after reading the mac and cheese thread below, i'm dying to try making it, as it's something i've yet to attempt. but here's a question: how the heck to you clean the pots and pans that get coated with melted cheese? seriously--i made pasta the other night and stirred in a couple of different cheeses. the result was delicious, but the pan was such a pain to clean that i nearly vowed not to make it again!
For my stainless steel pans, I use Barkeeper's Friend for the cleanser, and a Dobie Pad for the scrubber. After an initial soaking in hot soapy water, empty the pan, and sprinkle on the "Friend". Wet the pad, and scrub away. Doesn't take much elbow grease at all.
What kind of pans are you using?
Only one previous poster mentioned the most important aspect of cleaning up a cheese coated pan, so this post is for emphasis: rinse and/or soak the pan in COLD water before going on to any other cleaning process, just as you would for any other protein-based coating, such as raw egg or milk or cream.
for sticky, but meltable, messes like that, i generally fill the vessel with hot water & let it sit while i do the rest of my cleanup. then i dump the water and use the spray attachment with the hot water on full to blast out the softened stuff. after that it takes just a light scrub to get the residuals out.
Not sure what pans you have, but most of mine are stainless steel.
If I see a big mess potential, once I remove the food, I put the pan back on the stove with water and boil it all off.
Then I use Barkeepers Friend.
But this is all for stainless steel.
I recently discovered that if I rinse my cheese-laden pots and utensils under cold water first, a good bit o the goo will clump up and rinse away. Then I just clean as usual with hot water and detergent. Starting in a sink of hot water just seems to melt the cheese all over again and it ends up clinging to any other dishes you're washing.
When I make mac and cheese I spray the baking dish with a Pam like product, just generic, and dust the inside with freshly grated parmesan cheese, give it a good coat before adding the mac and cheese mixture. When it bakes it will for a delicious crust on the macaroni and will lift out of the baking dish easily. I also boil my mac in one pot and make my cheese sauce in another and them combine in the cheese sauce before pouring it into the prepared baking dish and then get that into soapy water. Usually just the hot soapy water and a dish brush cleans the sauce pot in a a minute or two.
When I make a souffle, the souffle dish gets the same treatment with the spray and grated cheese. It gives the souffle someting to hang on to as it rises and gives it that tasty crust....Hmmmmm I've not made a cheese souffle in awhile, maybe that will be supper tonight.