Macaroni and Cheese: The Real MacCoy Article - Allrecipes.com
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Macaroni and Cheese: The Real MacCoy

My whole family is happy when I make macaroni and cheese for dinner. It's the one dish that everybody - both kids and adults - love. Unfortunately the boxed version, complete with orange cheese powder, is what's most familiar to people.


As I looked over recipes for homemade macaroni and cheese, I determined that there were two distinct styles of preparation. The more common variety is béchamel-based, where macaroni is blanketed with a cheese-flavored white sauce, usually topped with crumbs and baked. The other variety, the kind my mother always made, is custard-based. In this version, a mixture of egg and milk is poured over layers of grated cheese and noodles. As the dish bakes, the egg, milk and cheese set into a custard. This recipe is also topped with bread crumbs and baked, although my mom sprinkled crushed saltine crackers over hers.

Although I was in the béchamel-style camp, I couldn't remember the last time I had made a truly exceptional macaroni and cheese. After a few initial tests, I understood why. Most recipes seemed tired, leaden and uninspired. Others attempted to perk up the dish with silly additions like canned green chilies or black olives. And of course, there were the recipes that tried to lighten it. No one seemed to really appreciate the dish.

Temporarily falling under the influence of modern-day recipe authors, I began to wonder if even I loved it as much as I thought I had. Then I came across John Thorne's macaroni and cheese chapter in Simple Cooking (Penguin, 1989). “As it happens,” he begins, “I'm very fond of macaroni and cheese, and keep a special spot in my heart for cooks who genuinely love it: they are not that many.” After reading his four-page essay, I knew I was on the trail of a great recipe.

Top 20 Macaroni & Cheese Recipes




No Comparison

Thorne's recipe starts with macaroni cooked just shy of al dente. The hot, drained macaroni is tossed with butter in a heatproof pan or bowl. Evaporated milk, hot red pepper sauce, dry mustard, eggs and a large quantity of cheese are stirred into the noodles. The macaroni and cheese is baked for 20 minutes, with cheese and milk additions and a thorough stir every 5 minutes. These frequent stirrings allow the eggs to thicken without setting, resulting in an incredibly smooth sauce. During cooking, the sauce settles into the tubular openings of macaroni, offering a burst of cheese with each bite. I was delighted to get the dish right so early on in the process. This macaroni and cheese was the real thing, all others mere shadows. For once, someone else had done my homework for me.

Just to confirm my findings, I baked the two macaroni and cheese versions I described earlier. Neither the cheese-flavored béchamel sauce nor the custard compared to Thorne's dish. The béchamel-based version was grainy and tasted exactly as Thorne predicted - not like macaroni and cheese but rather like “macaroni with cheese sauce.” Whereas Thorne's macaroni and cheese sauce was light and silky, the béchamel dish was heavy.

Because the custard-based macaroni and cheese was simply an easier version of Thorne's recipe, I thought it might work as an alternative to stirring, but a side-by-side tasting proved the two macaroni and cheeses very different. Compared to the luxuriously smooth cheese sauce of the stirred version, the baked egg, milk and cheese base formed a dry custard that set around the noodles.


Putting It to the Test

Having ruled out the competition, I moved forward to study Thorne's recipe a little more closely. I wondered if the dish really required evaporated milk. Was this an idiosyncrasy of the late thirties when the recipe was first published? Wouldn't regular milk or half-and-half work equally well? What other cheeses besides cheddar would suit this dish?

Though the recipe was virtually perfect, I developed a few refinements. First, I found that at the end of 20 minutes, the dish was hot, but hardly piping. By the time a person had consumed a portion, the cheese sauce had cooled slightly and set. I also missed the contrasting textures of crunchy bread crumbs and soft noodles and sauce offered by the baked versions. Thorne's advice to sprinkle the macaroni and cheese with crumbled common crackers was one possibility, but I was looking for something a little more finished. And although I liked the rich, full cheese flavor Thorne achieves with a full pound of cheddar, I found myself full after only a few bites. I wanted to find out if the dish would be just as good with a little less cheese.

