butter each

 

I don't do any tricks to the rough, just heat it up and stir it around on moderate heat for a couple few minutes to insure the raw flavor is gone, maybe even brown it a little, then stir in small amounts of liquid at a time till it's liquid instead of paste.

 

Add all liquid and seasioning, heat till just beginning to bubble stage and stir till thickened, then add cheese.

 

So far this is much as others suggested doing

 

Question:  I just throw the cooked shells into the baking dishes, pour the sauce over as I move things around a bit to insure the shells get filled, but if someone feels there is a better way I'd listen.

 

Rick

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