The Great Macaroni and Cheese Adventure

9 Oct

Okay listen.  I need your help.

I am trying desperately to find the most fantastic recipe for macaroni and cheese possible.

Possible.  Do you understand?

I keep trying recipe after recipe and each casserole dish is a big batch of sorrow.  I’m starting to doubt my ability as a homemaker and as an American.  After all, vats of bubbling cheese and white, nutritionless pasta is what we rock.  And we rock it hard.   So where has my patriotism gone?

How can I make this happen?  I keep scouring the Internet for recipes and trying them.  I take them from sites with really fantastic food porn.

You know what I’m talking about – food porn.  Blown up images of things melting or bubbling or flaking just perfectly.   It’s sexy.  It’s almost raunchy.  And you’re huddled in a quiet corner as you fantasize about the possibilities that a cinnamon the size of your head could bring to your life.  Or if stuffing a cookie with your favorite candy bar really does make it taste twice as good.

Mmmm Food Porn.

Why should you help me find the most amazing macaroni and cheese recipe ever? You should do it because a truly good macaroni and cheese is a kind of delicious that everyone should share.  You should do it because I’ll blog about the one that truly rocks my world and I’ll take fantastic food porn pictures of it and link to your site or your cause or a picture of your dog – whatever you have that may make use of linking.

You should do it because I’ll give you a $25 Visa Gift Card.

No really – I will.  That’s how badly I want a good mac and cheese recipe.  And you know I’m good for my word.  Remember my grand TheJackieBlog t-shirt raffle?  Those folks got their shirts.  Here’s proof.   Doesn’t the idea of $25 American dollars make you want to scour the Internet and your recipe books for the best of the best? 

So give me everything you’ve got – macaroni tips, macaroni recipes, macaroni sites – I’ll take it all.  And I’ll labor over every word and ingredient until I am a Macaroni and Cheese Master.  I’ll cook it all  up like a mad scientist and when I’m done I’ll share with everyone the best recipe of all and I’ll give a $25 Visa Gift Card to the one who submitted the winning recipe.  Tell your friends. 

But only the ones who can cook. 

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48 Responses to “The Great Macaroni and Cheese Adventure”

  1. Themacandcheeseprofit October 9, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    I’m not the most incredible cook… But I once fashioned together this recipe http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/homemade-mac-and-cheese/detail.aspx and renewed a room full of older doctors and lawyers faith in the middle class cuisine.

    Like

  2. bloomeveryday October 9, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    I love Mac & Cheese – so yummy!

    Like

  3. Lori October 9, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    I’ll share my mom’s recipe… but not in the comments. I’ll message you 🙂

    Like

  4. jakennicksmomma October 9, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    Here is a link for the Kitchen Tutor. She has a great recipe for Mac & Cheese with step by step instructions and photos. I LOVE her blog and when I don’t know what to cook for dinner I often check her site out for ideas. Be warned, you will salivate when you see the pictures and you will want to eat ;-).

    http://kitchentutor.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/mac-cheese/

    Like

  5. mistressofpoetry October 9, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    I always use a full 8-16 ounces of EXTRA SHARP CHEDDAR. No other kind of cheese will do, then it’s just 2 eggs, some milk, and the macaroni.. I bake it in the oven until it starts turning brown on top. 350F I think? I don’t have an exact recipe but my kids fight over it when I make it. It’s one of those things you get a feel for after a while.

    Like

    • mistressofpoetry October 9, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

      Oh yes, and I DO NOT, under any circumstances, shred my cheese. I have found that shredding the cheese ruins it for me. It seems to lose its flavor. I cut all the cheese into square hunks, and i line the bottom of the casserole dish with some, put a few in the macaroni once it’s soft and i add the egg and milk, and then put the rest in after the macaroni is in the casserole dish, kind of pushing it in until the whole thing is overflowing, the last of the cheese i let peek out of the top.so I can see it. 🙂

      Like

      • Jackie October 13, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

        Oh. oh my. You’re very passionate about not shredding the cheese. Note taken. Along with specific details of how to properly cheese. Fantastic 🙂 Thanks!!

        Like

  6. Angie Z. October 9, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    Martha Stewart’s recipe is my favorite. I scale it back some because it’s highly involved. http://www.marthastewart.com/281007/macaroni-and-cheese

    I’m not a big onion fan but you absolutely must use a bit of chopped onion added to the roux. And then I crush saltines for the topping, mixed with melted butter and brown the crumbs on top of the macaroni and cheese (got that tip on NPR’s food lady). I prefer to bake macaroni and cheese after combining the cooked pasta and cheese sauce. Okay, not my stomach is very hot and bothered and hoping I’ll let it slip into something comfortable that is covered in melted cheese.