After testing the recipe with whole and low-fat milk as well as with half-and-half, I realized that evaporated milk was not an unconsidered holdover. All the macaroni and cheeses made with fresh milk curdled a bit, resulting in a chalky, grainy texture. The one made with evaporated milk was always smooth, undoubtedly because the evaporation and sterilization process stabilizes the milk.

After making the dish with Vermont, New York and Wisconsin cheddars, I preferred the less sharp Wisconsin variety. Because the recipe calls for such a large quantity, a slightly milder cheese is preferable. Testing other varieties of cheese confirmed this point. Macaroni and cheese made with Gruyère was so strong I couldn't eat it, while milder Monterey Jack was a wonderful alternative to cheddar. To my surprise, highly processed cheeses like American performed quite well in this dish. As with the evaporated milk, more processing produces a more stable cheese and hence a creamier dish. For flavor, use cheddar; for texture, buy American.


A Gentle Warming

To remedy the dish's lukewarm temperature, I tried two solutions, both of which worked. To avoid pouring the hot macaroni into a cold dish, I placed my pan in the preheated oven. By the time the noodles were ready to drain, the pan emerged from the oven pot holder-hot. Warming the milk a bit before mixing it with the pasta also gave the dish a warm head start. (Don't, however, try to make this dish hotter by leaving it in the oven for a longer time: if you exceed the suggested 20 minutes, you run the risk of curdling the eggs, and the dish will start to develop a grainy texture.)

As Thorne suggested, crisp common crackers sprinkled over the macaroni and cheese offer a much-needed foil to the rich, unctuous sauce. As a further refinement, I toasted buttered bread crumbs alongside the heating casserole and put them on top instead.

After I shared this recipe with my friend and cooking colleague Stephen Schmidt, he reported that if you use a heavy-bottomed pot and cook over medium-low heat, you can heat the macaroni and cheese on top of the stove rather than in the oven to save even more time. If you can live without the toasted bread crumbs, then, that macaroni and cheese can be made in the same amount of time it takes to make the boxed version.

For once, the real dish is almost as simple as the convenience product. Just a few dollars more buys you the difference between an institutional experience and the real MacCoy.

Comments
eug 
Jul. 6, 2009 2:17 pm
3 recipes are listed in the box near the top of the article.
 
Jul. 12, 2009 9:12 am
I think we have to buy thornes book simple cooking to get his recipe then follow her directions?
 
Aug. 11, 2009 9:37 am
I loved it n its great that there r people out there who still love mac n cheese n keep looking for the best way to prepare it.
 
TERRY 
Aug. 27, 2009 12:48 am
please just need a simple receipt
 
Josie 
Aug. 31, 2009 2:35 pm
This recipe looks to long. I want the kind we use to eat at the school cafeteria. It was delish. It had a nice brown crust on top & it wasn't bread crumbs. It was cheese.
 
Sep. 1, 2009 4:08 am
Here's a simple recipe. Get a box of Velvetta & Cheese cook as directed. you will need to mix it up and put in a deep baking dish then in a seperate bowl beat 4 eggs and about 2 1/2 to 3 cups milk together. Salt & peper to taste, pour over mas & cheese.(making sure milk mixture covers the make and cheese). cut in small cubes of some mild chedder cheese and spread thru out the dish. Top it it with little pads of butter. and bake on 350 for about 50 minutes too a hour.
 
Sep. 4, 2009 7:32 am
love it, will try tonight for dinner, ty so much
 
Rod 
Sep. 24, 2009 6:04 pm
sam, you are right but this recipe is all over, and to give one book credit is not fair, we sometimes dont remember where we got them or arrived at them. Bon appetite
 
BPRATERUSA 
Oct. 1, 2009 8:00 pm
Here's a simple recipe that is good. Use a 2 cup measuring cup, melt 1 stick butter (let it cool slightly) add 2 beaten eggs and fill the rest of the way with milk or evap. milk to the 2 cup line. cook elbows (about 12 oz) put 1/2 noodles in 9x13 sprinkle cheddar over this put rest of noodles pour milk mixture over this and cover with cheddar. Cover with foil and bake 350 about 45 min. make sure middle is set(not runny)
 
BPRATERUSA 
Oct. 1, 2009 8:02 pm
Oh I forgot to say that I use 1/2 medium and 1/2 sharp cheddar. This was my moms recipe.
 
