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How to get creamy Mac & Cheese

Started 1350164835.483 in Kitchen & Food Talk | Last reply 1350294180.65 by DiamondGirly

Just got David's cookbook and could not wait to make the mac & cheese. But, it did not turn out creamy. It was actually quite "lumpy". Almost a "grainy look to it. (It tasted good, though!)

I have the same problem with the Smoked mac & cheese they show with the smoker.

I thought it was the recipe and couldn't wait to try David's - but this one was way less creamy than the smoked one.

We follow the recipes exactly, so I do not know what could be causing this. Anyone know what kinds of things one can do that would cause a mac & cheese NOT to be creamy?

THANKS!

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Jasrub1350165018.54715 PostsRegistered 5/2/2007Houston, TX

Wow, that is disappointing. That is the ONE recipe from his book I was really looking forward to making.

Snowpuppy1350166583.9476404 PostsRegistered 12/2/2005Up North, MI

My first thought is that it might be the type of cheese called for. Cheddar is always going to be more oily and a bit grainy. If milk products begin to curdle that could cause it as well. Good ole Velveeta produces a creamy result as it melts better.

I don't have the book so can't help much beyond that.

Lynneuk1350166711.4638221 PostsRegistered 11/3/2006

I use Wolfgang Pucks recipe and it is delicious and very creamy.

SandyMG1350166807.21210 PostsRegistered 11/30/2008

Hi Kam24, it may be the cheese you are using. I have had this problem in the past. If it calls for sharp cheddar, you may want to mix it with a colby-jack. Colby-jack melts better. This is what I have done and my smoked mac & cheese comes out creamy.

ajmrn301350166947.743138 PostsRegistered 10/31/2010

I just watched a Martha Stewart cooking school episode where she was making macaroni and cheese using a Bechamel sauce. Bechamel is a base sauce for many dishes and when you add cheese, it becomes a great ingredient for creamy macaroni and cheese.

Here's the recipe...

http://www.marthastewart.com/946350/macaroni-and-cheese

Here's part of the video. It doesn't show the entire process when was featured on the actual show....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RxZKrhRQf8

KatCat11350167812.13717049 PostsRegistered 7/21/2011

There is a recipe that calls for Half & Half which I would think makes it creamy. Just Google Mac & CHesse and alot of receipes appear.

kam241350168331.2037 PostsRegistered 12/29/2008

But, I am using David's recipe and it looks creamy every time he shows it. David's calls for Sharp Cheddar, Mozz, Parm, Mont Jack and Velveeta.

The one that is from the Dadgum smoker cookbook (John McLemore's) seems to use a roux base and I can't get that one creamy either.

I am thinking it is ME, not the recipe and am trying to figure out what I am doing wrong!

Has anyone made the one from David's cookbook yet? If so, was it creamy?

THANKS! Smile

Lynneuk1350172579.4478221 PostsRegistered 11/3/2006

I do remember on some cooking show that I saw that they said to grate your own cheese and not use the bags of grated cheese. Apparently the grated cheese has some sort of coating on it. Not sure if that might be a factor.

Skylands1350172900.746222 PostsRegistered 5/30/2010
On 10/13/2012 ajmrn30 said:

I just watched a Martha Stewart cooking school episode where she was making macaroni and cheese using a Bechamel sauce. Bechamel is a base sauce for many dishes and when you add cheese, it becomes a great ingredient for creamy macaroni and cheese.

Here's the recipe...

http://www.marthastewart.com/946350/macaroni-and-cheese

Here's part of the video. It doesn't show the entire process when was featured on the actual show....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RxZKrhRQf8

Martha always has excellent advise! Bechamel sauce is the base for great mac & cheese. I also fold in creme fraiche to the Bechamel sauce with a variety of cheeses. Yummy, creamy goodness.

betteb1350173075.00316334 PostsRegistered 1/1/2008The Land of Oz
On 10/13/2012 Lynneuk said:

I use Wolfgang Pucks recipe and it is delicious and very creamy.

Another vote for Puck's Mac&Cheese{#emotions_dlg.thumbup} It is the best ever.

I have made it in his rice cooker and on the stove top in a 3qt pan.

