Mac & Cheese Emergency - Eggs or No Eggs
I am cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year for my extended family. I love mac & cheese and make it often for my immediate family. The problem is that my extended family likes a baked casserole type mac & cheese but I usually mac a stovetop version because my husband and children prefer a loose mac & cheese. I would like to attempt to make a baked version but I don't know how! I usually start with a roux and add colby jack and cheddar cheeses. Simple and very cheesy. How do I turn it into a creamy baked version. Should I add eggs? Tempering in the eggs or will the roux/cheese mix bake well without drying out?
I've never had a mac & cheese made with eggs. I'd add extra milk to the mixt and a toasted breadcrumb topping to keep it from drying out too much.
Here is a classic baked Mac and Cheese Casserole:
Preheat oven to 400. Grease a rectangular 4-qt. casserole with 1 T. butter; set aside. Bring a lg. pot salted water to a boil; add 1 1/2 lbs. dried elbow macaroni and cook until a little past al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse. (I know, heresy, but this is from the mouth of the best cook I know, and I'm not changin' nothin.')
Add 51/2 cups lightly packed cups shredded sharp cheddar, 2 cups canned evap. milk, 2 sticks butter, sliced, 2 tb. sugar, and salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste; toss well and transfer to the prepared dish and spread out with a spatula. Top with 1 1/2 cups lightly packed shredded sharp cheddar, and bake 20 minutes until light golden brown on top. Let rest 10 minutes before serving. This is some seriously rich stuff and is REPUTED to serve six to eight, but it works for eight to ten for us.
There are tons of recipes on the board and internet for mac and cheese but I have a feeling that if you prefer a looser texture, you're not going to want to use a recipe that uses eggs. I make it basically as you've described - I start with a roux, then add enough milk to create a fairly thin white sauce, then add tons of cheese (cheddar and a little velveeta, plus whatever else I'm in the mood for). Mix in the cooked pasta, dump into a baking dish, top with buttered bread crumbs and bake. Eggs make it set up more and give more of a custardy texture, of which I am not a fan.
this is supposedly a clone of the Stouffer's Creamy Mac and Cheese and it doesn't require a roux.
Macaroni & Cheese
1 cup skim milk
5 teaspoons flour
2 cups shredded medium cheddar cheese or 1 cup velvetta and 1 cup shredded cheddar
2 teaspoons margarine
½ tsp salt
1 ¾ cups cooked elbow macaroni (about ¾ cup uncooked)
Whisk flour into skim milk in a small saucepan and place over medium/low heat
Add cheese margarine and salt and stir until the cheese begins to melt.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every couple minutes.
Boil the elbow macaroni according to package directions. Drain the pasta well and combine the pasta and cheese sauce and serve.