Thread: Macaroni Cheese
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Unread 01-09-2014, 12:30 PM   #24
landarc
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Join Date: 06-26-09
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I don't use a real recipe, but, will wing it here for you. The basics will be correct, but, measurements may be off a bit.

To start, I use medium, elbow macaroni, or cavatapi, or small shells. I prefer the elbo macaroni with ridges on the outside. Cook them until just al dente. They will soften when in the sauce and get super mushy if you cook them until soft. Drain and reserve. They must be drained and dry before adding to cheese sauce.

Make cheese sauce:
1. Start with 4 tablespoons of fat (bacon fat, lard, grapeseed oil, olive oil) and add 4 tablespoons of AP flour. This is a basic American roux, you just need about equal parts of fat and flour by weight. Cook until flour is thickened, add in 2 cups of whole milk, stir into a sauce. It will seem thin, no worries. Add in 1 pound of grated cheese. I use equal parts of cheddar for flavor, parmesan or grana padano for salt and umami, and either jack cheese, emmenthaler or similar melting cheese for smoothness. Stir until smoothly melted. Adjust seasoning, mostly for pepper. If you need to add salt, you should reconsider your sodium intake.

Combine macaroni and cheese sauce, making sure everything is coated. Place in baking dish, leaving about 1/2" from top. Sprinkle bread crumbs over top and bake, or cook in BBQ for 1 hour. Somewhere around 300F will do the trick.

Getting fancy...
Add 1/2 cup finely chopped onions and 1 teaspoon minced garlic with the flour while making the roux.

Add 1/8 to 1/4 cup finely chopped jalapenos (seeded, as I don't like the seeds in the dish), along with onions and garlic while making the roux.

Add 1/4 cup sherry to the sauce, just before adding the cheese
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