BPRATERUSA 
Oct. 1, 2009 8:04 pm
Josie: Try this one It taste alot like the one that I had in school.
 
Mary 
Nov. 25, 2009 12:53 pm
I posted mine but am still waiting to be kitchen approved. Simple as can be, but delicious. Cut up velveeta into cream of mushroom soup being careful not to stick to bottom of pot. Mix al dente cooked elbow macaroni (elbows do taste better with this) to mixture. Add any extras desired, pepper, etc. and enjoy! This could be baked if that is the desired effect, but I like it the way it is and the speed and simplicity of it.
 
Gracie 
Nov. 29, 2009 1:42 pm
I am sure that it is me but .........I can't seem to locate this recipe in this page. What is wrong with me
 
Janie 
Dec. 13, 2009 7:52 pm
I use an old basic recipe from Mrs. Dull's cookbook. I learned from my Aunt Maisie to put in a layer of cottage or ricotta cheese. She also used evaporated milk. She sprinkled grated cheese and pea-size butter pieces on top. I make the dish a day ahead, refrigerate over night, and check the moisture level before I bake it. If it seems too dry, I add evap. milk before baking.
 
Dec. 20, 2009 5:58 pm
It does sound a bit like too much work... you may try this: box velveeta, cubed; stick melted butter; can cheddar cheese soup; cooked elbows; add milk to desired consistency; add some onion pwdr or salt & pepper, spread in dish to set, sprinkle top with paprika. Simple, tasty, and cheesy!
 
STEVEC_PORTER 
Dec. 23, 2009 11:41 am
sounds great but where is the recipe man you got me half way there and iam not making this this dish right now dawg gone it.
 
Dawn 
Jan. 10, 2010 3:50 pm
I used 1lb elbow macaroni, 8tbs melted butter, 2 cups whole milk, 8oz sour cream, 2 eggs beaten, 2 cups mozarella cheese, 1 cup sharp chedder, 1 cup mild chedder, 1/2 cup gruyere, 1 cup monterey jack, velveeta slices spread on top, salt and pepper to taste, mix and put in deep dish baker on 350 for 35 min (I cover the top with foil because my family doesn't like crunchy top) One word---YUM!!
 
gramlady 
Jan. 20, 2010 6:46 am
It may be what I am looking for ---just terribly disgusting the recipe wasn't there!!!!!Who left this go through? I will copy the recipe in paragraph form....not convenient at all.
 
Mar. 7, 2010 7:18 am
I believe the recipe is listed on the PET evaporated milk site. I have been using that recipe for years. Very basic and very easy! And sounds like the above mentioned recipe
 
1KLUTZ 
Jun. 19, 2010 3:52 pm
Throw in some chopped Jalapenos and you will see that it really kicks up the mac and cheese to another level...
 
Jun. 22, 2010 11:29 am
This is Plagiarism at its worst! It's a wonder this person hasn't been sued. If you site a book or article, you MUST give credit for the author/book-magazine/publisher/dates/page numbers/etc!!!! The entire thing should also be in quotation!
 
angie 
Jun. 24, 2010 9:23 pm
all good stuff just try some recipes and see how it goes
 
CheezyMoBeezy 
Jun. 28, 2010 6:58 pm
This is too complicated. Here is what I do: I mix in 1 cup of mayonnaise, 1 stick of butter cut up, 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar, 1/2 cup cottage cheese 4% small curd, 1 egg, 1/2 cup of skim milk and 1/4 cup half n half, 1 small jar of pimentos, 1/3 cup montera cheese (not monterey! Montera - it's Spanish and has black olives in it), 9 slices (unwrapped) of American cheese, 4 oz. cream of chicken soup, 5-8 dashes of tabasco, dash of red pepper, black pepper, white pepper, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and dry mustard. Mix all this with the al dente macaroni and crumble bacon in it (or proscuitto ham if so desired). Stir, and place in a generously buttered dish or pan of your choice and bake for 45 minutes at 350. It also helps sometimes to melt one small package of Stouffer's frozen mac n cheese as a starter. For a crumb topping, I fry up some falafel balls and then crush them up and sprinkle on top for the last 20 minutes of baking! It's yummmmy!!
 
