Tuesday, March 04, 2014

The Mac and Cheese Cookbook

The Mac and Cheese Cookbook: 50 Simple Recipes From Homeroom, America's Favorite Mac and Cheese Restaurant
by Allison Arevalo and Erin Wade

Most of us grew up having macaroni and cheese with dinner.  And, for most of us, it probably came out of a blue box with the "cheese" a powder in a packet.  While that will always be a source of comfort food sometimes you want something that is a little more, well, grown up.

All the recipes start with a bechamel sauce that they call their mac sauce.  Sounds scary and fancy but is really just milk, butter, flour, and salt.  It is super easy, doesn't take long, and the book even has step-by-step photos.  The mac sauce recipe in the book makes 3 cups of sauce and can be made ahead and kept in the fridge.  The problem I had was that almost every recipe only uses 2 cups of sauce. So I adjusted the recipe to make only the 2 cups of sauce needed.
For 2 cups mac sauce:
2 cups milk
5 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
5 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon table salt. (May need to adjust to taste.)

Just follow the recipe instructions in the book.

I have made the Classic Mac in the pot on the stove and also the baked version. Both were very good.

Some of the other recipes that I have bookmarked to try are the Smoky Bacon Mac, Mexican Mac (which has my favorite chipotle chiles in adobo sauce and chorizo),  Crab Mac, and Macximus (a Greek version with feta and spinach).

In case all this cheesy, pasta, goodness is too much for you there are two more sections at the end of the book with recipes for side dishes and desserts.  One of the recipes in the side section is for Watermelon in Fresh Lime Syrup.  If you have never had this you should do yourself a favor and give it a try.  It is another easy recipe with just watermelon, lime, water, and sugar. It is light and oh so refreshing on a hot summer day.

Other books you might find interesting:

Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese by Stiavetti, Stephanie


The Comfort Food Cookbook: Macaroni and Cheese, Meat and Potatoes: 104 Recipes, from Simple to Sublime by Schwartz, Joan

Another great resource for recipes is Zinio, This is an online service provided by the library where you can download and read current issues of some of the most popular magazines.  A few of my favorites are: Every Day With Rachael Ray, the Food Network Magazine, and Taste of Home.
Click HERE for a link to the Virginia Beach Public Library Downloadables page.  On the downloadable page you will find a link to instructions on how to set up your free Zinio account.
Or you can click HERE for a direct link to the VBPL Zinio page with a listing of all the magazines that are available.

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