"God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in his shoes. 'Cause then you really might know what it's like to sing the blues" Everlast

betteb1350173405.4716334 PostsRegistered 1/1/2008The Land of Oz

Here is the recipe for cooking in the rice cooker. It's easy to adapt to the stove top

Macaroni & Cheese
Yield: 2-3 Servings
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups chicken broth or water and a good quality chicken bullion cube
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
Directions:
  1. Combine noodles, broth and cream in rice cooker. Press COOK and stir occasionally.
  2. When machine switches to KEEP WARM add the remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly till all cheese is melted. Press COOK again.
  3. It will switch to KEEP WARM after just a few minutes but this is the point where the cheese on the bottom turns that delicious brown.
  4. Serve.
For the stove top just cook it until the pasta is done. Do not drain it, just add the cheeses and stir until they melt.
If you want a crust on it, dump it into a baking dish and put it in the oven for a bit.
Last edited on 10/13/2012

Last edited on 10/13/2012

"God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in his shoes. 'Cause then you really might know what it's like to sing the blues" Everlast

jackthebear1350212130.9335760 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

Sometimes the cheese sauce just doesnt work

I use the receipie from 365 ways to cook pasta.

nmurray1350213375.30770 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

Does his recipe call for eggs? I find egg based mac and cheese can curdle and get grainy(eggy??) I usually do a bechamel based Mac and Cheese(Martha Stewart's is very good) and if you add some Velveeta it helps to keep it creamy(ingredients in processed cheese contribute to the smooth consistency when melted, unlike natual cheese which can get grainy) I usually do mostly natual cheese, sharp cheddar, jack, swiss and moz with a little processed cheese if I have any. I agree when they show his mac and cheese on the show it looks very creamy. HTH

boby1350217288.143092 PostsRegistered 2/10/2006Town of Ulster-suburb of Kingston, NY

I'm with Lynneuk on this one. Don't use bagged cheese. It just doesn't melt the same.

happy hous­ewife1350226417.53331518 PostsRegistered 1/4/2007

I believe the absolute world's best mac & cheese is the one on the box of Muellers elbow macaroni.Always creamy and delicious.Add a little nutmeg. And often I use 3 different cheeses - including pepper jack to get that tiny bit of bite.

When faced with senseless drama, spiteful criticism or misguided opinions walking away is the best way to defend yourself.To respond with anger is an endorsement of their attitude. -Dodinsky

rudy1350227418.542253 PostsRegistered 1/8/2005

Using Carnation Evaporated Milk, rather than regular milk, gives a much creamier taste.

nomless1350227464.134487 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

The only way I've succeeded in getting a creamy mac n cheese is to make it on the stove top, no baking. Every recipe I've tried gets dry and grainy when baked. I've tried about a gazillion recipes, including Martha Stewart, Ina Garten, a bunch of Food network chef recipes, a bunch from cookbooks, including pasta cookbooks. I, too, have read that block cheese should be used and shredded at home. The coating that's used on pre-shredded cheese to keep it from sticking together interferes with melting. But even when I shred the cheese myself, I don't get a good result. I've been searching for years for a way to get a creamy baked mac n cheese. What reportedly works for others hasn't worked for me, so I look forward to finding even more suggestions on this thread.

chickenbutt1350228403.82323965 PostsRegistered 1/16/2006chickentown

This response is based on the way I do it, particularly because I don't make huge vats of macaroni and cheese, so it might help somebody who just makes it in small quantities -

First of all, I only make macaroni and cheese in small batches (like for one or two servings at a time). What I do is, beside the sharp cheddar that I like, I also put in some Kraft slices for meltability. I don't like the ones called 'American cheese' and use the ones called Sharp Cheddar, 2% if I can get it, but either is good. I use one slice if I'm making one serving and 2 for two servings. Plus the appropriate amount of sharp cheddar (usually 2-3 slices off an 8oz block, cut into small little pieces).

After cooking my pasta, I pour it into my little colander and leave it there for a moment. But as the pasta drains I catch a little bit of that pasta water in the pan to use for moisture. I do this mainly because I seldom have milk on hand and the pasta water is just as good.