    Like

    • Jackie October 13, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

      oh boy this is indeed involved. But it’s Martha, so I expect it to be so good it hurts.

      Consider yourself officially in the running for 25 american dollars and a piece of plastic for which to hold it. Thanks for entering!

      Like

  7. Emily May October 9, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    Darn it. I’m British, and have never attempted – neither tasted – a mac n cheese dish. No money prize for me. Share some of your amazing results with me. Or the crappy ones – I don’t mind… 🙂

    Like

    • Jackie October 13, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

      You could have googled one that looked tasty 🙂 or broogled (british google?). I’ll be sure to write a big praiseful post of the winning dish. It’s probably best you didn’t enter after all – I’m not so great on my dollar – pound conversion 😛

      Like

  8. wordsweneversaid October 9, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

    Ok…

    There IS NO ‘low fat’ path to this… (just to get this started – K?)

    1/4 cup butter (no sub)
    1/4 cup all purpose flour
    2 cups whole milk
    2 1/2 cups OLD (sharp) cheddar. (this can be changed – part pepper jack mixed in…others too if desired) SHREDDED
    1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper (nice bite)

    *Melt the butter in a sauce pan and then add the flour – stir to a paste and cook a bit (do not brown)

    Whisk in milk (heat it in the micro first for faster results)

    When mixture thickens – add cheese (and spices if desired)

    *MEANWHILE…

    Cook pasta till firm – yet done/ Al-dente…rinse and cool/dry

    Do NOT let cheese sauce burn – low heat and constant stirring to keeps it fluid and lovely…

    Grease casserole with butter – make some buttered crumbs for the top ( mixed crumbs with some butter/herbs/parm/leftover cheese bits)

    When sauce is smooth and yummy – toss with dried/cooled pasta and pour into casserole …

    Top with crumbled topping and bake in a 375 oven until top is crisp and it smells wonderful.

    Good luck – enjoy.

    Like

    • wordsweneversaid October 9, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

      P.S.?

      Ok – I always double this…

      You don’t need to.

      One half a package of dried pasta does for this…

      I use large shells most often here – I know the sizes vary from country to country so…

      What you want to see is more sauce than pasta.

      You can make more sauce than you need (better than a dry mac n’ cheese in my book)

      If you ever have leftover cheese sauce (better than not enough – and then dry mac n’ cheese that is icky) make naCHOS.

      Like

    • Jackie October 13, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

      Thanks for the submission! Consider yourself an official entry.

      Like

  9. Neysa October 9, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    Here ya are miss Baker, theee best recipe in the wooorld. I have made this so many times, to die for.

    http://picky-palate.com/2008/10/06/famous-gourmet-mac-and-cheese-artisanal/

    Like

    • Neysa October 9, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

      forgot to mention, i don’t put it in an individual mini pan. i just put it in a big casserole pot/pan

      Like

    • Jackie October 13, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

      It’d better be the best one in the world. It had BETTER.

      Thanks for entering – I’ll cook my way through this monster list of suggestions sooner or later.

      Like

  10. JWo October 9, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

    Just shared your link on my Facebook page. Told them about the gift card and to let you know that JWo sent them if they send you anything.
    Not because I want anything if someone I know wins. I just want to know whose house to invite myself over too. hahaha…
    Good luck!!
    JWo

    Like

    • Jackie October 13, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

      Thank you! And I will be sure to heavily advertise the winner and pressure them into making a vat of it and hosting a house party for my readers.

      Like

  11. thesinglecell October 9, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    You are in luck. I just made some on Friday. In fact, I just ate some of it RIGHT BEFORE I READ YOUR POST. Kismet, much? Okay, here we go:

    1/2 lb pasta of your choice (I use shells because they make convenient little cups for the cheesy goodness), cooked and drained

    1 tablespoon butter
    2 tablespoons flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons dry mustard
    5 oz. sharp cheddar, shredded
    3 oz. Raclette, cubed (a white, semi-soft cow’s milk cheese… a good grocery store with a cheese bar may be your best bet)
    1/4c. Parmesan, grated
    1 3/4c. heavy cream
    3/4c. milk
    Paprika for sprinkling

    Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 9×9″ pan with cooking spray. Pour cooked, drained pasta into 9×9″ pan.

    Blend flour, mustard and salt together in a small bowl.

    In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add flour, salt and mustard and stir until blended.

