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Marilyn, a few notes on mac n' cheese

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Joined: Jan 11, 2007

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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


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