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Macaroni and cheese

meow's picture

Hi all,

I just took my phd quals and DH took over some of my teaching for me while I was preparing obsessively (he is a SAINT). As a thank you, I told him I would, among other things, make anything he wanted for dinner several times. One of these was macaroni and cheese. I truly dislike mac n' cheese, but he loves it. Anybody have a good gourmet version?

He also wants fettuccine alfredo, but I already have Mean's recipe for that. Can you tell the guy loves cream and cheese?

 


Singing Die Zauberflöte in English is like eating at the Olive Garden.

 

Singing Die Zauberflöte in English is like eating at the Olive Garden.

anneelsberry's picture

(post #31025, reply #1 of 17)

Here's Becca's Mac and Cheese, which seems to have gotten good reviews from folks around here, despite the can o' soup: 


1386.1 

*
b Becka's Macaroni & Cheese

4 cups (1 lb) elbow macaroni -- undercooked in boiling, salted water & drained
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons dry mustard (Colman's)
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 can Cheddar cheese soup
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups milk (skim is okay, higher fat is better)
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups (8 oz) grated medium Cheddar cheese
2 cups (8 oz) grated Colby cheese
3 cups plain dry bread crumbs -- very coarsely grated from a stale loaf of crusty white bread (good country bread is best but if you use store bought crumbs, make sure they are roughly grated, not fine)

1. Combine cheeses together in a bowl.
2. Butter OR spray with nonstick spray a 13" x 9" lasagna pan.
3. Preheat oven to 350º.
4. In a 5-quart pot, melt butter.
5. Whisk in flour, mustard, salt, & cayenne.
6. Whisk in milk & cream.
7. Cook, stirring, until thickened and bubbly.
8. Add the soup and almost 3 cups of the grated cheese.
9. Stir until melted.
10. Stir in elbows.
11. Pour into prepared pan.
12. Top with remaining grated cheese.
13. Combine melted butter and bread crumbs.
14. Spread over top of grated cheese.
15. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, just until heated through.
16. If the top is not crusty enough, broil briefly -- do NOT over bake.

(Originally posted by Rebecca)


Somebody put a stop payment on my reality check!

Somebody put a stop payment on my reality check!

TracyK's picture

(post #31025, reply #2 of 17)

Some folks have left out the soup and added some additional cheese and cream... I really like that recipe, even with the soup. :-)


Meow, you can "gourmet" it up by using a really good cheddar and adding some dry jack or aged provolone... yum.


Squirrels are just rats in cuter outfits.
       -- Carrie Bradshaw

elizaram's picture

(post #31025, reply #10 of 17)

you can "gourmet" it up by using a really good cheddar and adding some dry jack or aged provolone... yum.


A little bit of Gorgonzola in the mix is really good too!



When I was young, all my friends were imaginary. Now that I'm older, all my friends are virtual.

AmyElliesMom's picture

(post #31025, reply #4 of 17)

I don't have a recipe, per se, but I just make a white sauce and stir in cheese until it looks good. I don't bake mine, though - I serve it straight from the stove.

But, I get raves on it. I, too, will use a mixture of cheeses to "fancy it up". Don't use Swiss, though. It seems to get stringy on me. Or only use a little bit.

Too bad the only people who know how to run the country are busy driving cabs and cutting hair. ~ George Burns

 

Save the Earth! It's the only planet with wine and chocolate.

Jillsifer's picture

(post #31025, reply #3 of 17)

Ummmmm . . . excuuuuuuse me, but you just can't sashay in here asking for recipes and not telling us how your quals WENT!!! Sorry for the hijack, but . . .  we can't stand the suspense; please tell us how you're doing. Oh, and you know we're all wishing you the best of luck as we prepare to call you . . . Dr. Meow!



 


 


Edited 6/24/2005 7:32 pm ET by jillsifer

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

meow's picture

(post #31025, reply #6 of 17)

LOL, you are so sweet to ask!

They were terrifying, which is the purpose, I guess. It was me in an isolation chamber for 8 hours, with 4 questions. Two of them were fine, and even went well! I've already returned the library books I needed for those. The other two questions, however, were written by one particular prof of mine who is famous for writing vague questions but expecting really specific answers. (I taught for her for two years--sophomore UG majors--and this was a major complaint of theirs.) I felt like she was trying to give hints (as in, "I'm thinking of something...can you guess what I'm thinking of?)...but they were really not very helpful, and not much more specific than what I typed in the parentheses! I'm sort of afraid that I was totally off-base. The odd thing is that I felt TOTALLY over-prepared for the exam in general; her questions were just kind of without direction.

OK, sorry for the "sashay"--are you happy now? LOL!

 


Singing Die Zauberflöte in English is like eating at the Olive Garden.

 

Singing Die Zauberflöte in English is like eating at the Olive Garden.

Jillsifer's picture

(post #31025, reply #13 of 17)

Yup. I sure am, and thank you! I'll be even happier when you have wonderful results to celebrate. Keep us posted!

 


 

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

Lword's picture

(post #31025, reply #5 of 17)

You like fettuccine alfredo but not mac and cheese? Ask your DH to describe in as best detail as possible what he liked about m&c, or use a variety of noodles and cheeses. I like the tiny macaroni (dittalini?) with butter and extra sharp cheddar and green onions. Fabulous served on sliced broiled tomatoes with basil.


