Baked Macaroni and Cheese
I made baked macaroni and cheese last night. No recipe of course, but I’m pretty sure I remembered the essential parts of both the Cooks Illustrated recipe, and my Better Houskeeping mac and cheese recipe. Though, after it had cooked, I think it was a bit gritty, so I may need to actually reread the recipes to figure out where I went wrong.
Basically I made a light roux – equal parts of butter and flour, and cooked it for about 5-10 minutes – as a base for my mac and cheese, stirred in a cup or so of whole milk – slowly, and allowing everything to assimilate before adding more milk. Then I added about 2 Cups of Sharp Cheddar Cheese – again, slowly, and allowing everything to melt together before adding more. Meanwhile I was cooking up the macaroni – 7 min in boiling water.
I also purchased a loaf of sourdough bread. I sliced about 4 pieces into 3/4″ widths and then put them in the toaster to toast them. We like our Macaroni and Cheese with a lot of toasty bread :D. Then I basically diced the toast and put it on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Put the macaroni on top of that, and top with the Cheese sauce part of the Macaroni and cheese. I stirred the whole thing up a bit – it could have used a bit more sauce or a bit less macaroni, but it was pretty good. Put the oven at 350 degrees, and bake for about 20 min.
I also like to top mine with Tabasco sauce or another hot sauce like Siriachi sauce. I don’t put mustard powder in my Macaroni and Cheese because I can never taste it, so I never miss it.
I think that the Cook’s Illustrated version has you add an egg or two to the sauce AFTER you’ve taken it off the heat so that it gets creamier, but if I were you, I’d double check that. However, the eggs might have been why my Macaroni and Cheese was a bit grainy. I’ve thought about topping the Mac and Cheese with sliced tomato, but still haven’t tried that yet.