HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Mac N' Cheese

Pei Nov 14, 2006 06:03 PM

What are the three cheeses typically used in macaroni and cheese? Cheddar and...?

Any simple baked macaroni recipes would be greatly appreciated. I can whip up a stovetop version with a cheesy roux sauce, but it's been quite awhile so I'd appreciate the help.

I found a lot of cheddar-only recipes, but I'd like to use at least three cheeses.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. e
    ESNY RE: Pei Nov 14, 2006 06:15 PM

    I like adding some monterey jack because it melts well and then some parmaggiano cheese for some tangy bite.

    1. l
      lilyanna RE: Pei Nov 14, 2006 06:20 PM

      Swiss or if you can afford it, Gruyere. Mmmm....I just made mac and cheese with chicken and swiss chard last week. There is a good recipe in the Gourmet cookbook, if you have it, but I don't use heavy cream - I use 1/2 and 1/2 instead - and I agree using three cheeses, or at least two, is better. I added the chicken and chard to their standard recipe. Also, use panko instead of bread crumbs for the top, or a mix of both.

      1. d
        debbiel RE: Pei Nov 14, 2006 06:22 PM

        I use cheddar and Gruyere. I've been thinking about adding in some type of blue cheese but have yet to try that.

        1. f
          FAB RE: Pei Nov 14, 2006 06:22 PM

          Gouda is a really good one too, but i second the Gruyere.

          1. coookie RE: Pei Nov 14, 2006 06:29 PM

            try taleggio and fontina.

            1 Reply
            1. re: coookie
              k
              Kagey RE: coookie Nov 15, 2006 02:55 PM

              I second taleggio. That stuff is amazing!

            2. Candy RE: Pei Nov 14, 2006 08:03 PM

              I grease the baking pan well and coat it with freshly grated parm or romano before pouring in the mac and cheese. It really adds to the fragrance of the finished dish.

              It may be a northeastern thing, I never saw it before moving up there in middle school (called Jr. High back then) but well drained chopped canned tomatoes are really good in mac and cheese. I used Muir Glen Fire Roasted last week and that was really tasty.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Candy
                b
                Briek RE: Candy Nov 16, 2006 03:36 AM

                I also added Muir Glen Fire Roasted tomatoes with smoked cheddar cheese to my mac.... it was really delicious.

              2. j
                jim2100 RE: Pei Nov 14, 2006 11:37 PM

                Hi
                I just made some more last night. I have used this simple recipe three times recently since I ran across it.

                Here is a link; Mac N' Cheese
                http://www.barillaus.com/Americanstyl...

                What are the three cheeses typically used in macaroni and cheese? Cheddar and...?
                Check this out also,
                http://www.gothamist.com/archives/200...

                "At cheese counters across New York City, complex blends of pungent, unaged, rind-washed and cave-ripened cheeses have been devised for makers of macaroni and cheese. Rob Kaufelt, who owns Murray's Cheese in Greenwich Village, counsels a 30-50-20 blend of Swiss Gruyère, young Irish cheddar and Parmigiano-Reggiano, or a blend of English cheddars. At Artisanal, cooks are steered toward the softness of Italian fontina and Welsh Caerphilly.

                These are all indisputably glorious cheeses. But they do not all belong in a casserole dish. An impromptu focus group of children living in my apartment building showed a strong preference for the cheddar family. Ultimately, I found, the dirty little secret of an honest macaroni and cheese is often American cheese."

                "American cheese is simply cheddar or colby that is ground and emulsified with water, said Bonnie Chlebecek, a test kitchen manager at Land O'Lakes in Arden Hills, Minn. "

                Recently I asked a customer where I work. What three cheeses do you use,and in what order of their quanity.

                In order of the usage;

                1Cheddar

                2 Colby

                3American

                Any simple baked macaroni recipes would be greatly appreciated. I can whip up a stovetop version with a cheesy roux sauce, but it's been quite awhile so I'd appreciate the help.

                I found a lot of cheddar-only recipes, but I'd like to use at least three cheeses.

                I will give you also the fanciest recipe I've found to date.

                1 Reply
                1. re: jim2100
                  s
                  scott123 RE: jim2100 Nov 15, 2006 09:15 PM

                  "Rob Kaufelt, who owns Murray's Cheese in Greenwich Village, counsels a 30-50-20 blend of Swiss Gruyère, young Irish cheddar and Parmigiano-Reggiano, or a blend of English cheddars."

                  For a few years now I've been adding Dubliner to my Mac & Cheese. Dubliner seems to vary a bit from week to week, but even a mediocre batch makes phenomenal Mac & Cheese.

                  "Ultimately, I found, the dirty little secret of an honest macaroni and cheese is often American cheese."

