Macaroni and Cheese: Which style?

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bartl
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2009/09/30 13:56:27 (permalink)

Macaroni and Cheese: Which style?

OK, here's the thing. There are two basic (with many variations) ways of making macaroni and cheese. The first is to take cooked macaroni, and toss it or top it in/with a cheese sauce. In these parts (northeast), that is by far the most common type you will find. The other is to take cooked macaroni, cheese, and other ingredients, put them in some sort of baking container, and bake until the ingredients meld.

I've become something of a snob; I will only order the latter in a restaurant, and will not touch the former. Frankly, I have not found the former in any restaurant to be notably superior to the Kraft product (with the canned cheese; I will certainly admit to the inferiority of the dried cheese product, although even that can be improved greatly by, when cooked and the pot is still hot, stirring in a beaten egg).

Anybody here disagree? Anybody know a place that has particularly good macaroni with cheese sauce (which is how I refer to the first style when I'm trying to be fair)?

Bart
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102 Replies Related Threads

    divefl
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/09/30 14:02:34 (permalink)
    But I grew up on the blue box <sniffle>.  Yes, I want baked in restuarants, but I usually do not inquire first.  There is a really good sauce version in a deli by me, so it can be done well.
    #2
    6star
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/09/30 19:46:20 (permalink)
    I am sure you realize that there is a third way, which is really just the "average" of the other two.  Just take the cooked macaroni tossed (mixed) with the cheese sauce (from the first way) and pour it into a greased casserole.  Top it with additional cheese (shredded sharp cheddar preferred) and bake it just until the top browns a little.
    #3
    mar52
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/09/30 20:03:44 (permalink)
    I'd eat all three.

    I still love the blue box occasionally.
    #4
    joclyn
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/09/30 21:37:17 (permalink)
    mar52

    I'd eat all three.

    I still love the blue box occasionally.


    ditto!!
    #5
    badbyron722
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/09/30 22:15:11 (permalink)
    Like the old fashioned way. My Grandmother made the best I've ever tasted.If you had hers you would look on with disdain at the blue box.
    #6
    mar52
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/09/30 23:32:11 (permalink)
    Never!
    #7
    boyardee65
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/10/01 03:08:56 (permalink)
      I use Alton Brown's recipe that I found on FOODNETWORK.COM. It is a very good recipe for baked Mac and Cheese. We eat it  both styles in my house depending on the time we have to prepare the meal. (the kids gotta eat on time!)
      In a restaurant, I don't usually order it. It's kind of like ordering a grilled cheese sandwich that I can make better and cheaper at home.

    JMHO

    David O.
    #8
    chewingthefat
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/10/01 11:11:31 (permalink)
    I like mine.
    #9
    Jennifer_4
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/10/01 11:50:01 (permalink)
    I'm a blue box fan...but I doctor mine up with sour cream, garlic, and extra cheese.  I find most baked mac n cheese too dry for my tastes.
    #10
    stricken_detective
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/10/01 12:12:22 (permalink)
    Doesn't matter, they're all good. I even put bread crumbs on the blue box stuff to make it classier.
    #11
    SassyGritsAL
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/10/02 14:33:01 (permalink)
    When making mac & cheese when I was growing up my mom would always make two kinds at the same time - one for us kids w/Velveeta, milk and noodles cooked on top of the stove, and the other made for my Dad baked w/mild cheeder.

    My son who is now 33 still likes the box type and it seems the cheapest the better he likes it (uck!). I prefer the type made w/Velveeta and milk.
    #12
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/10/02 14:57:28 (permalink)
    I never even heard of macaroni and cheese till after I married. But, that's also when I discovered that I'd been eating macaroni and cheese since I was a little kid. I had no idea that Kraft Dinner was macaroni and cheese. My mother, also known as Lucretia Borgia, used to serve Kraft Dinner a couple of times a week. One box of it for all four of us.
    #13
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/10/02 15:23:38 (permalink)
    I like the "blue box" variety as well but it's the light blue box that Swanson frozen mac & cheese comes in.  When I was growing up we'd have it every so often (usually during the winter) and I always liked with the the top heavily browned.  It's not the same since the foil pans were replaced with paper ones, though!
     
