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Mac and Cheese [Recipe]

Mac and Cheese [Recipe]
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  • Mac and Cheese [Recipe]

    Post #1 - July 3rd, 2006, 8:27 am
    Post #1 - July 3rd, 2006, 8:27 am Post #1 - July 3rd, 2006, 8:27 am
    LTH,

    M'th'su loves the New York Times Wednesday food section, just about every weekend he seems to make one or more of the previous weeks recipes. Being a somewhat taciturn sort he rarely goes on about any particular recipe, with the exception of this simple, yet delicious, Mac and Cheese. Not being one to leave well enough alone, I've changed a thing or two to suit my taste, amped up the heat, richer and crustier.

    While the following Mac and Cheese recipe is very good, it pales in comparison to Trixie-Pea's Mac and Cheese, she makes a killer Mac and Cheese. As an aside, I recently had a surprisingly good Mac and Cheese at Smith and Wollensky, crusty with a nice, though not overpowering, hit of truffle oil.

    No pictures, though I will be sure to have camera in hand next time I make Crusty Mac and Cheese, with it's lovely toasty crunchy brown top it's extremely photogenic.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    ==

    Crusty Macaroni and Cheese
    Adapted from New York Times

    Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

    4 tablespoons butter
    12 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
    12 ounces American cheese or cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
    1 pound elbow pasta, boiled in salted water until just tender, drained, and rinsed under cold water
    1 teaspoon hot sauce (I prefer Marie Sharp's habanero)
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne
    Salt and pepper to taste
    2/3 cup half and half (if not available whole milk will substitute)

    Truffle oil (Optional)

    1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Use one tablespoon butter to thickly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Combine grated cheeses and set aside two heaping cups for topping.

    2. In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, cheeses, cayenne, hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Place in prepared pan and evenly pour milk over surface. Sprinkle reserved cheese on top, dot with remaining butter and bake, uncovered, 45 minutes. Raise heat to 400 degrees and bake 15 to 20 minutes more, until crusty on top and bottom.

    If using truffle oil lightly drizzle just before service. Be judicious, a little truffle oil goes a long way.

    Yield: 8 to 12 servings.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #2 - July 3rd, 2006, 9:43 am
    Post #2 - July 3rd, 2006, 9:43 am Post #2 - July 3rd, 2006, 9:43 am
    That sounds like a great recipe, Gary. A few years back, Bon Appetit published a version of Scott Peacock's Macaroni and Cheese that he served in his kitchen at the time at the Horesradish Grill.

    This recipe, which I adapted from that article, is somewhat similar to the recipe offered by Peacock in his cookbook he did with Edna Lewis.

    It is a southern custard style Mac and Cheese. The dry mustard and cayenne work so wonderfully with the sharp cheddar. I took the liberty of adding a small amount of simmered country ham so that it can be served either as an entree or a side dish:

    1 3/4 cups small elbow macaroni
    1/2 pound country ham minced
    1 1/4 cups 1/2-inch cubes extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 5 ounces)
    2 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1 1/3 cups half-and-half
    1 1/3 cups whipping cream
    2/3 cup sour cream
    2 large eggs
    3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    1 1/4 cups packed grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 5 ounces)

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish. Cook macaroni in large saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta. Add the minced country ham to a sauce pan with 1/2 cup of water and simmer until all water is evaporated. Set the ham aside. Transfer the macaroni to prepared dish. Mix in cubed cheese. Whisk flour, salt, mustard, black pepper, cayenne pepper and nutmeg in medium bowl until no lumps remain. Gradually whisk in half-in-half, then whipping cream and sour cream. Add eggs and Worcestershire sauce; whisk to blend. Pour over macaroni mixture; stir to blend. Fold in the country ham. Sprinkle grated cheese over. Bake macaroni and cheese until just set around edges but sauce is still liquid in center, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes to thicken slightly (sauce will be creamy). 6 main dish servings.
  • Post #3 - July 5th, 2006, 8:51 am
    Post #3 - July 5th, 2006, 8:51 am Post #3 - July 5th, 2006, 8:51 am
    My mac and cheese is just a classic béchamel based recipe with a little twist.

    Stick of Butter
    5 cups milk
    Generous 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    Crushed, red chile
    3-5 garlic cloves, crushed
    1 package powdered Goya chicken bouillon
    salt and pepper
    Worcestershire Sauce
    Tabasco
    About 1½ lbs grated cheese
    -Fontina
    -Gruyere
    -Extra Sharp Cheddar
    1 pound elbow macaroni

    For pasta: cook elbows until barely done.

    For cheese sauce: melt butter in sauce pan – sauté garlic cloves dried and red chile in butter. After garlic is golden, stir in flour and chicken bouillon until well incorporated with butter. Whisk in milk gradually over med-high heat. Boil and whisk until thick and smooth. Turn off heat and fold in grated cheeses. Add Tabasco, Worcestershire and pepper. Taste sauce and adjust salt. Combine mac with cheese.

    You can eat it just as is now—but if you want a crusty topping, preheat your oven to 400F. Place mac and cheese in a casserole. Mix some grated cheese with bread crumbs (panko works well), and sprinkle generously over mac and cheese. Bake in the oven until golden brown and bubbling—about 15-20 minutes.
  • Post #4 - July 5th, 2006, 9:06 am
    Post #4 - July 5th, 2006, 9:06 am Post #4 - July 5th, 2006, 9:06 am
    I'm surprised there's no binder in the NYT recipe: usually eggs or flour or both would be found. Somewhere I've got a baked mac'n'cheese with an egg binder and corflake topping which helps make a nice crust.