Donna S. 
Jun. 29, 2010 9:24 pm
Nice story and sounds like alot of experimenting to come up with the perfect dish - but could you have listed all the ingredients and quantities, timing, to make it seem easier in a simple paragraph after the story - you know what I'm saying? It's alot to go back and reread when the time comes to make the dish...
 
SJ 
Jul. 7, 2010 9:12 am
Macaroni and cheese is such a simple dish, I use Stoffers, the easy kind, brand name, starts with S. So good!
 
Aug. 2, 2010 8:40 am
I find this all very interesting. Mac and cheese is one of my favorite dishes and I have made it a hundred different ways. I apprec all the suggestions.
 
Aug. 11, 2010 2:55 am
After all this explanation, where is the recipe??
 
Aug. 13, 2010 12:28 pm
http://www.recipesource.com/main-dishes/pasta/06/rec0621.html
this link's to John Thorne's recipe. I just made it this morning. It is the best macaroni and cheese I have ever tasted. The amazing creamy, cheesy texture is lovely. Best of all I love the way the elbows are filled with cheesy custard that squirts out in to your mouth when you bite them.
 
Sep. 11, 2010 6:11 pm
WOW! I was just looking for a baked mac-n-cheese recipe for my church pot luck tomorrow. I signed up to make one thought I'd see what's out there. After reading ALL this I have desided to take a little advise from each one and make my own. I will need to make it tonight and hope that reheats well in the morning. I'll let you know how it turn'd out and yes I'LL LEAVE THE RECIPE. :) Have a blessed day!
 
Sep. 15, 2010 6:43 am
My friend Kenley loves this recipe
 
Kimberly 
Sep. 23, 2010 12:02 pm
Thanks, Kelly for posting the recipe
 
Rebecca3115 
Sep. 30, 2010 9:19 am
Where is the recipe? I looked through the recipes above but couldn't see this one. Frustrating as this one seems very intriguing.
 
Rebecca3115 
Sep. 30, 2010 9:20 am
OOPS! Just saw the link..lol THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
youngal 
Oct. 2, 2010 5:37 am
Those who speak of playiarism...get over it. When it comes to something as general as recipes, which are passed down generation to generation, and constantly modified & tweeked, in the end who knows who should get the credit. All I know is I'm going to try it using info from Kelly, & I appreciated ALL the commentaries/suggestions. If I like the result, it'll go into MY recipe book w/ mention I found it on All Recipes.com and that will be that.
 
dafirstlday 
Oct. 11, 2010 10:10 am
If you really want to talk about making the best mac and cheese ever you should not be concerened about duplicating the boxed version. The baked version is the best. What I found was missing from your article was there is no discussion on the type of cheese used. What makes my mac and cheese so special is that I incorporate different cheeses in different ways (some grated, cubed, sliced, melted into the sauce). Wow it is the bomb!
 
Italianmomma63 
Oct. 11, 2010 1:31 pm
Just was reading one of my cook books titled "The Best Recipes" by Cooks Illustrated and the above article is in there almost word for word. Anyway, going to try this recipe since it seems to have received positve feedback. I usually make the bechamel style mac and cheese.
 
Barbann 
Oct. 18, 2010 5:42 am
Well I am not sure where the article actually originated, but I did enjoy the content. Never thought of studying the old standby so thoroughly. I use a recipe of baked mac n cheese by Paula Deen. It is awesome! In lieu of that I will take the boxed version and add garlic and sour cream and voila, a much more sophisticated taste. Beware, it is certainly not low fat or for those on low cal diets for sure. :)
 
wendy2232 
Oct. 27, 2010 8:56 pm
A man after my own heart! Kudos to you for so much heart and effort. I like to use cornflakes crushed and tossed in melted butter for the topping. Wendy,s mom REbekah
 
Jes 
Nov. 10, 2010 9:02 am
I would like to say that I do not beleive in using ANY pasturized processed cheese foods or other "food" like that. I emplore you all to stop using Velveeta and American cheese and please only use all natural cheese that says it is nartual on the package(like cheddar). Using the other junk is killing people and society. It really isn't food, it is junk. Also I only use whole grains and sometimes, but rarely, I mix traditional pasta with whole grain(half and half), but I'd rather and 95% of the time just use whole grain.
 
