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Macaroni and Cheese

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Been on a mac and cheese bender/fix, if you will, lately. 

 

What is everyone's (if you all don't mind sharing) personal recipe?

 

I'm trying to develop the perfect (IMO) recipe... need some other opinions/ideas though

 

Do you go with the common 1tb:1tb:1c butter/flour/milk ratio?

What cheese(s) do you use?

Macaroni, cavatappi, or other?

What special ingredients do you add to flavor the base?

 

I made a batch last night with Tillamook Medium Cheddar and threw in half of my pantry/refrigerator for extra flavor (Valentina's hot sauce, spicy brown mustard, cajun seasoning, among others)... was pretty good but I can't quite figure out how to make the cheese base even better/cheesier.

 

Panko and Havarti (in a food processor) crust (for baked versions) = the best topping ever

 

Thanks.

post #2 of 13
Make sure you simmer your sauce 20- 30 min with an onion stuck with a clove. I used shells last time and it was perfect. All that in my sauce is bechamel, and a nice white cheddar and/or a nice gruyere.
post #3 of 13
Bechamel with a sharp white cheddar and an award winning Iowan cheddar style cheese called "Prarie Breeze". With minced garlic an shallot and mushrooms. Topped with more prarie breeze and breadcrumbs. I prefer penne pasta for my Mac and cheeses.
Edited by helloitslucas - 7/10/14 at 9:46am
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Gourmandise is an impassioned, rational and habitual preference for all objects that flatter the sense of taste.
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post #4 of 13
Beechers flagship
http://store.beechershandmadecheese.com/p-29-flagship-1-lb.aspx
Kind of spendy, I get it at costco here for $8.99 lbit's also in several grocery chains in the PNW for upwards of $18 lb!
post #5 of 13

There's an egg liaison variation that really lets you melt in more cheese without breaking the sauce. It's my favorite, but it's more work. I usually just use a mornay approach, but when I really want a great mac and cheese, I break out the eggs. 

 

Alton Brown has a version of this online. Various editions of Joy of Cooking have a very similar recipe as does Cook's Illustrated. 

 

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/stove-top-mac-n-cheese-recipe.html

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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #6 of 13

yes helloitslucas I agree with you With minced garlic an shallot and mushrooms it will be very delicious

post #7 of 13

Bechamel, white cheddar, a little smoked gouda, a little "melting" cheese, cavatappi, cubed smoked ham, green peas at the end, into a rarebit, top with buttered bread crumbs, a little more cheese and under the broiler it goes. 

~If you are what you eat, I am cheap, fast, and easy.

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~If you are what you eat, I am cheap, fast, and easy.

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post #8 of 13


There are 100s of options for this dish. JUST PICK THE ONE YOU AND YOUR CUSTOMERS ENJOY BEST.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #9 of 13

Smoked gouda mentioned above.  I don't know of any cheese that goes better in a sandwich, I can only suppose it shows well here.

 

chicken stock, thyme. 

 

Rick


Edited by Rick Alan - 7/11/14 at 3:24pm
post #10 of 13

This from a Wisconsin Cheesehead: don't gild the lilly. Use the best cheese you can get (preferably aged Wisconsin cheddar), whole milk, freshly-grated nutmeg only a dash of dry mustard if you really have to, and good pasta. I prefer cavatappi because it has a hearty bite, but radiatore is nice too, as it holds a lot of the sauce and is bite-sized. Anything that'll hold sauce is great; the pasta is subjective otherwise.

 

Don't load up my mac and cheese with lobster, blue cheese (or any funky cheese), chunks of anything, or too much heat. If the cheese is aged enough and the bechamel is balanced, there'll be plenty of tang and richness. I like to bake it so that some of the cheese caramelizes on the edges and I don't mind if there are even some crispy bits of pasta, too. It shouldn't be too soft.

 

I do like buttered crumbs on top. Now that panko crumbs are widely available, I use those.

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post #11 of 13
A bit of a variant but my personal favorite is a really simple quick pick up: sauté diced pancetta, add cream and noodles, bind with fontina and finish with a little chili flake and parsley. Serve.
post #12 of 13
It's almost lobster mac season for me. I like shells. Smoked gouda and aged cheddar. When I do lobster mac, in addition to lobster meat mixed in at the end, I replace some of the milk with lobster stock. I like some grilled scallions and corn mixed in with lobster. Mm getting fat just thinking about it.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post
 


There are 100s of options for this dish. JUST PICK THE ONE YOU AND YOUR CUSTOMERS ENJOY BEST.

Totally. 

 

I combine soft cheeses - three at minimum - but the combos are trial and error for what you think is good. Fontina, sharp cheddar, gruyere, not in equal amounts though. The proportion of béchamel to cheese is also critical. I sometimes add par boiled asparagus to try to make it "healthy." Ha ha. I also cut bread into 1/8 to 1/4 inch dice and cover the top. 

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