    Add milk and cream, stirring or whisking until dry ingredients are dissolved and liquid is hot, but not boiling (after you pour in the milk/cream, you can increase your heat to medium if you need to).

    Add Raclette, stirring/whisking occasionally until cheese melts. Repeat for cheddar and parmesan, stirring/whisking often so the cheese doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn.

    Pour cheese sauce over pasta; sprinkle with paprika and bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Then broil until top is golden.

    And, um, for extra incredibleness? Fry 3-4 slices of bacon first, drain them, and then crumble them into the pasta before you put the cheese sauce in.

    Bon appetit!

    Like

    • Jackie October 13, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

      whoa. you said bacon.

      this is intense, but it might pay off. I’m excited and scared all at once. It’s in the cooking queue, though Lord only knows how long it will take to get through them all 🙂 Thanks for your submission!

      Like

  12. pegoleg October 10, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    Kraft Mac N Cheese. Classic, in the blue box.

    Like

    • Jackie October 13, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

      OOOHHHH shoot I’ve been overlooking that. Gosh, I’ll bet you win.

      Like

      • pegoleg October 14, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

        I’ve already spent the prize money.

        Like

        • Jackie October 19, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

          I really pictured you as more fiscally responsible. But I read about your splurge on a pumpkin spice latte so now I know better.

          Like

  13. Terri October 10, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    Found this online, so I can’t take the credit for it, but it’s delicious. The ritz cracker crust is my favorite part!

    http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,2335,154181-224204,00.html

    The egg always seemed odd to me, but the whole combo really tastes delicious. I do not even want to KNOW how many calories it is!

    Like

    • Jackie October 13, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

      A billion. But calories = delicious.

      Thanks – consider your entry received and in queue for cooking 🙂

      Like

  14. kaylabug311 October 11, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    Budget Mac & Cheese
    1 cup elbow macaroni
    3 T. butter
    3 T. flour
    1/4 tsp. salt
    pepper
    1 cup milk
    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

    Cook macaroni.
    In large saucepan on medium heat, melt butter.
    Add flour, salt, pepper, stirring until smooth and add milk gradually.
    Bring to a boil then cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened.
    Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted.
    Drain pasta and add to cheese mixture.

    Like

    • Jackie October 13, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

      Thank you! I shall add to the list of recipes to cook through and rate.

      Like

  15. Amy October 11, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    This one is awesome!

    Makes 6 Generous Portions
    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook Time: 35 minutes

    Total Time: 55 minutes

    Ingredients:

    8 oz dry elbow macaroni
    1 1/2 cup small curd cottage cheese
    8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1/2 cup milk
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
    black pepper to taste
    2/3 cup plain bread crumbs
    3 tbsp melted butter
    Preparation:

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook the pasta one minute less that the directions call for. Drain very well and add to a 9 x 12 inch baking dish

    Stir in the cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, sour cream, milk, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. In a small bowl, stir the bread crumbs and melted butter together. Sprinkle evenly over the top, and bake for 35 minutes, or until top is golden brown and bubbling.

    Like

    • wordsweneversaid October 13, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

      *blink*

      This sounds REALLY good!

      I’m making it on the weekend.

      M.L.

      Like

      • Jackie October 13, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

        I should give you a score sheet and have you knock out some of these.

        Like

    • Jackie October 13, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

      I will attempt to overlook the fact that cottage cheese is repulsive when I make this. Thank you for your contribution – it will take me a while to cook through these all, but by golly I will. And I will rate them. And someone will be 25 dollars richer.

      Like

      • Amy October 20, 2011 at 8:17 am #

        I hate cottage cheese normally, but in this…omg! It’s quite yummy!

        Like

        • Jackie October 28, 2011 at 1:28 am #

          you’d better be right 😛 *shudder*

          Like

      • Amy October 30, 2011 at 4:22 am #

        i promise as a hate of cottage cheese i was quite skeptical, too. then i fixed it for a big crowd at a work function and barely got any because they all ate it!

        Like

        • Jackie November 2, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

          All right. Well, this one is up next so we’ll see 😉

          Like

  16. Amy November 19, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    How ya doin’ on the mac n cheese?

    Like

    • Jackie November 21, 2011 at 11:52 pm #

      So….much….pasta.

      2 more to go. Slow and steady wins the race.

      Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Stop Throwing Your Money Away On Fast Food – Simple Cooking Tips Anyone Can Use! | Cooking School - January 24, 2012

    […] The Great Macaroni and Cheese Adventure […]

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