Nov. 17, 2010 6:12 pm
YUM!
 
Myra 
Nov. 19, 2010 3:19 pm
Right...what they said...Wheres the recipe!!???
 
beth 
Nov. 22, 2010 2:41 pm
I have never used egg in my version of mac and cheese. I use elbow mac sometimes the shell kind. Cook mac to al dente. Drain water off noodles. Add butter. I cut in cubes three types of cheeses velveeta, mont. jack and pepperjack. After its kinda melted into noodles. I add pepper season salt and garlic powder, milk . I stir pour in baking dish. Add more cheese on top sliced. Bake around 350
 
SongofDebra 
Nov. 24, 2010 10:19 am
The old version and simple version of homemade mac and cheese is found on the box of elbow macaroni by kraft, great every time!
 
veronica 
Dec. 5, 2010 8:00 am
The eggs definately make it creamy! I am a cheese lover but this receipe has way too much cheese. I also didn't like the mustard flavor in the macaroni... :( Sorry I am not a fan of the receipe
 
Tresa 
Dec. 5, 2010 8:09 am
I agree, great story but where is the recipe. If you want the recipe just google John Thornes mac & cheese.
 
Nancy 
Jan. 20, 2011 12:19 pm
Way too much trouble and over analyzing for me. Good mac and cheese does not need to be nearly so complicated.
 
Lorna 
Jan. 23, 2011 1:39 pm
Very annoying not to have the recipe accompany this article. If you couldn't get the reprint rights, you could've at least shared that. Thanks to those that took the time to look it up.
 
Kimberlyn62000 
Jan. 25, 2011 8:18 am
I just sat here and read this article...which I found rather interesting to say the least...then I read every single comment that was made. Conclusion: There are some really nasty cooks out there who obviously think that they can do things so much better than everybody else! If you want the recipe it is not that hard to find. Ms Anderson I just want you to know that I really enjoyed your article!!
 
dcherry125 
Feb. 2, 2011 2:06 pm
Where is the Real macCoy mac and cheese recipe?
 
christine 
Feb. 13, 2011 6:57 pm
I am going to try my own with the help of most suggestions, but what gets me is some of the people that post here are trouble makers, who cares if a word is spelled wrong, ever heard of a typo, get a life and stop picking on people, that is not what this is all about.
 
Feb. 18, 2011 12:34 pm
i absolutely love this website. i am going to market to make my Real MacCoy mac and cheese. i really enjoy all your comments and all the home recipes, which usually are the one's everyone loves! thank you
 
kim 
Feb. 21, 2011 2:34 pm
The esiest way to make mac and cheese deep dish cook as much macaroni as u want I use about 2 cups then a can of tomato soup mix in the soup with the cooked macaroni add a little mild through in ur grated old cheese mabey a little parmason cheese from the can to top it off stick oven at 300 degrees and cook for about 20 min BEST EVER COMFORT FOOD!
 
kim 
Feb. 21, 2011 2:35 pm
umm mild was suppose to be milk sry guys typo lol
 
Feb. 24, 2011 2:33 pm
For those of you that posted the link the recipe, and for those of you that posted your own easy versions, thank you! Can't wait to try a few different ways!
 
