Keep Mac from over thicking while hot holding.

4
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Joined Dec 18, 2017
I have a recipe that is really simple and straightforward that I'm trying to roll out.

4# Pasta(cooked)
1# Velveeta
1# Colby
1# Monterray Jack
2 c Hvy cream
48oz Evap Milk(4/12oz cans)
1 c Sour cream
1 t K. salt
1 t Black pepper
2 t sugar

We take all ingridients and mix them well then place in a third pan. Cover it with film and foil to bake at 350 for 45 minutes. When it comes out you just stir it to fully incorporate it. It's delicious and simple. The problem is that while hot holding it over thickens. Its still delicious just isn't gooey.

I think using milk instead of heavy cream. Maybe replace a can if evaporated milk with pasta water.

Any help is greatly appreciated!
 
984
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Joined Jun 23, 2015
Welcome to Cheftalk. How are you holding, steam table, in oven, covered, uncovered?
 
4
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Joined Dec 18, 2017
cooking uncovered. so far we have held it covered and uncovered in the steam cabinet with no real varience.
 
1,841
543
Joined Aug 15, 2003
Why can't you just add water and stir to combine? All that is evaporating out is water...

You could try adding more liquid in the beginning as well.
 
4
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Joined Dec 18, 2017
Why can't you just add water and stir to combine? All that is evaporating out is water...

You could try adding more liquid in the beginning as well.
Trying to keep it from having maintenance on the line that could lead to a human error.

I'm trying a few more test batches today. I'll toss one in the steamer and see how well the water incorporates into the mac once it gets too thick.
 
1,841
543
Joined Aug 15, 2003
Are you covering? I assume so but you never know...one thing too is that the pasta might continue to absorb liquid as it sits in the steam well.
 
17
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Joined Aug 12, 2017
Are you covering? I assume so but you never know...one thing too is that the pasta might continue to absorb liquid as it sits in the steam well.

i suspect this, based on that ingredient list that sauce would be more likely to separate on a steam table than to reduce,
consider just heating a 1/6th pan of the sauce and hold it and then toss sauce with reheated preportioned pasta to order
 
3
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Joined Dec 19, 2017
In my experience hot holding a sauce that can break will always give you a headache. There really is no perfect hot holding for these sauces. The quality of your sauce will always be inconsistent and flavor will change with that. If you add water periodically and an order comes in right after you loosen it they get a watered down version. If an order comes in before you add the water they get a thick concentrated version. If the line plays with the temp and it breaks you are replacing product and eating the cost.

For a mac sauce I always make it a chilled sauce that is loose enough that it can be heated very quickly in a pan back at the pasta station. An extra 25 seconds to bring it to temp is nothing when it comes to quality and consistency. This is what I recommend.

We pre-portion our par cooked pasta, use a standardized volume scoop and bring everything to temp when an order is fired. Sauce takes less then 30 seconds to boil and par cooked noodles take just a quick second to bring up to heat in a cheese sauce.

It is a little more involved than scooping from a steam table but you should only be using a steam table for items that you blow through very quickly. If your sauce is sitting that long it probably doesn't belong there. If the idea is to stream line, well, the extra seconds you are saving could be doing more damage to the product quality than the extra time saved during a rush. Just something to think about!
 

pete

Moderator
Staff member
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Joined Oct 7, 2001
As you did mention, not only do are you possibly contending with the sauce reducing as it sits, it is also getting absorbed by the pasta. How long are you holding it hot? If holding hot not only is your pasta going to continue to absorb some of that liquid but it is also going to continue to cook, eventually leading to mushy, nasty pasta-one reason I rarely order Mac & Cheese out, unless I know that they are finishing it to order.
 
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