I’m a bachelor. My typical Saturday supper is macaroni and cheese, from a box. But this afternoon, I developed a craving for oregano.
Hmm, OK, I could add oregano to mac and cheese. And, that’s right, I still have some mozzarella in the fridge from that lasagna I made-- A couple slices of that crumbled in would go well. And if I’m going to be fancy about this, I might as well substitute a couple of slices of chopped bacon for the butter. Oh, yeah, and I have these fresh tomatoes from the farmer’s market; I haven’t been going through those very quickly this week. I’ll just chop one of those in, too. And obviously, if I’m going Italian with this, I clearly need a clove of garlic. Oh, look, right next to the oregano in my spice cupboard is the grated Parmesan and the red pepper flakes.
I found that the trick to enjoying mac and cheese without being derided for eating it, is to just steam a few colorful vegetables to add at serving time. Fools people into thinking it’s not MnC but something healthy.
That Patti LaBelle recipe looks good, but frankly, I’ve always preferred stove mac and cheese to the baked version. A matter of what one’s raised with, I’m sure. Plus, that looks like a fair bit more work than what I did.
And don’t ask, I avoid being derided for eating M&C by virtue of not associating with people who would deride so frivolously. This works well in life, as well as in cuisine.
This is the best mac & cheese I’ve ever had. The cheese flavor is the primary thing; there’s not a ton of milk and flour that is required to blend the cheese in standard recipes. You don’t have to use the exact cheeses in the recipe, you can use whatever you’d like. Think the texture of Velveeta with the flavor of whatever cheese you use.
got an easy add to mac and cheese…purchase the already made mac and cheese from Costco deli section…get some fresh sourdough cut into small cubes…throw that in a pan with butter and fry the cubes half way. When done sprinkle on top the mac and cheese and in the oven it goes. While its cooking, cook up some bacon, crispy I might add, when done… crumble it up. Halfway through the cooking time, sprinkle that on top the mac and cheese and back in the oven till its done…yummyyyy
True enough, if you’re using a bechamel sauce, and some recipes may require that (pretty sure my response was pre-coffee, also :D). The recipe I generally use is:
3 tablespoons butter
12 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
12 ounces American cheese, coarsely grated
1 pound elbow pasta, boiled in salted water until just tender, drained, and rinsed under cold water
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
2/3 cup whole milk.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Use one tablespoon butter to thickly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or a casserole dish. Combine grated cheeses and set aside two heaping cups for topping.
In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, cheeses, cayenne (if using) and salt 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.
Totally off-topic - I noticed that recipe comes from a book by Nathan Myhrvold. The patent troll? I checked and indeed it is him - former CTO for Microsoft turned chef. I’d be careful making that recipe. You probably have to pay a license fee to eat it.
More on-topic: One of my favorite recipes is from this book, a fairly simple “onion-lover’s mac and cheese” that isn’t as strongly oniony as you might think, at least not to me.
Regardless of what he does with patents, Myhrvold is held in good esteem for his “Modernist Cuisine” books, which I own, and are indeed an amazing resource in the kitchen. He’s very active in online cooking forums, and his opinion is respected. Whether or not he’s a patent troll - well, people differ on that as well. But it has absolutely nothing to do with his cooking.
Hell, if Hitler himself came up with that Mac & Cheese recipe, I’d still make it.
This one-pot mac & cheese is the best one I’ve ever made. I made it with tiny rotini noodles, and I used mostly monterey jack cheese with a dose of asiago, and it was wonderful. You cook the noodles in the milk, and the result is creamy yumminess.
Adding bacon and tomatoes sounds pretty sweet, so I may have to try that next time. I did add caramelized onions to this recipe last time I made it, and that was delicious.
I tend to free form my mac & cheese. I refuse to use elbow macaroni, because no matter how much I undercook it, it always seems like mush to me. My favorites are either rotini or shells, depending on what kind of cheese I have on hand. Cook the pasta, add milk and whichever cheese combo I/my refrigerator have selected, throw in leftover veggies and meat (mmm . . . steak and peas mac & cheese. Now I’m hungry) plus a liberal amount of garlic and spices, and it’s set. Great way to both use up leftovers AND get my roommates to eat them! Which they typically don’t. And I’m the only one who cooks, so it works out wonderfully