Meanwhile, I have turned down the heat on the burner to btwn low and medium. I put the hot pan back on the burner and put in a pat of butter, the slice/s of melty 'cheese product', then the cubed sharp cheddar actual cheese, then my seasonings. I let that gently melt together, then pour the pasta back into the pan and blend everything.

It's creamy every time and that is because of the combo of the little bit of butter, the pasta water (or milk if you prefer, but just a splash or two for this small of an amt - you don't need a roux and a bechamel for small amounts like this), and the Kraft slices that go in with the regular cheese.

You can use whatever kind of cheese, or cheeses, but additionally using the melty type cheese product is what binds it all nicely.

Bippity boppity BOOYAH!

dbell11350247198.29391 PostsRegistered 8/7/2010
On 10/14/2012 rudy said:

Using Carnation Evaporated Milk, rather than regular milk, gives a much creamier taste.

I do too. I use a can of the evaporated milk and 1 cup of 2% milk. My recipe is also adapted from the back of the Muller's box. I use 1 block of Cracker Barrell NY Cheddar, and about 6 oz. of monterey jack cheese. Cube it up and add to the milk mix while it's still hot and stir until melted. One trick for amazingly creamy mac & cheese is to use about a cup of alfredo sauce. Your arteries will harden, but your taste buds will thank you. {#emotions_dlg.laugh}

PinkyPetun­ia1350254470.484541 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004NJ

I'm not familair with the recipe that didn't turn out well, but I have also found that baking mac n cheese doesn't turn out very well. I usually serve it up out of the saucepan and skip the baking part.

I make my own not following a strict recipe. I start with a white sauce (1 tablespoon butter and flour to 1 cup milk--multiply as needed) and add cheese till I'm satisfied with the result. I use whatever is in my fridge. It's a good way to use up sliced deli cheese that is getting old. Sometimes I buy cheese ends at the store deli very inexpensively; perfect for use in mac n cheese.

shell871350262397.5110 PostsRegistered 9/18/2012Missouri

kam24...I have David's cookbook and made his mac and cheese tonight. I followed the directions exactly with the exact ingredients and instructions. Mine turned out like yours...it wasn't creamy at all....kind of grainy. It looked nothing like the picture that is shown in the cookbook and what I have seen in his show. It did not have the deeper golden color, and was more of a light/white yellow. It really did have a wonderful taste to it, but I wouldn't describe it as an ultimate mac and cheese. My family felt the same way....they liked it but it wasn't what we were hoping for. I made sure I tempered the egg/half and half mixture, so the eggs didn't curdle. Everything looked good/smooth going into the oven, but it just didn't have a nice texture to it when it was served. I doubt if I will be making it again. Good to see all the suggestions here on how to make a creamy mac and cheese.

Lynneuk1350262841.038221 PostsRegistered 11/3/2006

Wolfgang Puck's recipe....you can't go wrong, I promise.

betteb1350262928.59316334 PostsRegistered 1/1/2008The Land of Oz
On 10/14/2012 shell87 said:

kam24...I have David's cookbook and made his mac and cheese tonight. I followed the directions exactly with the exact ingredients and instructions. Mine turned out like yours...it wasn't creamy at all....kind of grainy. It looked nothing like the picture that is shown in the cookbook and what I have seen in his show. It did not have the deeper golden color, and was more of a light/white yellow. It really did have a wonderful taste to it, but I wouldn't describe it as an ultimate mac and cheese. My family felt the same way....they liked it but it wasn't what we were hoping for. I made sure I tempered the egg/half and half mixture, so the eggs didn't curdle. Everything looked good/smooth going into the oven, but it just didn't have a nice texture to it when it was served. I doubt if I will be making it again. Good to see all the suggestions here on how to make a creamy mac and cheese.

Try the recipe I posted in post #11. guaranteed, creamy, yummy mac&cheese

"God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in his shoes. 'Cause then you really might know what it's like to sing the blues" Everlast

Rocker1350262945.121748 PostsRegistered 5/3/2007Nashville, TN

get on David's facebook and ask him.

Skuggles1350263805.0771811 PostsRegistered 4/25/2010

I use fontina with cheddar and/or jack, and add 6 slices of 2% American cheese to a 4 cup other cheeses ratio, in a bechamel. Always creamy baked for 30 minutes. I use skim milk.

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