                  I have found that the starch in roux tends to mask the cheese flavors a little more than I like. Don't get me wrong, toasted bread notes from the roux are critical to mac & cheese, but I tend to prefer my mac & cheese a little bit cheesier tasting. American cheese goes a long way in this regard, by providing chemicals that help prevent curdling, and, in turn, result in the need for less roux/starch. Xanthan is another addition I sometimes use. Xanthan is an incredibly 'clean' tasting stabilizer and results in a very bold tasting sauce.

                2. Katie Nell RE: Pei Nov 15, 2006 01:05 PM

                  This is far and away the easiest baked macaroni and cheese I've ever run across- I'm sure you could use whatever cheeses you felt like. http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip... Really, I was shocked at how good this was considering how easy too!

                  1. 4
                    4chowpups RE: Pei Nov 15, 2006 03:33 PM

                    I made this for the first time last week and used sharp cheddar and monterey jack because I didn't think my pups would go for any of the cheeses I'd like (gruyere sounds fantastic!). I also used panko mixed with butter on the top and it was a great addition. For liquid I used evaporated milk and 1% milk and it was very creamy.

                    1. Covert Ops RE: Pei Nov 15, 2006 04:35 PM

                      Here are some "simple" recipes I requested recently. Most don't require a roux, though some CHs give great advice on perfecting that technique:

                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/32346...

                      1. j
                        Jimbosox04 RE: Pei Nov 15, 2006 04:52 PM

                        If you want a nice tasting topping to the mac and cheese I use a bag of the Cheddar Ruffles potato chips and crush them really fine, the last 10 minutes or so I sprinkle them over the top and pour a little melted butter over them, yum yum

                        1. n
                          niki rothman RE: Pei Nov 15, 2006 07:28 PM

                          Jack and gruyere, or jack and fontina.

                          1. h
                            Heatherb RE: Pei Nov 15, 2006 07:32 PM

                            Anybody ever try making mac n cheese with a smoked cheese (presumably just a little bit, as a little bit seems to go a long way). I'm curious about the results...

                            1. l
                              Laura D. RE: Pei Nov 15, 2006 09:10 PM

                              I unfortunately haven't made or researched a recipe using a smoked cheese, but I was visiting my sister in Boston last week, and had the house speciality at a local pub--Macaroni and Five cheeses. Nothing on the menu identified what cheeses were used, and I'm sure the usual suspects of cheddar (possibly multiple varieties) and gruyere were involved, but there was a definite smokey flavor that I believe might have come from a smoked gouda. It was perfect! And, just as an aside...I think eating this dish finally showed me what kind of macaroni and cheese "type" I like best. I always appreciated the crunchiness of baked macaroni and cheese, but still enjoyed the extra wetness/sauce. I would say what I had at the restaurant was a combination of these two genres--it seems like the cheesy sauce was made ahead of time and mixed with the pasta and any additional mix-ins the patron requested upon ordering, and then was put in a gratin dish and broiled so that the top was crispy and delightful while the inside was ooey-gooey delicious. Broiling for a short time rather than baking for an extended time yielded, to me anyway, perfection! I can't wait to come up with my own version of this mac and cheese as it'll be several months before I can head back up to Boston for it.

                              1. g
                                Grubbjunkie RE: Pei Nov 15, 2006 11:08 PM

                                A little smoked gouda is a nice addition but generally I agree with gruyere, cheddar, and parmesan.

                                Laura, part of the deal for me is how the pasta absorbs the cheese sauce during baking. It's like baked ziti v. ziti tossed in red sauce. I'm sure it's plenty tasty but the "mix and broil" technique will not get the desired result for me. You can get a very "wet" baked mac n' cheese by using more sauce and keeping it covered, then broiling at the end. This minimizes moisture loss and still gives you the crusty, crispy bits.

                                1. Melanie Wong RE: Pei Nov 16, 2006 01:40 AM

                                  Pei, one approach that I take to this is to go to the local cheese shop and pick up whatever small cuts of cheese remnants are plastic-wrapped by the counter. They're priced at less than a buck a piece and I get three kinds in enough quantity to make about one to two cups grated and add it to the base of medium sharp cheddar. Typically this will include fontina, gruyere, comte, English cheddar, aged gouda, asiago, pecorino, St. Jorges, etc., and I like that it's different every time I make it.

                                  And, for a wine pairing, a suprisingly good match the last time I made this was an old Hermitage blanc.

                                  1. QueenB RE: Pei Nov 16, 2006 03:24 AM

                                    I use a mix of sharp and mild cheddar and a small amount of swiss.

                                    Here's the recipe I use.

                                    http://www.recipezaar.com/135350

                                    Reminds me of the mac n' cheese my mom always made. I made fresh breadcrumbs using a couple slices of stale french bread and it was awesome. I also infused the bechamel with a bay leaf and a clove of garlic, pulling them out before adding the cheese.

                                    Show Hidden Posts