Macaroni cheese

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humblebee
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Macaroni cheese

Post by humblebee » Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:23

Macaroni cheese. When it's done carelessly it's rubbish. When it's done well it's one of the yummiest things there is. Anorak, please share your recipes and tips for making the best macaroni cheese.

islandhopper
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Re: Macaroni cheese

Post by islandhopper » Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:53

A whack of paprika and a little black pepper. Sometimes some leek through it can work nicely.

The difference between a good and a bad macaroni can be heartbreaking!

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Re: Macaroni cheese

Post by crystalball » Wed Aug 20, 2014 13:39

It's a proper autumn/winter thing, isn't it? I can't ever really properly enjoy macaroni cheese in the summer. Made my first one of the season last night though.

I do it in two different ways, although the basic recipe is the same. In the first recipe I chop a shallot and mash two cloves of garlic which I just about cook in a mixture of oil and butter (they shouldn't burn though). Then I make the white sauce on top of that with the milk and flour, then I add mascarpone and a mixture of cheeses (I like having a bit of smoked cheese in this one), loads of black pepper and a bit of nutmeg. Then bit more cheese and the breadcrumbs on top. More pepper. In the oven for half an hour. For this recipe I like to use short rigatoni instead of macaroni.

For the second one I use chopped spring onion (if I have any) and a good full tablespoon of wholegrain mustard in the white sauce. No smoked cheese but nice mature cheddar for this one, and veggie parmesan. Rest of the process is the same as above, apart from the nutmeg.

My tips are:
- cook the pasta al dente (about 3 minutes less than what it says on the packet)
- if you like your macaroni cheese on the creamy side (I hate it dry), just before you drain the pasta, put aside about a cup of the hot salted water to use in the sauce so it loosens up.

Really bloody hungry now.

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Re: Macaroni cheese

Post by lynsosaurus » Wed Aug 20, 2014 14:02

Mine sounds pretty much like crystalball's first one, but I like to put bay leaves and fresh thyme in the white sauce, and I like using a mixture of cheddar and gruyere, with a bit of worcestershire sauce in there as well. I also like to do what many consider a macaroni cheese sin and chuck some extra stuff in. Fresh peas are really good, or plum tomatoes, either chopped and mixed through the sauce or sliced on top. These have the advantage of making it a bit more summery, so you can eat it ALL YEAR ROUND.

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Re: Macaroni cheese

Post by stolenwine » Wed Aug 20, 2014 19:35

uughh you guys you're killing me! i'm so hungry now! i love macaroni and cheese! but i hate when it's dry. i like it super creamy, almost swimming in sauce but i've never been able to get it like that when i make it. gonna try these recipes though and do the reserving pasta water thing and see how i go
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stolenwine
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Re: Macaroni cheese

Post by stolenwine » Wed Aug 20, 2014 20:33

coincidentally, i've just been looking at what "traditional swiss food' i can eat/is veggie and i came across something called aelplermagronen which is swiss-style macaroni and cheese described as "A scrumptious dish made with potatoes, gruyere cheese and juicy apples." sounds kinda...interesting. i normally hate mixing sweet and savoury foods (though i like salt and pepper on my fruit!) but this sounds like it might be alright!

http://recipeland.com/recipe/v/Aelplerm ... sauce_2828
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