Thistle (thistle_chaser) wrote,

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Adventures in cooking: Mac & Cheese (RL)

Because Alton Brown is a wise and wonderful man, I went to him for a recipe:

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
6 ounces evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
10 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente and drain. Return to the pot and melt in the butter. Toss to coat.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir into the pasta and add the cheese. Over low heat continue to stir for 3 minutes or until creamy.

I didn't buy eggs because I didn't want icky uncooked eggs in my mac&cheese. (Yeah, yeah, maybe the heat from the pasta might have cooked them, but maybe not!) I don't like onions or pepper (or I assume hot sauce) so I didn't add those things. Oh, and I had totally missed that it was evaporated milk, so I bought normal (2%) while shopping.

So I started the pasta boiling and came to the first problem: Six ounces of milk? Buh? How much is that? Why not give it to us in cups or tablespoons or something? I hit Google and found that it would be about a quarter of a quart, so I eyeballed it. Stupid ounces.

Same problem with the cheese, so I sort of estimated it.

Pasta finished, I ate a piece to check it for done-ness, and went on with things. Added butter, milk, cheese. Very very oddly, nothing turned orange! Mac & cheese is orange and the cheese itself was bright orange, so I was sort of expecting some normal looking results. It looked mostly pasta-colored, so I figured I'd add more cheese (since the cheese was orange) to make it orange.

When it was done, I tried a bite to see how it was:

1) Though I had tested a piece before draining it, I must have gotten an odd piece. Most of the pasta was less cooked than I like.
2) You'd think "mac and cheese" tasting like pasta and cheese would be correct, but oddly it's not. I guess mac & cheese usually tastes like other stuff too. Plus mine was too strongly cheese-y flavored, probably from adding the extra cheese in at the end.

Unfortunately it really wasn't all that good at all. I ate part of a tiny bowl of it, and packed the rest into the fridge for tomorrow. I highly doubt that making cheese toast from it will improve it any, but might as well try.

Here's cheese toast, so I don't have to go looking it up tomorrow. Hmm, I don't have cayenne and I never bought eggs, so who knows how this will come out! I guess I'll use the 2% milk for dipping in place of eggs. Plus I'd never ever heat oil for frying (I'd burn down my apartment or something!) so I'll put butter in a frying pan and see how that works.

Leftover baked macaroni and cheese, refrigerated for at least overnight
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 egg beaten with 2 ounces water
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Oil for deep frying, preheated to 375 degrees

Cut refrigerated macaroni and cheese into slices or bite size pieces.

Season the flour with salt, pepper and cayenne. Dredge each piece through the flour and gently tap off excess. Dip in the egg wash and then coat with the bread crumbs. Allow them to rest for 5 minutes so the crust can set. Very carefully drop into the oil and fry until golden brown. Remove to a baking sheet fitted with a rack and rest for 2 minutes before serving.

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