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Mac and cheese - finding my recipe

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  • JCGrill
    Club Member
    • Mar 2017
    • 1732
    • Minneapolis / St Paul burbs
    • Charcoal - 22" Weber Kettle
      Gas - Saber
      Smoker - Green Mountain Daniel Boone
      Portable - Charbroil Tabletop Propane Grill

    Mac and cheese - finding my recipe

    So I am pretty used to the box mac and cheese. The versions with the powdered cheese are not my jam, but I do like the ones like Velveeta. I think what I like about them is the creamy tangy cheese. Today I made a more "from scratch" mac and cheese, a five cheese version. It was heavy on cheddar with some lighter amounts of four others. I'm thinking different ratios might get me a little closer to what I want.

    Anyone else make a creamy version? Should I use something more like gouda? Or is it better to just use American or even go to Velveeta?
  • Donw
    Club Member
    • Jul 2017
    • 3044

    #2
    Research sodium citrate. It can improve cheese dishes.

    Comment


    • grantgallagher
      grantgallagher commented
      Editing a comment
      ^^^Cant emphasize this enough.

      Either use sodium citrate or use some american cheese (which is made with sodium citrate) in the cheese mix. Also, you really dont need to go crazy with the cheeses. 5 cheese is over the top for me. Pick one for good melting properties ie Monterey and one or two for flavor.

    • grantgallagher
      grantgallagher commented
      Editing a comment
      And unless its a single serve and wont be reheated, dont make it from a roux. It will break and it will not reheat well.

    • JoeSousa
      JoeSousa commented
      Editing a comment
      I use sodium citrate in my queso. Perfectly smooth and melty. I tried a mac and cheese with it once bot wasn't the biggest fan. Still need to tweak a bit.
  • JCGrill
    Club Member
    • Mar 2017
    • 1732
    • Minneapolis / St Paul burbs
    • Charcoal - 22" Weber Kettle
      Gas - Saber
      Smoker - Green Mountain Daniel Boone
      Portable - Charbroil Tabletop Propane Grill

    #3
    Top search was Serious Eats, which I usually trust to provide good info. Thanks for the help.

    Comment

    • HouseHomey
      Club Member
      • May 2016
      • 5275
      • Huntington Beach, Ca. Surf City USA.
      • Equipment
        Primo Oval xl

        Slow n Sear (two)
        Drip n Griddle
        22" Weber Kettle
        26" Weber Kettle one touch
        Blackstone 36” Pro Series
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        Kitchen Aid
        Meat grinder
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        Akootrimonts
        Two chimneys (was 3 but rivets finally popped, down to 1)
        cast iron pans,
        Dutch ovens
        Signals 4 probe, thermapens, chef alarms, Dots, thermapop and maverick T-732, RTC-600, pro needle and various pocket instareads.
        The help and preferences
        1 extra fridge and a deep chest freezer in the garage
        KBB
        FOGO
        A 9 year old princess foster child
        Patience and old patio furniture
        "Baby Girl" The cat

        Erik S.

      #4
      What 👆they said. Mac and pasta dishes. The Bane of banquet chefs buffets everywhere. Ugh.

      Comment

      • Steve B
        Club Member
        • Jun 2016
        • 2978
        • Rockland county New York
        • Lonestar Grillz 24x36 offset smoker, grill, w/ main chamber charcoal grate and 3 tel-tru thermometers - left, right and center
          Yoke Up custom charcoal basket and a Grill Wraps cover.

          22.5 copper kettle w/ SnS, DnG, BBQ vortex, gasket and stainless steel hinge kit.

          Napoleon gas grill (soon to go bye bye) rotting out.

          1 maverick et-733 digital thermometer - black
          1 maverick et-733 - gray
          1 new standard grilling remote digital thermometer
          1 thermoworks thermopen mk4 - red
          1 thermoworks thermopop - red

          Pre Miala flavor injector
          taylor digital scale
          TSM meat grinder
          chefs choice food slicer
          cuisinhart food processor
          food saver vacuum sealer
          TSM harvest food dehydrator

        #5
        Question on this topic.
        Where do you buy sodium citrate and what form does it come in?

        Comment


        • texastweeter
          texastweeter commented
          Editing a comment
          Amazon. Powder

        • HouseHomey
          HouseHomey commented
          Editing a comment
          Like the 80’s

        • texastweeter
          texastweeter commented
          Editing a comment
          HouseHomey bet that would burn more than pixy sticks... Freebase it maybe? I mean your from Cali, you got a recipe for that, Right?
      • texastweeter
        Club Member
        • Jul 2017
        • 2895
        • Republic of Texas

        #6
        I use 3 cheeses (smoked cheddar, smoked mozzarella, and cream cheese) butter, salt, pepper, mustard powder, hot sauce, heavy creme, milk, bacon, pasta, smoked paprika, and fruit wood smoke. Oh and pasta is boiled in chicken broth. Sodium citrate to make it smooth.

        Comment


        • Sweaty Paul
          Sweaty Paul commented
          Editing a comment
          Sounds delicious

        • texastweeter
          texastweeter commented
          Editing a comment
          Sweaty Paul only my brisket and beef ribs get more requests. Oh that and my 8 year olds blueberry brownies. Pretty sure crack is the 2nd ingredient...
      • TheQuietOne
        Club Member
        • Sep 2018
        • 175
        • Oshkosh, WI

        #7
        Originally posted by texastweeter View Post
        I use 3 cheeses (smoked cheddar, smoked mozzarella, and cream cheese) butter, salt, pepper, mustard powder, hot sauce, heavy creme, milk, bacon, pasta, smoked paprika, and fruit wood smoke. Oh and pasta is boiled in chicken broth. Sodium citrate to make it smooth.
        That sounds amazing!

