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Marilyn, a few notes on mac n' cheese
Joined: Jan 11, 2007
Posted to Thread #20245 at 2:55 am on Mar 23, 2011
Since your question about mac n' cheese, I've been closely paying attention to slight variations in the batches I make daily. Since there's no recipe, and on occasion we're out of one thing or another...over time, I've played with variations a lot.
Heavy whipping cream, in my opinion, makes the best mac n' cheese. We use approximately 6 parts cream to 1 part whole milk.
When I'm out of the heavy cream, I have used half and half and sour cream as the dairy. I think an ideal version would be 6 parts heavy cream, 1 part sour cream.
We do not use a roux, which is basically used as a thickener. Since you're having a problem with the mac n' cheese being too thick, I'd skip that step.
As mentioned before, I cook the pasta slightly stiffer than al dente. As it bakes, the liquid is absorbed into the pasta and softens it.
We talked about a 'soupy' base. Since I eyeball everything, today I thought I totally messed it up by adding too much liquid. (I freaked out. Should I cook more pasta? Drain off some of the liquid? Agh!) I decided to wing it and left the super soupy liquid alone. Later when I tried it, after sitting on a steam table cooking for a couple hours (the equivalent of baking it), the mac n' cheese was SUPER creamy. Not 'soupy', but creamy. Eureka moment!
So, my suggestion is to shoot for the super soupy method. It's hard to describe exactly how 'soupy' you want it to be, but I'd say somewhere between a stew and a soup. Definitely not as thick as a chili.
Hope this helps.
You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do
something about its depth. - M
Other messages in this thread:
- 20245. Marilyn, a few notes on mac n' cheese - Traca - 2:55am on 03/23/11 (40)
- oh my goodness---that's a lot of cream! no wonder it's delish. [NT] - AngAk - 6:06pm on 03/23/11
- Thanks Traca! I thought a roux was my ticket to perfect smoothness. Look forward to trying this. [NT] - MarilynFL - 11:56am on 03/24/11
- I use a roux and mine is creamy... - Richard in Cincy - 3:00pm on 03/24/11
- umm, you could hold a spoon upright filled with my roux and it wouldn't droop. Too thick, huh. [NT] - MarilynFL - 3:15pm on 03/24/11
- just wondering if cooking the pasta more, till softer, then the sauce wouldn't absorb as much? [NT] - AngAk - 5:50pm on 03/24/11
- Nope - it keeps soaking up the sauce - Music City Missy - 2:03am on 03/26/11
- Richard, do you have a recipe for yours? I'd love to see it. I've never made mac n' cheese before - Traca - 9:12pm on 03/24/11
- Alas, there is none... - Richard in Cincy - 11:24pm on 03/24/11
- Richard, thank you. Great description of your method. Much appreciated. [NT] - Traca - 4:08am on 03/25/11
- Agree. And lining with foil and removing the dish...brilliant. My freezer is filled with dishes. [NT] - MarilynFL - 11:58am on 03/25/11
- Okay, you two. I'm curious. What pre-made food is in your freezer? - Traca - 2:30pm on 03/25/11
- Spaghetti sauce, bolognese sauce, perogies, roasted pork, (dry) Mac N Cheese. [NT] - MarilynFL - 4:13pm on 03/25/11
- I've got... - Richard in Cincy - 5:32pm on 03/25/11
- That's just as mine minus the Austrian specialties. My oddities are more - orchid - 7:44pm on 03/25/11
- I'm going to live at Richard's house [NT] - cheezz - 7:52pm on 03/25/11
- I've got nuts, herbs, panko, pasta sauce, sardines, egg yolks (a LOT of egg yolks), - cheezz - 7:56pm on 03/25/11
- salmon, smoked salmon, salmon eggs, halibut, jam. [NT] - AngAk - 8:37pm on 03/25/11
- I love your Alaskan freezer. :) [NT] - Traca - 2:13pm on 03/26/11
- How do you store the coconut milk in your freezer? Is it in measured portions? What size? [NT] - Traca - 2:14pm on 03/26/11
- I have a few recipes I use coconut milk for, mostly 1 cup at a time, so I freeze it in 1 cup amts - cheezz - 7:48pm on 03/26/11
- A co-worker of mine had her house broken into before T-day. They took everything in the freezer,e - Traca - 4:01pm on 03/26/11
- I've never heard of a freezer being robbed before... how strange! [NT] - cheezz - 7:48pm on 03/26/11
- No kidding. It gives me the chills. [NT] - Pat-NoCal - 8:33pm on 03/26/11
- QUL!! [NT] - FloriSandy - 3:59am on 03/27/11
- When I worked at our local police dept. it was when gas prices were high; it was common for freezers - Marsha tbay - 3:00am on 03/28/11
- You'll die when you hear what was in her freezer... - Traca - 10:11pm on 03/26/11
- I don't know what's wierder, freezing your cat or naming it Abdul? - Joe - 12:41am on 03/27/11
- Did they take other things in her house or just the turkey and catsicle? [NT] - cheezz - 2:46am on 03/27/11
- Catsicle. LOL!!!!!!! Yes, the thieves took all kinds of stuff. Jewelery, electronics, CDs, etc. [NT] - Traca - 6:02am on 03/27/11
- Whew! Well, that's good to know... I thought they might be wierd or something :) [NT] - cheezz - 6:55pm on 03/27/11
- Catsicle! Snorting tea out my nose here! [NT] - Richard in Cincy - 2:33pm on 03/28/11
- Yep, if Richard's freezer is robbed, come looking for me. [NT] - Curious1 - 1:08am on 03/28/11
- oh, I think this board is the FIRST place Richard will look :) [NT] - cheezz - 3:59am on 03/28/11
- hmmmm---road trip anyone? [NT] - AngAk - 5:44am on 03/28/11
- LOL. So true. [NT] - Richard in Cincy - 2:33pm on 03/28/11
- Richard, please tell me we're talking about a deep freezer here... :) [NT] - Traca - 2:17am on 03/26/11
- Richard, please tell me we're talking about a deep freezer here... :) [NT] - Traca - 2:28am on 03/26/11
- I have two. [NT] - Richard in Cincy - 2:34pm on 03/28/11
- interesting, my mom made mac & cheese with milk/cream layered with cooked macaroni and the dreaded - Curious1 - 3:05pm on 03/24/11
- Velveeta is a basic food group in my family... I still think it's the ONLY way to make - cheezz - 10:06pm on 03/24/11