I like Martha Stewart's recipe (cheddar, gruyere, pecorino). Covered in a Feature on this site:
Wow, so many variations, personal preference really. I like white cheddar, gruyere and good old American white cheese.
i second the Martha Stewart mac-and-cheese. I made it the night before Thanksgiving (we had people coming in at all different times) and everyone loved it. Having said that, my mom always made mac-and-cheese (in pretty much the same way as the recipe referenced above) when the cheese drawer was getting a little too full of odds-and-ends, and it was always really delicious.
I agree about trying different cheese combos - also, that using up random cheese scraps is often the mother of mac & cheese invention. In general though, I like a combo (any 3 or so) of cheddar, gruyere, fontina, jarlsberg, pecorino. If you're a blue cheese fan, gorgonzola works well, but balance it with a higher proportion of the other more mellow cheeses (e.g., fontina.)
For something non-traditional, I like the pepperjack/cheddar combo.
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
Damn, I love this question! Cheddar up front of course and because you are a southern gentleman you might want to toss in pimentos or even take the trouble to make pimento cheese. After that, pepper jack is a good suggestion along with fontina because it melts well. But anything with Martha Stewart's name on it sets my hair on fire. I also like to add some form of chili pepper such as chopped Hatch peppers which you can buy tinned up and ready to go. Have at it!
Thank you sir. I love cheddar and it was going to have to be in it no matter what lol
Martha Stewart brought many people who were not either comfortable or confident into the kitchen and she is to be commended for that. I am sure the food52 editors agree would agree. In addition to her culinary contributions, she is an adept gardener and I learned many tips from her. She makes a wonderful mac & cheese.
June is a trusted source on General Cooking.
My favorite combination (and that of several friends) is Gruyere (or Comte), Taleggio and Point Reyes Blue (other good blues can be subbed here, but if you use Gorgonzola, make sure it's NOT Dolce).
ChefJune, I love all of these cheeses (I'm really more of a cheese guy than a wine guy but I like pairings). These cheeses are wonderful each by their ownselves, but for a southern mac and cheese I'm not sure they work. I love cheeses like cabrales and valdeon but those would smother every other flavor. Havarti could be another thought as it does melt well. Taleggio is an interesting wrinkle.
In over six decades I have never had mac n cheese out of a box. But, sensing a southern gentleman's palate, I would make your "macaroni" (or penne or other such pasta), and make the sauce with good parmesan, a few dollops of an imported bleu cheese (gorgonzola is very nice, melts easy), some heavy cream (not much, just make it "saucy"), then for the southern gentleman's heat a bit of chili garlic sauce (the one with the rooster on the label - not much...it can be HOT. You can always add but very hard to take away). This will be a nice dish that will tingle the lips of southern ladies and gentlemen who both will want a julep to sip on instead of iced tea.
Thank you kind sir. I also greatly appreciate the drink addition. Lord knows there's nothing better than soul food with a good drink.
bigpan, you must not go to the other side without trying Kraft Mac & Cheese. The kind with the powdered cheese, not the more expensive version with the "liquid" cheese.
Pegeen, I tend to agree that knowing the taste of Kraft Mac 'n' Cheese is an important cultural reference point. Sadly, though, I fear that it is a taste that must be acquired during childhood for it to be enjoyed at all!
Try this one, it is to die for http://www.foodandwine...
A delicious twist on Mac & Cheese; Bundt goodness, because we eat with our eyes first, choose cheese of your choice but use cheddar for a crowning touch!
This twist is similar to a Tuscan style dish which sometimes goes under the name "timballo" which covers a multitude of sins. Essentially the cooked pasta is baked in the bundt pan and the sauce is added to the center. The name references its drumlike shape.
Linda, I meant to let you know that I made this, with tuna added, for my mother's 93rd birthday luncheon. She just adored it, as tuna noodle casserole was always one of her favorite dishes.
Respectfully this recipe is exactly what its name says and seriously the idea was created because of my Bundt obsession
Timballo di Maccheroni alla Napoletana
A pastry lined spring form or tube pan filled with a creamy mixture of pasta, meat, vegetables, and cheese. The pasta is usually hollowed out tubes of Bucatini. Two sauces, a Béchamel sauce and a meat sauce or Ragù. A generous helping of Parmigiano cheese and then encased in delicate shell of buttery, flaky, melt in your mouth puff pastry. Is what my grandmother and her Italian friends would make on special occasions, delicious! Hmmm, perhaps that memory buried in my mind is what drove my idea?
Sounds delicious, Bevi!
Speaking to the timballo point Lapadia, yes indeed it covers a multitude of styles and many regional variations. Sometimes lasagne can be made in this way. The linguistic equivalent in Italian, is "timpano" if you happen to have seen the film "Big Night".
I have made a lasagne with my freshly made pasta sheets spring form style. No I haven't seen that movie, I'm behind on my movies.
Lapadia, the film "Big Night" is one of the best food movies ever. Two brothers from Rome, "Primo" and "Secondo" played by Stanley Tucci and Tony Shaloub open a restaurant in New Jersey that wants to be authentically Italian at a time when all the Italian places were "red sauce" joints. The cast includes Isabella Rossalini, Minnie Driver and Ian Holm. Perhaps the best scene is the one in which they open the "timpano" which they've baked in a pasta lined wash tub.
Thanks, P, sounds like my kind of movie. Have no clue if my reply is going to land where it it supposed to!
lapadia, I am envious of your Italian heritage and that it led you to a beautiful riff on what it seems we have come to consider an American classic. Odd, too that a simple question became a forum on Martha Stewart and appropriateness of cheeses in what is clearly a hybrid. Chef June, I am salivating over your inclusion of both Taleggio and Point Reyes Blue (though especially the latter!). I agree with responders that Martha Stewart, love her or hate her (and really, who cares which), she, along with the Food Network, has brought many cooks to the kitchen and led them to pose interesting questions along the way.
This is my favorite mac and cheese recipe/cheese combination: http://www.lottieanddoof.... Mascarpone, sharp cheddar, and parmesan, plus red pepper flakes, parsley, panko, and bacon. Yes, please.
Cheddar is my all time favorite cheese. But after that I love guyere and especially asiago (love its' sweet flavor).
Cheddar is my all time favorite cheese. But after that I love guyere and especially asiago (love its' sweet flavor). did I say gruyere
Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
Is this non-summertime question ever gonna die?
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