Post # 1
I have to share my backstory for you to understand my need here. I grew up in Canada, where mac and cheese is the stuff from a box. About 5 years ago my bf at the time made me baked mac and cheese (he lived in Texas for 15 years and learned there). I FELL IN LOVE! The problem? I cannot, for the life of me, find the same recipe or anything that tastes as good. I know his had cream, butter, at least 2 types of cheeses, and you put it in a baking dish, threw on bread crumbs and baked it. It was AMAZING. There were likely a whole bunch of other things too, but being a moron, I never wrote it down.
Anyone have a secret recipe they want to share for a poor Canadian girl in need of some Southern love? 🙁
Post # 4
what have you tried? There are tons of recipes online. I always make if from scratch (although about 1 time every 2 years) and the cheese type, brand and quantity makes a huge difference.
Only you know what you expect out of it.
What have you tried that wasnt quite right and what didnt work for you in those recipes?
Post # 5
@lefeymw: It just seems to not have enough flavour and not be cheesy enough. I make a new recipe every other month and haven’t found anything yet. So far they have not had enough cheese, been too creamy, been too dry, the bread crumbs were just gross. I’ve kinda given up!
Post # 6
Take one recipe that is the best and make slow changes.
You want more flavor, try a small amt of chedder
Too dry? make more sauce
Too grainy? add a tiny bit of velveeta and.or gruyere
Add more butter and seasoning to the bread crumbs
Be sure to cool your noodles totally before adding the sauce, it will soak up all your sauce without leaving it sauce, creamy or flavor.
Post # 7
I use this recipe as a base but also cut down on the cheddar and use a portion of vermont white cheddar and a bit of American white. (I’m partial the version I get at Panera Bread).
Key in making good mac and cheese is making sure you do a good roux… if you don’t cook it long enough; it tastes floury and gross.
Good luck! 🙂
Post # 8
My fave mac & cheese recipe is from Barefoot Contessa: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/mac-and-cheese-recipe2/index.html
It’s good straight from the oven, but it’s better the day after.
Post # 9
I love love love love Alton Brown’s Baked Mac & Cheese:
Sometimes I will sub Old Bay for the paprika (and cut back on the salt). Recipe is easy and very forgiving.
Post # 10
Allrecipes.com is great for this! I did a quick search and found at least one with two kinds of cheese. Link below.
The one I make has 4 kinds of cheese and is the second link. Mine is definitely more savory than traditional mac and cheese made with cream, and I toast and crumble sourdough bread instead of using storebought bread crumbs. It’s a hit everywhere I go.
Post # 11
@LittleRiver: I make this as well but I add 7-8oz of Havarti as well, use Panko for the breadcrumbs, halve the nutmeg and only bake it for 5-10 minutes until the top starts to brown (or it comes out too dry). Soooooo good.
Post # 12
@Aure: OMG, it never occurred to me to throw harvarti in there. And… now I’m hungry.
Post # 13
My Fiance likes everything I make but it’s hard to find a recipe that he absolutely loves and will eat over and over. With that said, I found a mac and cheese recipe that he can’t get enough of. It’s in a Food Network cookbook called Great Easy Meals: 250 Fun and Fast Recipes and it’s a Mix and Match Mac and cheese:
1. pick a pasta: Cook 1 lb pasta as label directs, then drain. Meanwhile, heat oven to 450
- fusilli/ medium shells/ elbows/ rigatoni
2. make sauce: heat 5 cups milk in a saucepan. in a separate saucepan, melt 5 tbsp butter over medium heat. whisk 6 tbsp flour and cook, stirring, about 1 min. slowly whish in the hot milk, bring to a simmer, cook 5 mins. season with salt,pepper, nutmeg, and pour into a bowl
3. stir in cheese: add hot cooked pasta to sauce and mix 1 lb grated cheese (4 cups) til melted
- cheddar/ mozzarella/ fontina/ monterey jack/ gruyere/ gouda
4. Add protein and veg: mix in 2 cups (any combo)
- shredded rotisserie chicken/ cooked sausage/ crumbled, cooked bacon/ diced deli ham/ drained canned tuna/ thawed frozen peas/ thawed frozen spinach (squeze dry)/ sliced roasted red pepper/ blanched broccoli/ boiled butternut squash cubes/ sauteed zuchini/ sauteed mushroom/ chopped thawed frozen artichoke/ chopped pitted green olives
5. make a topping:
- parmesan breadcrumbs – heat 3 tbsp olive oil in skillet. add 1/2 cup breadcrumbs and toast, stirring 3-4 mins. let cool slightly and stir in 1/2 cup grated parmesan. sprinkle on pasta before baking.
- fried shallots – toss 1/2 lb thinly sliced shallots with 3 tbsp instant flour. fry in 1/2 inch hot veg oil til crisp, 2-3 mins. drain on paper towels, season with salt, sprinkle on pasta during last 2 mins of baking
- buttered almonds – melt 2 tbsp butter in skillet. add 1 cup almonds and 1/2 tsp paprika. toast 4-5 mins. remove from heat, add 1/4 cup chopped parsley and season with salt. sprinkle on pasta before baking.
- herbed panko – melt 3 tbsp butter in skillet. add 1 cup panko, season with salt, toast 4-5 mins. remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup chopped herbs. sprinkle on pasta last 5 mins of baking
6. bake: spread pasta in buttered 3-4 quart baking dish, top as directed, bake uncovered til browned, ab out 15 mins.
I did rigatoni shells (bigger and they soak up more cheese), cheddar, monterey, and mozzarella cheese, leftover bbq chicken, broccoli, roasted peppers, and herbed panko (for mixed herbs I used a jar labelled “pizza seasoning”). Sooo good
Post # 14
Thanks for the recipes! Look’s like we are set for the next year on trying new ones until I find “the one”!!
Post # 15
You should try making the Kraft Homestyle Mac and Cheese kits! It’s good as a practice run. I did this once, and realized that the step up to making mac and cheese from scratch was not that far off. Now I make mac and cheese when I crave it, and I use whatever cheese I have on hand. Essentially all you need is to find a good bechamel recipe (essentially cream/milk and roux) and add the cheese you prefer to that. I like mine to contain some Gruyere =)
I like to throw in other ingredients besides cheese, like bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, etc … It’s also really helpful to use a pasta that the sauce will stick to. My favorite to use for mac and cheese is cavatappi.
I usually sprinkle extra cheese and panko crumbs on top and set under broil in the oven. It makes the top nice and crispy, and the cheese has that great carmelization.