Mac N Cheese Challenge

Hello lovelies,

For several weeks I have been working to find the P.E.R.F.E.C.T. mac n’ cheese recipe. It has to be an absolutely scrumptious combination of easy prep, fresh ingredients, homestyle gooeyness, and the perfect golden crust. As a lifetime Kraft master, it may shock you to know that I knew nothing about making homemade macaroni pre-challenge.
To begin the challenge, I needed to start with the basics. Find some mac recipes and try them out, see what works and what doesn’t. Here are the three I started with for no particular reason beyond the pictures…
1) Mac N Cheese To Please

2) Golden Macaroni and Cheese

3) Italian Macaroni and Cheese

The brief rundown? All of them were delicious, but all can definitely be improved upon.
1) Easy prep a huge plus. This was very much your mom’s mac, but lacked some oompf.

2) This recipe had the most beautiful golden crust, but the onion completely overpowered the cheddar.

3) A divergence from the usual cheddar mac n’ cheese, but parmesan and heavy whipping cream blend together to make a buttery goo that is oh-so-lovely.

Some things I learned about mac in general:
-start with a roux to get that creamy texture everyone loves
-don’t DON’T bake your mac over 325. Hotter temperatures separate the cheese from the oil and you will get clumps. Clumps and grease. blegh!
-things like butter, heavy cream, 5 cheeses, anything fatty sounding will make your mac off the hook!
-I am a mac purist. I love bacon, ham, chives, onion powder, but I think my recipe will stick to the basics.

I think I have enough to start testing out my own recipes and critiquing my own blunders. My taste-tester has been so patient and objective about the whole process. I’ll keep you posted…

-M

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