    So I guess I prefer the baked variety although the stovetop version is OK, too.  We like the "Annie's" brand.
     
    Brad
    post edited by Brad_Olson - 2009/10/02 15:26:27
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    westsider12
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/10/02 15:42:18 (permalink)
    That is really funny.  I did not know city chicken was pork until I was well past 20.
     
    Michael Hoffman

    I never even heard of macaroni and cheese till after I married. But, that's also when I discovered that I'd been eating macaroni and cheese since I was a little kid. I had no idea that Kraft Dinner was macaroni and cheese. My mother, also known as Lucretia Borgia, used to serve Kraft Dinner a couple of times a week. One box of it for all four of us.


    #15
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/10/02 17:12:05 (permalink)
    westsider12

    That is really funny.  I did not know city chicken was pork until I was well past 20.
     
    Michael Hoffman

    I never even heard of macaroni and cheese till after I married. But, that's also when I discovered that I'd been eating macaroni and cheese since I was a little kid. I had no idea that Kraft Dinner was macaroni and cheese. My mother, also known as Lucretia Borgia, used to serve Kraft Dinner a couple of times a week. One box of it for all four of us.


    I'm well past 20 and I've never heard of city chicken.
    #16
    NYPIzzaNut
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/10/02 18:07:16 (permalink)
    I like it anyway as long as some real hot chili sauce is added in.
    #17
    claracamille
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/10/04 14:10:38 (permalink)
    My family love my mac & cheese, & use cheese sauce & shredded cheese(mild cheddare or colby).  The ages in my family go from 3 years old to 65(Poppo) so I don't use sharp cheddar or do anything really fancy.
     
    I make my cheese sauce with butter, whole milk or 1/2 & 1/2, & velveeta.  Then mix the 1lb cooked macaroni, cheese sauce, 3 cups of shredded cheese in a buttered 9x13 glass pan.  Bake at 350 until mixture bubbles, then top with 1 1/2 c shredded cheese & bake 5-10 minutes more until cheese is melted & just begins to brown.
     
    One of my most requested meals when we all get together.
     
     
     
    #18
    analei
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/10/05 15:55:27 (permalink)
    Crunch exterior with a lodes of melted cheddar, inside, meltingly soft noodles swimming in a rich cheesy sauce. Baked. Absolute favourite.

    Blue box variety: i like to jazz it up by adding extras such as chicken, tuna, or ground beef, and some veggies, and of course, MORE cheese

    Stovetop: Usually has a mexican theme to it: black olives, some variety of mexican cheeses, and jalpenos peppers.
    #19
    WarToad
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/10/06 08:48:13 (permalink)
    I love a baked mac & cheese.  So much so I've made it so many times I've become quite good at it.

    The Mac & cheese sauce is OK, but just not my thing and only been disappointed by it in restraunts.  Once it even came out to me from the kitchen nearly cold.  Made me realize that it was possibly just batch made ahead of time and nuked to order. (and this was an otherwise nice cafe too.)

    I do like the Blue Box mac & cheese. Something about it just takes you back to childhood.  Kind of a simple comfort food in it's own way.
    #20
    Big Kahuna Kooks
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/10/06 11:30:24 (permalink)
    I too follow Alton Brown's recipe...the buttered panko topping adds a nice crunch to the dish. bkk
    #21
    seatown76
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/10/06 12:37:50 (permalink)
    I'll take it either way just pass me the Siracha!
    #22
    carollwdls
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/10/06 13:43:03 (permalink)
    While I admit to being a Hot Pepper Freak of the very worst sort (the first thing I ever "cooked" was nachos, & the last thing I cooked (last night) was chicken & green beans stir-fried in Thai Hot Chile Paste with about 20 jalapenos AND fresh roasted red Hatch chiles) there are a few things that I won't sully with peppers. MacNCheese is one of them. I'm sure it's because it's a childhood nostalgia quirk. I'll eat any kind of MNC, but the kind I cook is stove-top with large macaroni, Velveeta, milk & butter. And it was in Square Meals that I learned how to make the Blue Box BETTER ~~ TWO sauce packets to ONE macaroni portion! I never order MNC in restaurants, but ALWAYS in cafeterias....
    CiaoMeowww!
    Oh, AND: Does anyone remember the Betty Crocker brand "Noodles Romanoff"? It was a 60's-70's box side dish & gone forever... *sob*...
    #23
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/10/06 14:41:17 (permalink)
    SHE,BlackQueen