        Comment


        • texastweeter
          texastweeter commented
          Editing a comment
          See reply above.
      • shify
        Club Member
        • Jun 2017
        • 457
        • Westchester County, NY

        #8
        In lieu of sodium citrate, using some American cheese or velveeta as part of your cheese selection will have a similar impact. Use either of those cheeses for the creaminess and then pick other cheeses for flavor.

        Comment

        • grantgallagher
          Club Member
          • Feb 2018
          • 994
          • NJ

          #9
          Also, i forgot about this but its something i do on occasion. If you like the “tang” as you put it, try mixing in some whole milk greek yogurt...its awesome.

          Comment

          • barelfly
            Club Member
            • Dec 2017
            • 1081
            • New Mexico

            #10
            I make a lobster mac and cheese that uses fontina and gruyere. But I first make a cream sauce consisting of heavy cream and white wine. I reduce the white wine for about 10 minutes then add the cream and reduce for 10, then add butter. At that point, I begin adding the shredded cheese slowly to melt, first fontina then the gruyere. Turns out silky smooth every time.

            Hope you find what you are looking for and make some killer mac and cheese!
            Last edited by barelfly; February 17, 2020, 08:47 AM.

            Comment


            • texastweeter
              texastweeter commented
              Editing a comment
              never used the wine, but it makes sense. Kinda like fondue. I use the shells when I make it (rarely) to make the lobster stock to boil the pasta in. Never use Fontina in it, but Gruyere and Jack instead. I'll try your way next time. I use claw meat, you?

            • barelfly
              barelfly commented
              Editing a comment
              texastweeter - I just buy some lawbstah tails and chop them up and throw them in with the boiling water with the macaroni noodles and corn. By the time the noodles are ready the lawbstah chunks are cooked through.

              I’ll have to try claw some time to go with it.

              Oh, and of course topped with seasoned bread crumbs!

            • texastweeter
              texastweeter commented
              Editing a comment
              Skip the bread crumbs, and go with crushed spicy pork skins!
          • Razor
            Club Member
            • Mar 2018
            • 263
            • Pittsburgh

            #11
            Originally posted by Steve B View Post
            Question on this topic.
            Where do you buy sodium citrate and what form does it come in?
            I’m new to this also so I looked on Amazon and Spiceology.

            Spiceology’s is about twice the cost of ones found on Amazon (after you do the math to equal 32oz’s). To the more enlightened out there, is there something extra, extra, special in the Spiceology offering?

            Comment

          • Texas Larry
            Club Member
            • May 2017
            • 1428
            • Wilson County, TX
            • Kamado Joe Big Joe 2
              Weber 22” Premium/SNS
              Weber Jumbo Joe/SNS
              JoeTisserie
              Thermoworks Smoke
              Thermoworks 2K Thermocouple
              Thermapen
              Thermapop
              Thermoworks Dash
              Too many gadgets, accessories, and tools
              Favorite beer: Alaskan Amber

            #12
            Here’s the recipe I use. It’s just a riff on a food network version. INGREDIENTS
            1 teaspoon salt
            1/4 teaspoon ground white or black pepper


            1 Tablespoon dry mustard
            1 teaspoon olive oil
            1/2 pound elbow macaroni, cooked al dente, drained
            9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter
            1/2 cup all-purpose flour
            4 slices thick cut bacon, diced
            2 cloves garlic finely minced
            2 1/4 cups whole milk
            1 1/4 cup heavy cream
            1/4 cup ale (optional)
            5 oz grated sharp Cheddar
            3 oz grated gruyere
            2 oz grated Parmesan (or Pecorino Romano)
            1/2 cup frozen green peas (very optional)
            1/2 cup fine bread crumbs (or: Try crushed Cheezits!)
            1 tsp BBQ rub DIRECTIONS

            Make sure the oven rack is in the center position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
            Grease a 2-quart casserole dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Set aside.
            Combine all the cheeses in separate mixing bowl, mixing well.
            In a large heavy pot or sauté pan brown the bacon in 1 tsp olive oil Remove with slotted spoon to paper towel to drain. Briefly sauté the garlic in bacon drippings. 2 min.
            Melt the remaining stick of butter in the same pan with the garlic over medium heat. Add the flour and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 3 to 4 minutes. Do not allow the flour to brown. Using the whisk, add the milk, ale (optional) and cream and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick (but not too thick!) and smooth, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, the mustard, 2/3 of the cheese, and the peas (optional), and stir well.
            Combine the remaining 1/3 of cheese with the bread crumbs and rub mix. Reserve for topping.

            Add the macaroni and bacon (reserve some bacon for the topping) to the pot with the milk and cheese. Stir to combine well, then pour the mixture into the buttered casserole. Top with the seasoned cheese mixture. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 15 minutes.

            Remove the dish from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

            Comment

            • RonB
              Club Member
              • Apr 2016
              • 12710
              • Near Richmond VA
              • Weber Performer Deluxe
                SNS
                Pizza insert
                Rotisserie
                Smokenator 1000
                Cookshack Smokette Elite
                2 Thermapens
                Chefalarm
                Dot
                lots of probes.
                CyberQ

              #13
              I was raised on M&C made from Velveeta, milk, and margarine, so that's what tastes "right" to me. However I have found that using butter instead of margarine and adding some grated Munster takes it up a notch. I don't really have a recipe - I just pour some milk in a pot, heat slowly and add cheese until it reaches the consistency I like. Then I add some butter and when that melts, I add the pasta.
              Almost forgot that I do add salt and pepper too.

              Comment


              • HouseHomey
                HouseHomey commented
                Editing a comment
                Drop the mic!

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