Thick, cheesy casserole question.

I just grated ALL the scraps & bits of cheeses in the icebox to make a home-made mac n' cheese. Tried to thin it out with 1/4 cup of half and half but still very gooey. It's now in the caserole dish with a buttered panko bacon mixture on top but concerned I'm going to bake it off into a big macaroni brick. I have soy milk, chicken stock, and evaporated milk in the fridge. Any suggestions or just cross my fingers and stick it in the oven?



ChefJune May 20, 2011
Since you started with a bechamel, I can't imagine it "brickifying" in the oven. Chicken stock is a good idea, also white wine or water would be okay.
MTMitchell May 20, 2011
I've had that happen before WITH a bechamel (properly made) -- my mom always taught me to do exactly what you did: use up all the bits of cheese in the fridge for mac-and-cheese. Sometimes it does come out gooey or thicker, but I've never had it completely "brickify" in the oven. I like the idea of adding a little chicken stock -- it wouldn't hurt, and it might add some additional steam or liquid that would loosen up the sauce as it cooks.
amysarah May 20, 2011
I always do a bechamel with the cheese - only tip I can think of (for future attempts) is to use a greater ratio of sauce to pasta than it looks like you need. The baking will dry it out a bit and If the pasta is slightly undercooked prior to combining, it will absorb a fair amount of the liquid as it finishes cooking in the oven. In other words, if it looks too saucy when you start, it will probably be the right consistency when you finish. (I also start with a bechamel that's a tad thinner than I might for other dishes.)
sexyLAMBCHOPx May 20, 2011
Gee thanks, Pierino,lol. A bechamel was done, but I guessed I screwed it up, IF that was the reason. It happens and certainly didnt want to toss it out so sought out Foodpickle. Chicken broth it is!
pierino May 20, 2011
Agree with Boulangere that it's too late to fix now. And as ChefJune noted you are supposed to prepare a bechamel first. My sister once called me up to ask why her sauce was lumpy; answer, because you didn't scald the milk first and you didn't whisk it into the roux slowly. There is hardly anything more simple than mac and cheese but it's amazingly easy to screw up if you don't do it right.
sexyLAMBCHOPx May 20, 2011
I was going the chicken stock route since its completely assembled to loosen it up a bit.
boulangere May 20, 2011
It's a little late to go back and undo something, but I love the idea of adding some stock. What the heck - it's pasta and cheese. What's not to love, whatever the result.
ChefJune May 20, 2011
Did you make a bechamel and stir the cheese in? That's the way I've always made macaroni and cheese. You loosen the bechamel before you mix it with the macaroni.
Recommended by Food52