Feb. 26, 2011 1:24 pm
did a search for "John Thorne's macaroni and cheese" on the internet and found his recipe. Have not tried it yet but thought I'd share that with others who were wondering!
 
vagal1958 
Mar. 1, 2011 10:31 am
EASY mac & cheese ..large pot of hot water ,add 1 tsp .salt ,then add mac,cook till done.. drain mac, in same pot ,add 2 tsp,EVO oil..2tsp.butter,1/2 milk,1tsp.creamy mustard ,add 4 oz. of cheese,stir well...add to baking pan,add to top 1/2 cup bread crumbs and 4ozs more of cheese..bake 350 20 mins..ENJOY!! PS I sometimes add 1 cup of cut up ham mixed in with the mac or bacon / hot dogs ,not all at once lol.. ...You can use any kind of cheese you like ..
 
vagal1958 
Mar. 1, 2011 10:32 am
1/2 cup milk ..sorry ^
 
monkeyboyzmom 
Mar. 1, 2011 7:18 pm
I used the recipe other users listed in the comments section. Family liked it, but I found that there was way too much sauce for the amount of noodle. The cheesy flavor was good (I used medium cheddar), but overpowering, and the meal was very heavy. Hubby now has a tummy ache! When I make it again I will probably double the amount of macaroni. Sauce was beautifully smooth and also went well on the broccoli we paired with the mac & cheese. I guess that was the benefit of too much cheese sauce!
 
tillyflop 
Mar. 4, 2011 2:08 am
Sheee!!! all that cheese! You will all get terribly fat! not to mention the cholesterol buildup! A bit more mac, dress it up with a veggie they like, crunchy toppings are filling and you can feel good too!
 
mimi 
Mar. 5, 2011 12:48 pm
Is the recipe a secret? Do we need to buy a book?
 
Mar. 7, 2011 10:17 am
Thank you, Kelly and Amylew2
 
Apr. 13, 2011 9:53 pm
Wow..I must say I enjoyed reading everyones comments...talk about mixed emotions! We food people really get tough dont we.. I thought I was missing something also..looked it over 3 times.. WHAT IS THE POINT IF YOU DONT PRINT THE RECIPE YOU ARE REFERRING TO AFTER SUCH A OPINIATED WRITE UP? HELLOOLLLOO ANYONE ONE HOME? How can dispute it or try it to either share the writer's opinion or to debate it otherwise?? My biggest problem is not making it come out grainy...after following many recipes..that is the error I am trying to correct...I am so glad People are taking such an interest in food these days..I think Julia Child would be happy to see what she actually created in the first place!
 
MariaD 
Apr. 19, 2011 4:35 am
I agree with you TJFLOUNDER about all the mixed emotions. And yes the author should have included the recipe but I just don't understand all these folks that are asking for the recipe (after it was posted)....it's posted as a comment....one of the first few comments...Kelly posted it on Jul. 28, 2009 1:15 am Exported from MasterCook Mac * John Thorne's Macaroni & Cheese Recipe By : Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:00 Categories : Pasta Side Dishes Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method -------- ------------ -------------------------------- 1/2 pound elbow macaroni 4 tablespoons unsalted butter -- cut into bits 1 Dash Tabasco sauce 1 can evaporated milk -- (12 ounce) 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese -- grated 2 large eggs -- beaten 1 teaspoon dry mustard -- dissolved in 1 tsp water 2 teaspoons Salt Pepper Toasted Bread Crumbs (CI version) 1 cup fresh bread crumbs 1 pinch salt 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter -- melted Preheat oven to 350. Boil the macaroni until just barely done
 
Elisabetta 
Apr. 21, 2011 6:32 am
Yeh I was bummed also about the recipe not being here. I made mac and cheese a while back (like several yrs. ago) and added a can of drained diced tomatoes, some oregano and some sauteed onions and a little garlic powder, and everyone liked it but I can't remember now how I kept the cheese from curdling from the acid in the tomatoes. Has anyone else made it this way and can give advice about adding the tomatoes?
 
Gloria 
Apr. 23, 2011 10:35 am
thank you kelly for the recipe!!!
 
Sandr 
May 10, 2011 6:10 pm
Where can I find the recipe???
 
