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Kicked Up Mac and Cheese

Reviewed: Jul. 23, 2012
The first time I made this my roux looked like a ball of dough, rather than a smooth buttery paste. That's when I noticed the roux proportions were off: roux should be 1 part flour to 1 part butter. 1/4 cup of flour = 4 tbsp flour, so you should be using 4 tbsp butter. The ingredients do list 4 tbsp butter, but then the directions encourage, "melt 2 tablespoons butter, whisk in flour" and reserve the remaining two tbsp butter for the topping later on. Wrong! So! My second go, I used 4 tbsp flour, 4 tbsp butter, on medium low to get the nice smooth paste. I substituted shredded Gruyere for the sharp cheddar (didn't have any on hand) and skipped the butter/breadcrumb/chili powder topping altogether. I also skipped the baking because I wanted a creamy, hot, stovetop version. Thought the sauce ended up a bit bland (I like hot) and runny, so I mixed in about 1 tbsp of the chili powder I ignored earlier and a little Worcestershire, plus a bit more Sriracha. Let it sit over medium heat without stirring to thicken it up for a few minutes, then I dumped the creamy sauce all over my pot of cooked elbows and stirred. OH GOD, now that was good. Minus a star for the roux.
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