Congratulations and many happy returns on your quals! 


L.
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." Mother Teresa
L.
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." Mother Teresa
Collier1's picture

(post #31025, reply #7 of 17)

I'm the opposite.  I love mac and cheese and despise alfredo.  LOL 

meow's picture

(post #31025, reply #8 of 17)

I really think it's just that I hate macaroni, the noodle. I love cheese. I've always hated it.

 


Singing Die Zauberflöte in English is like eating at the Olive Garden.

 

Singing Die Zauberflöte in English is like eating at the Olive Garden.

Collier1's picture

(post #31025, reply #9 of 17)

I think of alfredo as really dull and tasteless probably because it wasn't available to me growing up but mac and cheese was and the parents would NOT let me have it very often.  I have mac and cheese envy.  LOL 

Lword's picture

(post #31025, reply #11 of 17)

It's probably why there are 101 noodle varieties - one is bound to please. I'm partial to thin egg noodles in chicken soup, tiny tubular macaroni in mac and cheese, and spaghettini(sp?) with tomato sauce or carbonara treatments. I tolerate medium-sized shells only in emergency deli takeout tuna salad. A local pizzaria has a good alfredo but I hate the thick noodles, even if they are homemade. Makes no sense unless it's a subconscious misperception that the skinny pastas have fewer empty calories or my particular toothsome needs, but there it is!


I hope you can find time to report when you make a mac and cheese dish your DH likes. Besides the combo of cheddar and green onions, you might try some of the other suggestions in case his tastes have changed over the years since he last had it. For shame, I ate close to 10 boxes of mac and cheese in days past, and tried one again several years ago - just plain nasty. Have my tastes changed that much or what? It's a puzzlement, but I'm glad I don't crave it, packet of preservatives that it is.


L.
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." Mother Teresa
L.
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." Mother Teresa
Marcia's picture

(post #31025, reply #12 of 17)

Good luck on your quals and hopes that you don't have to wait too long for the results.


I have a different sort of recipe for mac and cheese which is traditionally southern. It has a custard base - no white sauce and comes out tasting very much more of cheese. You might not be interested, but I'll tell you how to do it just in case. Warning: it uses a LOT of cheese. I use a Pyrex pie plate for this - if doubled you could either use two pie plates or a 9x12 baking dish.


Grate or slice 1 pound of extra sharp cheddar. That's right - a whole pound. Cook 8 ozs. of macaroni till almost done. I mince a very small onion and cook down in a little butter until it is very soft, but you can skip this if you like. It makes it awfully good, though. Beat an egg into a cup of milk. Evaporated milk was traditionally used, but regular works just fine.


Now for the procedure - place half of the cooked macaroni in said pie plate, and cover with half of the onion and half of the cheese. Repeat with one more layer of everything. Carefully pour the mixed egg and milk over the top and try to distribute it evenly. I use smoked hot paprika on top but this isn't necessary. Bake in a 350 oven for about half an hour or until browned to your liking.

dbarnhart's picture

(post #31025, reply #14 of 17)

This is my current favorite:

http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/r_0000001166.asp

Best Regards,
Dave

http://fumblingfoodie.typepad.com/fumbli...
follow Dave's adventures as he learns to cook
Marcia's picture

(post #31025, reply #15 of 17)

That does sound wonderful!

RuthWells's picture

(post #31025, reply #16 of 17)

Hi Meow,


Congrats on your Phd qualifiers!  Getting through that is a major achievement.


As for mac & cheese, a trick I learned from Fine Cooking's Comfort Food issue is to add a few sprigs of thyme and a bay leaf (along with salt and a few peppercorns) to the milk when making the white sauce (if you make a white sauce).  You strain the herbs out after it thickens and before adding the cheese.  The thyme and bay leaf add a lovely flavor to the sauce.


 


Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

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plantlust's picture

(post #31025, reply #17 of 17)

My valiant first attempt at mac & cheese from scratch turned out GREAT!!  It's not even lunchtime & 4/5ths of the 9X13 pan is gone!


I used a combination of FCs version & the CI version with the following changes:  Used the same herbs/spices as FC with a pinch of dry mustard & pinch of smoked paprika in addition to the pinch of nutmeg.  Used 3/4 of the amount of milk in the FC recipe & the rest as chicken stock.  Cheese was mostly 2yr old cheddar (from my cheese guy) with some smoked cheddar.


I did add organic broccoli (which needed to be used up) but would only add it next time if making the mac&cheese immediately.  This was a case of the oven timer being set to OhGod hundred so it would be ready by the time I left for work.  The broccoli ended up being overcooked, not a nice bright green.


I HIGHLY recommend the addition of smoked cheddar.  It really enhances the cheesy dimension.  Lots of people asked if I added bacon<g>.


"The red-cherryish impression of Cantine Argiolas's Costera (2004-15USD) is spiced with notes of black pepper and terra-cotta." How the hell does someone know what terra-cotta tastes like?!?!

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with parsley sauce, goat cheese garlic mashed potatoes, Galena Cellars Niagra grape wine & Pie Boss's apple crumble topped with Ruth & Phil's sour cream/cinnamon ice cream.