PattyK 
Jun. 26, 2011 12:02 pm
For those of you who have a problem with the spelling of McCoy...I believe the 'Mac' in the spelling of MacCoy was a play on 'Mac' & Cheese. :)
 
mamawjamima 
Jul. 4, 2011 9:35 pm
WOW. lOTSA TALK ABOUT MAC N CHEESE! I LIKE TO USE BISCUIT GRAVY MIX AND EVAPORATED MILK AS THE SAUCE IN MY DISH. PREPARE THE GRAVY MIX AS DIRECTED,ADD THE EVAPORATED MILK, POUR OVER AL DENTE PASTA ELBOWS.STIR AND LET STAND FIFTEEN MINUTES.ADD SALT AND PEPPER AND ANY SEASONINGS,POUR INTO BAKING DISH AND ADD YOUR CHEESES. I STIR IT AGAIN,THEN TOP WITH PATS OF BUTTER AND BREADCRUMBS AND BAKE. THE GRAVY MIX PROVIDES A CREAMY TEXTURE YOU WILL LOVE. IT WONT SEEP INTO THE PASTA AND TURN IT MUSHY EITHER. HAVE FUN AND KEEP ON COOKIN.
 
brette 
Jul. 13, 2011 5:38 pm
I make a white sauce and add Velveeta to taste. It never curdles and the cheese flavor is good. It can be intensified by adding a little Monterey Jack or some other cheese. Evaporated milk will also help avoid curdling.
 
azonderela 
Jul. 24, 2011 9:30 pm
I agree with the use of evaporated milk. i have always cooked mac and cheese on the stove with a combination of whatever cheese is handy(as long as it's not one of the very strong smelling varieties),eggs, milk,butter, S n P ,paprika and a generous amount of parsley- the herb helps balance the richness. I am also fond of using a small amount of honey to temper dishes and it works well here. Mac and cheese is supposed to be a comfort food which is easy enough.Cooking pasta just a little before the al dente stage and finishing the cooking on the stove with milk-cheese mixture produces the best creamy,reheatable outcome,YES to cheese in the macaroni,not just on top of or around it.
 
Freckles55 
Oct. 26, 2011 12:19 pm
When I was growing up, we always made our macaroni and cheese by adding Velveeta to a medium white sauce. I know the Cheddar afficionados won't appreciate the idea, but the Velveeta really made things creamy and cheesy tasting.
 
Muriel 
Nov. 12, 2011 5:55 pm
I remember a co-worker who once made a baked mac & cheese casserole...brought it into work...and it was heavenly! She had used Ricotta, sharp Cheddar, fresh grated Parmesan, and Monteray Jack...and topped it all with bread crumbs that had been dotted with butter. It wasn't creamy but, rather, custardy so eggs were used, too. For me it was the best mac & cheese ever!! If you love the cheese that's in lasagna...and can't get enough of it...you'll want Ricotta cheese in your mac & cheese, too. (Being the cheese freak that I am, I like one pound of Ricotta per each one pound of cooked pasta). I've used this cheese in several baked mac & cheese recipes using evaporated milk, thin to medium white sauce, and even hot water with powdered non-dairy creamer (Found out too late that I had no milk!)...all which came out fine. (Thankfully, my husband never found out about the creamer one!) I've also added a bit of Alfredo Sauce to the finished baked casserole if it s
 
Doc 
Nov. 23, 2011 4:26 pm
Tried to download John Thorne's Macaroni & Cheese Recipe but was unable to.
 
Dec. 22, 2011 3:02 pm
tease without the recipe sucks
 
juvieb 
Dec. 29, 2011 12:30 pm
Good mac-n-chz need not be difficult. 1.75:1 (example - 14 oz cheese to 8 oz macaroni)ratio of cheese to macaroni. Add butter. salt and pepper to cooked macaroni and then mix with cheese - put in buttered casserole dish. Add evaporated milk about 2/3 of the way up dish. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Top with your preferred topping (ie crumbs, crackers, etc.)
 