    Oh, AND: Does anyone remember the Betty Crocker brand "Noodles Romanoff"? It was a 60's-70's box side dish & gone forever... *sob*...

    Don't say I never gave you anything.
     
    http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/Betty-Crockers-Noodles-Romanoff-Recipe-m394457.aspx
     

     

     
    #24
    BelleReve
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/10/11 11:35:22 (permalink)
    I grew up with it made with Velveeta, baked and creamy, always made with elbow macaroni.  There's so many variations, and I like to try it at potlucks, diners and like SHE mentions, cafeterias.

    There was a smilar discussion here about a year ago, and I have to thank the Roadfooder who posted Patti LaBelle's recipe which  is great, I like the idea of using a combination of different cheeses which I don't strictly follow the ones on the recipe, but do think the pepper jack really makes the dish. 
    #25
    carollwdls
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/10/11 14:55:12 (permalink)
    Thanks PH! OMG, I LOVE this "place"!
    CiaoMeOwwwww!!
    #26
    leethebard
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/10/11 18:12:18 (permalink)
    BelleReve

    I grew up with it made with Velveeta, baked and creamy, always made with elbow macaroni.  There's so many variations, and I like to try it at potlucks, diners and like SHE mentions, cafeterias.

    There was a smilar discussion here about a year ago, and I have to thank the Roadfooder who posted Patti LaBelle's recipe which  is great, I like the idea of using a combination of different cheeses which I don't strictly follow the ones on the recipe, but do think the pepper jack really makes the dish. 


    Put me down for the classic Velveeta recipe also...and yes, with elbows(or Medium shells)...I grew up in the 50's with that...sometimes mom sprinkled flavored bread crumbs on top before baking...and dad liked it with some stewed tomatoes stirred in...but yes, classic Velveeta all the way!!!
    #27
    analei
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/10/13 11:14:09 (permalink)
    It's amusing that Velveeta on here raises no eyebrows, but on mac and cheese recipes on Epicurious it causes an uproar.

    Just funny. I do not care one way or the other.


    I have enjoyed fine artisanal and rare cheeses, and I also enjoy Velveeta..to me, it's about enjoyment and taste.
    post edited by analei - 2009/10/13 11:16:10
    #28
    bartl
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/10/14 11:45:51 (permalink)
    SHE,BlackQueen
    Oh, AND: Does anyone remember the Betty Crocker brand "Noodles Romanoff"? It was a 60's-70's box side dish & gone forever... *sob*...


    I remember. One of the two Noodle-Roni's (now Pasta-Roni) I liked (the other being the Parmesano, which they still make).

    #29
    bartl
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    Re:Macaroni and Cheese: Which style? 2009/10/14 11:49:43 (permalink)
    analei It's amusing that Velveeta on here raises no eyebrows, but on mac and cheese recipes on Epicurious it causes an uproar.

    Perhaps because people here recognized that "processed" does not equal "bad". Or, perhaps because we are not so snobbish as to not bother to even read the ingredients label:

    MILK, WATER, MILKFAT, WHEY, WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, MILK PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, ALGINATE, SODIUM CITRATE, APOCAROTENAL (COLOR), ANNATTO (COLOR), ENZYMES, CHEESE CULTURE.

    I don't see anything terrible here.
    #30
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