Any good Mac and Cheese recipes?

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Hello all,

I've been thinking the past few days I want to make a good mac and cheese.  I've seen a ton of recipes, all about the same, but I wanted something "unique" that would be great.


I find it interesting/odd some recipes call for "Mustard...."


I was thinking about creating a mac/cheese with some ground beef and make it a "Mexican Style" mac and cheese, but not too sure what I want.

One recipe called for onions, which sounded interesting, but I wonder what I could add to the ground beef to flavor that before adding to the mac.... Maybe I shouldn't mix them together?


I'm not too sure what foods would combine well with the mac/cheese, or certain ingredients in it.


I've been learning a lot lately that cooking has a lot to do with combining certain ingredients.  Certain ingredients will complement others, and create an overall better dish.

For example I saw something where a person needed to create a French dish, which calls for a very soft meat.  The time limit was low since the first batch was ruined, so the person used "Honey" on the meat, which apparently caused a reaction that broke down the proteins int he meat which made the meat more "tender" and soft.

I'm curious about things like this, and curious if anyone has advice for this dish?


Thanks all :)
 
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There are many threads about mac n cheese if you're willing to search them out, all the recipes of the world have been covered.

There is nothing odd about adding mustard to mac n cheese.  The acidic tartness compliments that gooey fatty dense cheese simultaneously bringing out its flavors and making it more palatable.  I wouldn't dream of making mac n cheese without it.

My mac n cheese starts off with rendering bacon.  Then I remove the bacon and sautee finely chopped onion in the bacon fat.  I add butter to it.  Then I add the flour and enough cream/milk to make it into a beautiful roux.  This is when i start adding mustard, thyme, a pinch of cayenne, salt, paprika, whatever flavorings I have in mind.  To the roux I add grated cheese (a mix of cheddar, colby, and jack cheese usually but whatever cheese is in the fridge will do).  Melt the cheese and then I add the pasta.  I personally love to eat stove top mac n cheese and will often serve it just like this.  But sometimes I put it in a casserole dish, top with breadcrumbs and parmesan and bake until golden on top.

I have made my own version of homemade hamburger helper by adding bolognese sauce to my mac n cheese.  The mac n cheese and your meat sauce should be prepared separately and then mixed together before baking or serving.  
 
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There are many threads about mac n cheese if you're willing to search them out, all the recipes of the world have been covered.

There is nothing odd about adding mustard to mac n cheese.  The acidic tartness compliments that gooey fatty dense cheese simultaneously bringing out its flavors and making it more palatable.  I wouldn't dream of making mac n cheese without it.

My mac n cheese starts off with rendering bacon.  Then I remove the bacon and sautee finely chopped onion in the bacon fat.  I add butter to it.  Then I add the flour and enough cream/milk to make it into a beautiful roux.  This is when i start adding mustard, thyme, a pinch of cayenne, salt, paprika, whatever flavorings I have in mind.  To the roux I add grated cheese (a mix of cheddar, colby, and jack cheese usually but whatever cheese is in the fridge will do).  Melt the cheese and then I add the pasta.  I personally love to eat stove top mac n cheese and will often serve it just like this.  But sometimes I put it in a casserole dish, top with breadcrumbs and parmesan and bake until golden on top.

I have made my own version of homemade hamburger helper by adding bolognese sauce to my mac n cheese.  The mac n cheese and your meat sauce should be prepared separately and then mixed together before baking or serving.  
Thanks, I forgot to mention that there are probably ones out there, and maybe should have searched first.  I will take a look though :).

I was asking my dad about it, and he said the same thing, that the mustard compliments cheese, and I noticed that I do enjoy cheese with mustard by self.  I love mustard on a lot of things, just thought this might be "odd" but I guess not!! :)  I like Yellow Mustard myself, not sure if it makes a difference in this case.

I was thinking of doing sauteed onions, but I figured they might overpower the mac.  I also wasn't sure abut flour, because when making other cheese sauces I noticed that the cheese was very thick already, and too much milk would dilute the flavor, even though it wasn't that thin...

I'm not really a fan of breadcrust on my mac either, so I was thinking stove top, but maybe bake it too.

I've never had hamburger helper, but that's what came to mind when I thought of the mac and ground beef :p, as I've see it in the store.

Thanks for the tips, I was thinking of a "Cajun" mac, by using Andouille sausage, some diced tomatoes, lasso and smoked ham, cheese - I have a mexican 4 cheese blend that I use, but I've seen recipies call for Chedder or Gruyère cheeses...

 

Thanks for the tips, lets hope this comes out well... :)


EDIT:

From looking at a lot of recipes, I see the use of red/green peppers, scallions, and olive oil....?  Thoughts on these?  I don't know if I want to add those personally, bu was thinking about the peppers possibly being nice... But Oil Olive?  Would that be good?
 
 
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Mustard is a classic seasoning. Think Welsch Rabbit.

For a real classic mix some cubed ham into the Mac & cheese. A taste sensation

Other popular add-ins are lobster and pulled pork

Onion would be good but I'm not too sure about ground beef, but if you like why not.
 
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Mac & cheese with applewood smoked ham topped with caramelized onions & bread crumbs.

Basic bechemel with milk, half & half, cheddar, parm & havarti.
 