Feb. 19, 2012 11:13 am
I truly enjoyed everyone's input on good old Macaroni and cheese but I must say,lighten up Willie,on the cholesterol wagon! You can enjoy,the rich old fashioned way of cooking and getting that comfort food feeling,as long as you don't eat it every day! Eat your fresh vegetables,fruits,lean meat,etc.,but by all means,eat rich good tasting foods also(in moderation). Most of the foods that are good for you, many times taste like cardboard.Isn't this why we are on this site,to begin with??We want the satisfying feeling of what we created and the compliments. Don't judge these cooks,by calorie counting,but the taste.There is enough Paula Deen haters,out there already.
 
sharon 
Feb. 22, 2012 3:43 pm
I enjoyed reading all the comments and recipes . I just made mac and cheese tonight using evap and skim milk and shredded cheddar and a small amount of Velveeta. making a sauce. Poured it over the mac and baked it with a buttered bread crumb topping. No matter what I do it always comes out grainy. My husband used to make it by layering cheese,( american or Velveta) mac and milk and then baking it topped with other cheese. I can't remember if it was grainy or not. I plan to try Thorne's recipe with eggs. My son likes Kraft mac and cheese and the Deluxe shells boxed mix. Not to fond of baked. We'll see what happens next.
 
sjn 
Apr. 4, 2012 6:08 am
no one said anything about using buttermilk. My mom made this: parboiled macaroni until al dente. Grate sharp cheddar cheese from Wisconsin. Layer the macaroni, cheddar, sprinkle flour between layers, and cover with buttermilk, and bake at 350 45 min.
 
Jean 
Apr. 6, 2012 8:03 am
I'm going to make this for part of our Easter dinner! Thanks for all the info!
 
Apr. 22, 2012 10:09 pm
Thanks to everyone for their Mac and Cheese input, I plan on using several recipes that was posted on here..I am always looking for a creamy mac and cheese w/lots of flavor to serve my family..happy cheezin everyone :)
 
shasty 
May 14, 2012 12:44 pm
I have always steered away from baked mac and cheese recipes as when I had them at pot lucks or other such events they were just a cheesy noodle casserole. I was glad to read about stirring if frequently will help with this. Also thank you to Kelly for posting the recipe. Can't wait to try it!
 
sherrin2 
Jul. 16, 2012 1:14 pm
If you google a macaroni and cheese dish from the 50s' it will probably be basic, and have carnation evaporated milk, and hard cheese in it, I don't know about everyone else , but I can't afford to buy 3 different cheeses.
 
"M" 
Sep. 3, 2012 12:53 pm
All concerned (ALCON) bottom line up front (BLUF): This is a great recipe. I have struggled for years with M&C that was to creamy followed by M&C that was so dry you could choke a horse. This receipe is great everytime all the time ("M" Sept 03, 2012 allrecipes.com). "The mind can not comprehend what the eyes are not willing to see" (some quote from someome else, from somewhere that I can not remember, during a time that I do not remember) Your conceited and cross (Scarlet Ohara, "Gone with the wind")
 
Grinnypicker 
Oct. 1, 2012 7:59 pm
Therer is NO right or wrong way to make Mac n Cheese. Except maybe to try to turn it into a health food, as some would do. It's a comfort food, & it's fattening - Get over it. There are some really great ideas on here that are probably very yummy, so this recipe posting was a good thing. My Mom's Mac n Cheese was layered. Preheat 400 degree F. oven. Place a layer of cooked elbows in bottom of buttered baking pan. Sprinkle with 3-4 Tablespoons of flour. Pour 3/4 cup milk evenly over elbows & flour. Top this with 1/4" thick slices of cheddar cheese. Mom always used "Colby", which isn't easy to find these days. I love cheese, & always use sharp cheddar. Top the cheese layer with another layer of elbows, sprinkle with same amount flour, then pour on same amount of milk. Sprinkle this layer evenly with about 1 teaspoon of salt. Lastly, top with another layer of sliced cheddar. Bake about 45 minutes, or til cheese on top is very lightly browned. Check oven every 3 to 5 minutes toward end of
 
Ilona 
Nov. 22, 2013 7:27 am
Several years ago, around this time of year I attended a Birthday Party, where many, very many foods were served. Among them a magnificent Mac & Cheese. In the next morning's mail at work I sorted thru magazines for the reception room & saw an ad for some food or other, don't remember, who cares...and it asked, "When was the last time someone asked about a second helping of Mac & Cheese? Don't remember what they wanted me to buy & serve from their ad, but I could remember & still do that spectacular dish at that party.
 
 
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