Mac ‘n Cheese, Martha Style

Don’t compare this to the so-called macaroni and cheese that comes in a blue box and involves a mysterious cheesy powder. It’s not in the same ballpark. Not even close.


It’s not orange, and it doesn’t come in a blue box. It’s just really good mac ‘n cheese.

Martha Stewart’s Perfect Macaroni and Cheese recipe was the jump-off point. I made a couple of changes, one intentional and one accidental. The intentional change: adding a third cheese (sharp orange cheddar). The accidental change: adding an extra cup of milk (I was trying to count cups of cheese and cups of milk, and I got all tangled). The extra milk made the cheese sauce slightly thinner, but it’s not soupy at all. The orange cheddar added a nice kick.


Grated Gruyere. Not orange mystery powder.

Martha nailed this one. It’s easily the best mac ‘n cheese I’ve had yet.

However…there are some friendly little edits that might make it even better. Miss Roommate suggested (and I concur) that this might be improved by substituting the Gruyere with a sweeter cheese. Also? Gruyere and sharp white cheddar are not cheap. I’m going to give this another try with some cheeses that don’t cost over $15/lb, and let y’all know how that works out. And just for kicks, I might try it with some orange cheeses.

Also, the way it’s written, this is a 5-saucepan recipe. Something tells me that mac ‘n cheese should not be so complicated as to require that many saucepans (plus a casserole dish and a skillet). I went with a slightly-less-hassle execution of this dish. I love Martha, but she’s a little bit too intense sometimes. Reusing pans is good; so is reading over the recipe beforehand and figuring out which pans can be reused. Prep work, like grating the cheese in advance and cooking the pasta before working on the sauces, will save much hassle.

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8 Responses to “Mac ‘n Cheese, Martha Style”

  1. maris Says:

    This really sounds like the perfect mac and cheese! Thanks for posting – I love gruyere!

  2. Jenny Says:

    It’s really an amazing recipe. I’ve never actually had non-blue box mac ‘n cheese before, and it’s kinda blowing my mind.

  3. ANG* Says:

    this looks all kinds of delicious! i will be trying this for myself :)

  4. Satria Says:

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  5. ToKissTheCook Says:

    Rooms kinda blew the whistle on you posting the Greek lovefest known as pastitisio. I’ll be watching…I have a large Spartan coming home a week from today who I think could take down a half recipe by his lonesome!

  6. Jenny Says:

    I know! I’m totally behind on posting. It’ll be up by the end of tonight :)

  7. Eddie Lakin Says:

    *Five* saucepans??? Leave it to the masters of overkill over at MSL.

    I do an amazing mac and cheese that’s very similar to this recipe. I always use Gruyere…that’s what gives the sauce that nice bite.

    One pot to cook the pasta, one pot to make the bechamel and then add the cheese to it. Drain the pasta, mix the sauce with the drained pasta in the pasta-cooking pot, then into the baking dish. Two pots, plus the baking dish.

    Why do people feel the need to over-complicate simple recipes? It just intimidates people.

  8. pw Says:

    i just made this for my fiance’s office christmas potluck! i couldn’t find sharp white cheddar or gruyere that wasn’t a huge splurge so i subbed in sharp yellow cheddar and used the grated pecorino romano option — cost about $3-4 for the tub…not too bad imo considering i didn’t need a lot of it for this recipe. tasted just as good too. i might amp up the seasonings just a wee bit when making again, just to give it more kick.

    oh and re: the pans — i used the same saucepan to melt the butter for the breadcrumbs and warm the milk. then another larger pot for the sauce. i probably could have just done that in the pot i made the pasta in but i did the pasta while i was cooking the sauce to save time.

    all in all, a good recipe and worth the effort!


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