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Growing up loving the horrible box Mac-n-Cheese and Velveeta and shells, I had trouble mimicking the texture with a Roux.  After a lot of experimentation, I found that using evaporated milk and a corn starch slurry gave the best results. Also, it did not coagulate as it cooled.  Very Velvety.  I made a Mex Mac with Bacon Fat, Sharp Cheddar, Pepper Jack, Colby, Caramelized Onion, Hot Sauce, Pickled Jalapeno, and Breadcrumbs

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I think brianshaw brianshaw m and Welsh rarebit, not rabbit.

Flour is imperative because the basis of the cheese sauce is bechamel. Without it your cheese will clump and separate.
 

cerise

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I love pasta.  I love cheese.  The possibilities are endless, particularly since pasta is a pretty "neutral" ingredient - taking on the flavor of the ingredients added to the "mix." There are a billion ways from Sunday to shake it up.

Example - The Ramen burger - use mac instead, or put it on a stick, or shape it into balls with crab or lobster. Roll it in breadcrumbs and deep fry it.  Let your imagination be your guide. Think outside of the "box."

Kenye came up with a croissant ice cream sandwich, etc., etc., think of the possibilities.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/09/kanye-west-ice-cream_n_7544938.html
 
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I think @BrianShaw m and Welsh rarebit, not rabbit.

Flour is imperative because the basis of the cheese sauce is bechamel. Without it your cheese will clump and separate.
Interesting then on the flour.  I thought it was just for thickening.    I did notice after adding the 4 Cheese Mexican cheese that it all starting clumping up and shizz.  I originally added a few slices each of chedder and pepper jack, with a little bit of Gruyere...

I ended up making a cajun seasoning I found using black/white pepper, Cayenne, thyme, oregano, basil, paparika, salt, etc, which was really good, but I think maybe a little too much salt (asked for 4-5 Tsp, I put a little over 4).  I might have just added too much seasoning ot my mac though.

Then I had andouille sausage (only johnsoneville had them, so I'm not sure on the quality).  Got some Hickory smoked ham and diced it up.

I started with butter and milk, and added cheese, I guess next tme I'll use flour if it sticks better and wont" Clump"as you say.

I think I heard flour can coagulate like corn starch, so is there something I should be wary about when mixing it up?  Just mix it a lot or...?
 
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There are basic bechamel recipes on the internet. It's not difficult but it is one of the major mother sauces and will elevate all your cooking. It's crucial for Mac n cheese.
 
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start with a bechamel....use good melting cheeses and yes! Mustard powder is amazing in mac n cheese! the possibilities are endless!
 
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There are basic bechamel recipes on the internet. It's not difficult but it is one of the major mother sauces and will elevate all your cooking. It's crucial for Mac n cheese.
Thanks :).  Any you recommend  It's so hard to know what's good or not with so many different recipes out there...  Last night I just looked around reading reviews and seeing what I thought would work best, but who knows unless you try them all out! :)

TBH the only actual recipe I used was the cajun spices one.  I took bits and pieces from different recipes to see how todo make the "bechamel," so that I could see if it worked...  But it seems, as you mentioned I need flour so it doesn't clump up and shizz....

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mario-batali/bechamel-sauce-recipe.html  I've seen a couple like this one, one subs in ground pepper instead.

This one seemed interesting, and explains what each ingredient adds (at least it does wit onions).

http://www.cookinglight.com/cooking-101/techniques/how-to-make-bechamel-sauce/simmer-milk-mixture

Thoughts? :)
 
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Use Batalis recipe. It's rather classic, although I might be tempted to use a bit less butter. But butter can never hurt, right? Béchamel is rather forgiving but the magic is 1 Tbsp flour per cup of milk. Don't dump all 2 tsp salt at once. Add 1 and add the rest gradually, mostly after the cheese since that will add salt too.
 
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There are basic bechamel recipes on the internet. It's not difficult but it is one of the major mother sauces and will elevate all your cooking. It's crucial for Mac n cheese.
Biscuits and gravy? The gravy is basically bechamel with the butter replaced, all or in part, by pork fat.

mjb.
 
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Use Batalis recipe. It's rather classic, although I might be tempted to use a bit less butter. But butter can never hurt, right? Béchamel is rather forgiving but the magic is 1 Tbsp flour per cup of milk. Don't dump all 2 tsp salt at once. Add 1 and add the rest gradually, mostly after the cheese since that will add salt too.
Thanks will check into it.
No, there is no magic, it is equal parts flour to butter.
These recipes seem to say otherwise, but from the video on Batali's site agrees with you, but he says he likes more butter since he claims that the extra butter makes it "less dry."

Also comes into question about the 1Tbsp flour per cup of milk, which seems to be the same on this recipe.

Maybe I'll just do 4, 4, and 4, and everyone will be happy.. LOL...


Did the other recipe not seem that good?  Onions, basil leaf, and white pepper?  I already have those in powdered/leaf form in my cajun mix so....  

Nutmeg on the other hand is new.


Thanks all for the help..
 
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I always use Giada's recipe, it does use slightly more flour than the standard bechamel recipe but I like that for certain uses.  For mac n cheese I keep it equal parts butter/flour and use slightly more milk or cream.

1 stick unslated butter (4oz)

1/2 cup + 2tbsp all purpose flour

1 quart whole milk at room temp

Forgot to mention, I always grate nutmeg into my bechamel for mac n cheese too.  It's just sooooo goood.
 

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