    By the time the NYT mix is dry enough to hold together and crust, the pasta may be mush.

    My normal recipe for mac'n'cheese usually starts with "open a blue box" and kicking it up with some cayenne and extra cheese (extra-sharp cheddar or parm)
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #5 - July 6th, 2006, 6:55 am
    Post #5 - July 6th, 2006, 6:55 am Post #5 - July 6th, 2006, 6:55 am
    YourPalWill wrote:It is a southern custard style Mac and Cheese. The dry mustard and cayenne work so wonderfully with the sharp cheddar. I took the liberty of adding a small amount of simmered country ham so that it can be served either as an entree or a side dish:

    Will,

    Sounds like a really good recipe, I particularly like the idea of dry mustard. I have Scott Peacock and Edna Lewis, haven't cooked much from it, only one recipe so far, but MAG swears by the fried chicken recipe, which is high praise.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #6 - July 6th, 2006, 6:58 am
    Post #6 - July 6th, 2006, 6:58 am Post #6 - July 6th, 2006, 6:58 am
    trixie-pea wrote:My mac and cheese is just a classic béchamel based recipe with a little twist.

    Trixie-pea,

    Ahhhh, but it's the little twist that makes it so darn good. I'm making this soon and, if it turns out 1/2 as good as yours I will be politely brushing off heaps of praise.

    Thanks for posting the recipe.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #7 - July 6th, 2006, 7:02 am
    Post #7 - July 6th, 2006, 7:02 am Post #7 - July 6th, 2006, 7:02 am
    JoelF wrote:By the time the NYT mix is dry enough to hold together and crust, the pasta may be mush.

    Joel,

    I've only made the NYT recipe twice, but the pasta is not mushy and the dish, in general, holds together quite well. What I particularly like about the dish is the way the mac and cheese, both components, get crusty both top and bottom.

    Give it a try, it's almost as easy to put together as opening one of those blue boxes. :)

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #8 - January 26th, 2007, 4:19 pm
    Post #8 - January 26th, 2007, 4:19 pm Post #8 - January 26th, 2007, 4:19 pm
    Grama Karlov's Mac-N-Cheese

    BTW: This recipe is NOT fancy, just stick to your ribs good!

    2lbs. pasta
    3lbs. Velveeta
    1/2 lb. butter
    1 qt. milk
    4Tbs. flour
    Add onion flakes and garlic powder, as much as you prefer.

    Cube Velveeta-set aside
    cook pasta-set aside
    melt butter in pan large enough to hold all of the sauce.
    Whisk in flour-cook until golden or long enough to cook out raw flavor of flour.
    Slowly whisk in milk. When well mixed, add onion and garlic powder. Add cubed cheese.

    Continue whisking sauce, scorches easily.
    When sauce is smooth and thickened and cheese completely melted, pour over pasta. Mix thoroughly.
    Put into greased casseroles. Put in fridge until ready to reheat. Reheat at 350. Heat covered until heated through. Take cover off for light browning.
    Enjoy!
    The clown is down!
  • Post #9 - January 27th, 2007, 11:10 pm
    Post #9 - January 27th, 2007, 11:10 pm Post #9 - January 27th, 2007, 11:10 pm
    JeanneBean - this is the EXACT recipe of mac-n-cheese that i grew up on. We loved it when my mom would make this. it wasn't until i grew up and moved out of the parents house that i realized mac-n-cheese could be made from many other cheeses than just velveeta!
  • Post #10 - January 28th, 2007, 1:27 am
    Post #10 - January 28th, 2007, 1:27 am Post #10 - January 28th, 2007, 1:27 am
    Did mac & cheese as one of my dishes for the Thanksgiving potluck. I checked a number of online and cookbook recipes and combined the best elements of a selected few. Several of the recipes claiming "soul food" status used canned tomatoes as an ingredient.

    Using that idea, the night before assembly of the dish, I drained a couple of cans of whole peeled tomatoes, reserving the juice, and cut the tomatoes into nice sized chunks. I then lined a collander with paper towels and dumped the chunks on top, placing the while thing into a larger stainless steel mixing bowl to drain further overnight.

    Next day I had semi dry, but moist, very toothsome tomato chunks with a very intense flavor. I mixed these into the cooked macaroni. Some of the reserved juice was used in the bechamel giving it a lovely pink color. The rest of the juice was discarded. The bechamel went over the macaroni and tomato chunk mixture in a baking dish and into the oven.

    The results were a hit. The tomatoes added a little sweetness and acidity to this usually savory dish.

    Buddy
  • Post #11 - July 5th, 2008, 1:43 am
    Post #11 - July 5th, 2008, 1:43 am Post #11 - July 5th, 2008, 1:43 am
    trixie-pea wrote:My mac and cheese is just a classic béchamel based recipe with a little twist.
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Image
    Stevez prepares his Macaroni & Cheese

    Stevez commented on making trixie-pea's mac and cheese for the LTHForum 1,000-Recipe Potluck, June 22, 2008, and ronnie_suburban's photos include this shot of Steve prepping the dish.

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