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Aug 19, 2011 08:14 AM

best cheeses to make mac and cheese

from scratch. My friend makes a little roux, adds milk, then cheese to make her sauce, adds macaroni and voila. homemade mac and cheese. I have never done this. but want to try. which cheese(s) shoud i get. Also, if you know a better recipe for mac and cheese, I'll take that as well. THANKS!

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  1. I usually use a combination of cheeses that may include cheddar, Gruyere, comte, Roquefort, Parmigiano. Only a little of the blue or it overpowers. Your mom's recipe sounds like the basic, I like a good amount of black pepper in mine and like to put it under the broiler to get brown and crispy on top.

    1. I also like combination of muenster and swiss or colby jack

      1. i have used ...
        sharp cheddar
        monterey jack
        blue cheese
        white cheddar..

        in several combinations or one or 2 together in some form over the years..

        and i use buttered panko crumbs mixed with cheddar on top lately...

        u can use almost any "melty" cheese to whatever flavors u like...

        but if u are just attempting it for the first time i would suggest sharp cheddar and velveeta to start...
        then u can experiment with other flavors once u get comfortable with the basic process...

        and work your way up too something like Delilahs 7 cheese mac and cheese

        1. medium cheddar, gruyere & parmesan are the mac & cheese trifecta for me!
          (getting a little hungry reading this thread!)

          1. I think srsone has nailed it. Start with a basic bechamel and use sharp cheddar and Velveeta. Velveeta is essential for the smooth texture. I start with about two cups of bechamel, seasoned with a couple dashes of Worcestershire and Tabasco and a little dry mustard, maybe a little onion powder, and then add 12 oz (by weight) each of Velveeta and sharp cheddar.

            A baked Mac n Cheese will have much less flavor and creaminess than straight from the pot, but lots of people seem to like it. To me, the mac seems to absorb all the cheesiness and it just gets pasty.

            I've had Delilah's 7 cheese version and to me it was shockingly bland.

            8 Replies
            1. re: acgold7

              i only put mine under the broiler to brown the panko and melt the cheese on top..
              forgot to mention that...

              the only time i bake it is when i do my ham and cheese casserole..

              1. re: acgold7

                You have not had the right baked macaroni and cheese - The Alton Brown recipe is a great base to start with to branch out - the key IMHO is to use plenty of cheese -

                1. re: weinstein5

                  Some are indeed better than others, and I generally like AB's recipes, but all baked Macs basically turn into blocks of pasta, including this one, no matter how much cheese you put into them. (And this AB one, with 3 cups of milk but only 12 oz of cheese, total, is pretty light on the cheese, IMO. My basic formula above has roughly triple the amount of cheese-to-milk-ratio.) I'm all about the cheese. Cook's characterized the straight-from-the-pot version as Macaroni and Cheese *Sauce*, and I'm okay with that. Others obviously disagree, and that's cool too.

                  1. re: acgold7

                    I agree that baked mac and cheese tends to turn into a brick unless you make your sauce EXTREMELY soupy. I make a bechamel like everyone else, but instead of the 1T. flour to 1T. butter to 1c. milk ratio that I would use for a normal bechamel, I use about 1.5c milk, maybe more. For a pound of pasta, I generally go with 3T. flour, 3T. butter and around 5c. milk, plus a load of cheese. It always looks like WAY too much sauce and I think it's not going to turn out right, but it tightens right up with the pasta starch.

                2. re: acgold7

                  acgold, is that amount of cheese sauce for a pound of pasta?

                  1. re: lilmomma

                    It'll probably make quite a bit extra, which can be used on vegetables like Broccoli or Cauliflower, refrigerated for a long time or even frozen for later use.

                  2. re: acgold7

                    No. Velveeta and cheddar are kid's play.

                    1. re: Leah91

                      To each his own, & no reason to be snooty when it's personal preference.