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Oct 31, 2006 08:50 PM

What is mac and cheese to you?

No recipes please, just brief descriptions. Does it include bechamel? Oven or stove? Crusted? what cheese? Elbow? yada yada yada

For me it was elbow mac and velveeta on the stove, nothing more, but NEVER from a box. Often with sloppy joe on the side, mixing at one's own discretion.

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  1. The baked kind...elbows mixed with grated cheese, eggs, sprinkled with breadcrumbs, cayenne, black pepper, and more cheese. Baked until bubbly.

    1. Penne pasta, panko, cheddar and Asiago cheeses. Oven. Love it, love it. I ate half a pan once by myself. That's why I try not to make it too much.

      1. Kraft Dinner. I still can't bring myself to order mac and cheese when I'm out.

        14 Replies
        1. re: jamsy

          jamsy, I knew you were Canadian (I'm a fellow Torontonian) as soon as I read "Kraft Dinner" in your post. Only us Canucks call it that. It's Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in the U.S.

          1. re: FlavoursGal

            In northern New York state we called it Kraft Dinner too. I would not touch the stuff. My mother had spoiled me with the real stuff before KD became available.

            The real stuff to me is made with rich sharp cheddar in a bechamel. Ideally the baking dish would have been buttered and coated with freshly grated parm. Mid-sied elbows and buttered freshly sauteed in butter bread crumbs on top which browned and became crunchy.

            1. re: FlavoursGal

              I know there were two Krafts--one with the powder and one with the can of "cheese sauce." The latter is my Platonic ideal of Mac & Cheese. I'm not sure if it was called something other than "Dinner" or "Macaroni and Cheese."

                1. re: FlavoursGal

                  another KD consumer here. even though i have since tried much better mac and cheese (e.g. with real cheese(s)), KD is still the ultimate comfort food, and i never think to make any other version at home.

                  1. re: FlavoursGal

                    I knew it too...cause that's what Barenaked Ladies say in their song $1,000,000.

                  2. re: jamsy

                    I second Kraft. I agree with you jamsy, when you're raised on Kraft, there is no other...

                    1. re: jamsy

                      It was KD for most of my life, but I've happily switched to Presidents choice White Cheddar. No scary ingredients, made with olive oil instead of butter I can even convince myself it is healhy. Ish.

                      1. re: julesrules

                        I have actually lately become a fan of the PC mini- chef's stuff, i haven't thought of trying olive oil instead of butter.

                      2. re: jamsy

                        Kraft Dinner for me also. Mac & Cheese is not a dish a Quebec mom would make, so the only exposure I had to it until recently was as Kraft Dinner or Stouffer's.

                        1. re: SnackHappy

                          I'm just so amazed at the KD fans - I had it ONCE at a friend's house (after growing up on homemade), and only had a few bites of it. The bright orange color is partly what turned me off of it.

                          1. re: SnackHappy

                            I know exactly what you mean. My mom never used boxed foods for anything else. I don't think it occurred to her that you could make mac 'n cheese from scratch.

                            1. re: piccola

                              It's a food you have to have as a kid. You can't start eating it as an adult.


                          2. re: jamsy

                            i don't know, have you ever had the "mac and cheese" at the senator on victoria? just think of it as pasta with a really cheesy sauce. but mostly i'm with you on the KD front.

                          3. Martha Stewart's recipe, in the square yellow 1000-page book, is pretty good.

                            It's elbow macaroni, bechamel, two kinds of cheese, cheddar and gruyere, and homemade challah croutons. You have to add extra macaroni, and it makes enough for several armies, but boy oh boy is it good.

                            1. First it was Kraft, until I got out of college. Then it was bechamel with cheddar made on the stove top (NOT baked! NO breadcrumbs!). Now, it's cottage cheese, milk, eggs and seasonings blended and then poored over uncooked macaroni and shredded cheddar and baked until bubby and pasta is tender. YUM!

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: jenhen2

                                Just out of curiosity, would you share that current recipe?

                                1. re: jenhen2

                                  Yeah, that actually sounds kind of good!

                                  1. re: jenhen2

                                    I'd like the recipe too, it sounds nice and easy.

                                    1. re: jenhen2

                                      I am :guessing: (correct me if I'm wrong, jenhen2) that she is talking about the NYT's "Creamy Macaroni and Cheese" recipe from a few years ago. It is out of this world -- I make it for an elderly man who I cook and housekeep for, and he asks for it more often than anything else I make.