What happened to the Mac & Cheese?

Calling all cooks!

Last night, my husband made Macaroni and Cheese. Now this is a rare rare treat I allow myself, so it’s important that it be really good. We always use the same recipe, which I usually love, but not last night.

Dammit Jim.

The flavor was good, but the texture was bad. It was gritty, so I told him I thought his sauce had “Broken”. He insists that the sauce was smooth and creamy when he put it in the oven, but I didn’t see it before, so I can’t say. I guessed that unless he is wrong, maybe something about the cheese caused the problem. Maybe the fat content in the cheese or something? But he pointed out that it’s the same cheese we’ve always used. Tillamook Cheddar. So I’m out of ideas.

Now, I’d like to point out that I am a roux queen. My sauces never break. Ok, it’s happened maybe like once, but almost never anyway. It’s one of the hardest things I ever learned in a kitchen, to be honest, but once I got it, I really got it. It took forever though.

Anyway, what might account for the gritty texture? Do you need a list of ingredients in order to offer an opinion? I don’t want to waste calories on something less than heavenly. And finally, yes I know I’m a bitch for nor not just being grateful that he’s doing the cooking and eating what I’m given. With relish, dammit! :smiley:

Did your sauce have a slight smokey flavor as well? In that case, you probably burned it when making the roux. I know you said that you’re used to making roux, but if you’re using a new pot or have a new range, it might be easier than you think to burn the roux. Oh wait, I just saw that it was your husband who made it. In that case, he might have just burned it since you really can’t see the grittiness of the finished roux unless you taste it.

It’s ok, I’ve burned quite a few roux myself and it happens fast! I think you’re supposed to turn down the heat to simmer after cooking it at high heat for just a minute or two. It’s very easy to get distracted.

No, there was no smokey flavor. The taste was still quite good. I think he put the cheese in too soon or something? Shoot. I just don’t know.

Thanks for the input though. :slight_smile:

Did he use lowfat milk? On Cook’s Country yesterday, they said using lowfat milk instead of half and half would make the sauce grainy.

He sure did! 1%. And that is a new thing for us. Thanks so much. Whole milk next time.

The milk would definitely make a difference. Let us know how it works out next time.

Since this thread is about Mac & Cheese I have an anecdote/tip to share for anyone who ever makes Kraft Mac & Cheese (I know it’s processed crap, but it’s a comfort food and sometimes it’s what I’m craving). I started making some last week and had already drained the noodles when I realized we had no milk! So instead I used 1/4 cup of sour cream. It came out SO GOOD! It was so much creamier and richer (and bad for me, I know, I know) that I’m going to make it that way every time from now on.

ETA: Mmmmmm Tillamook Cheddar. I went on a tour of their factory (plant? facility? whatever) once and got to try some extra fresh, just made cheese there. It was sooooo good! Here in the north east we don’t get Tillamook anywhere that I’ve seen. Here the good cheese is Cabot.