How To Make Roux
Roux takes just a few minutes to make. Whether you are making just enough for a single dish, or a batch to divide and freeze for later, the proportions of ingredients are the same: 1 part oil or fat and 1 part all-purpose flour, by weight. If you have a kitchen scale, this is easy to measure. If you do not have a kitchen scale, use measuring cups or spoons to measure 1 part oil or fat and 1-3/4 parts all-purpose flour.
We’ll explain how to make a small batch.
Can You Bake Leftover Mac And Cheese
Yes, you can reheat leftovers in the oven or in the microwave. Cover the dish loosely with foil and reheat in a 325 degree F oven just until warmed through. You can remove the foil cover during the final few minutes to allow the top to brown or the edges to get crispy.
To reheat individual servings, just cover loosely and microwave for about 30 seconds .
Soul Food Southern Mac And Cheese
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Who doesnt love a good serving of soul food Southern mac and cheese ?
I think we might all take it for granted. The fact that our Southern grandmas and moms have been producing great pots of soul food mac and cheese for years. From family gatherings, holidays, and good ole soul food Sundays.
It just mightve gotten lost how impactful this recipe is to the Black community.
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Best Cheese For Baked Mac And Cheese
Dont be scared when using cheese for this recipe. I used three types of cheeses to grace every noodle of this dish. For the best flavor, I highly recommend adding a sharp cheddar to your baked mac and cheese. Just a warning though, dont use the pre-shredded bagged cheese as it has preservatives that make it drier compared to fresh-grated cheese.
Sharp cheddar cheese, mozzarella, jack cheese, are my top fave. Or you can also use pepper jack cheese, gouda, fontina, and Gruyere.
My Favorite Cheeses For Macaroni And Cheese
Depending on your mood, the cheese you use in macaroni and cheese can vary. Cheddar, fontina, gruyere, parmesan, and pecorino are all excellent options, but the combination of cheeses I go back to over and over again is a hearty amount of extra sharp white cheddar and a smaller, but potent amount of pecorino-romano cheese. The cheddar turns creamy and smooth and the pecorino adds a pop of salty cheese flavor to the sauce.
Okay, now this is where I get on my soapbox for a second. No matter which cheese you use for this, if you can, grate the cheese yourself. A previously shredded bagged cheese just doesnt melt the same way as hand grated cheese. I wish that wasnt true, but for now, to make the best mac and cheese, its best to shred the cheese yourself.
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What Is The Difference Between Evaporated Milk And Regular Milk
While this recipe calls for whole milk , some soul food baked mac and cheese replace whole milk with evaporated milk or sweetened condensed milk.
Evaporated milk is a type of milk but has a much higher protein concentration than regular milk.
Its the process of removing about half of the water content from milk by slow heating. This process also concentrates the milks nutrients, so evaporated milk has about three times the amount of protein as its liquid counterpart.
Is Baked Mac And Cheese Better Than Stovetop
Although stovetop mac and cheese cooks faster, baked mac and cheese has an unrivaled and addictive cheesy and crispy topping.
Proving that faster isnt always better!
Baked macaroni and cheese is a Southern family favorite because its hearty, easy to make, and kids love it! Its delicious as soon as it comes out of the oven.
This recipe for oven-baked mac and cheese will have you coming back for seconds and thirds!
Its the perfect recipe to try at home when youre feeling bored with your usual pasta dinner routine or youre ready for a soul food take on an old classic!
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What To Drink With Mac And Cheese
Mac and cheese can happily pair with lots of different wines. I love a Lambrusco. Lambrusco is a fun choice for baked cheesy noodles. The cheese seems to soften the wines tannins enough to keep the meal feeling less heavy. Also, Grenache-based wines are great choices with cheesy dishes.
And if beer is more your style, IPAs with sharp cheddar based macs are fabulous. A pale ale or a crisp pilsner would also be solid choices to contrast the flavor of the cheese.
How Long To Bake Mac And Cheese
There is only one rule that you need to remember when baking mac and cheese: dont bake it too long otherwise youll bake away the sauce leaving you with a dry mixture.
Baking it at around 20 minutes at 375 degrees F guarantees you that same stretchy cheesy baked mac and cheese with all the heart-melting sauce. Or you can also bake it at 30 minutes at 350 F
Although weve tried a couple of Mac and Cheese recipes, nothing compares to this one which has a smooth silky sauce that permeates every inch of elbow macaroni there is.
Youd fall head over heels with the brimming Southern flavors of what this baked mac and cheese has to offer. Its got a note of heat and smokiness. Youd need a bigger a spoon, for sure!
This would be delightful at any time. Oh, especially during these cold winter months. So dont wait for special occasions to whip up a pan of this.
Heck, you could even make this on the daily. You can also explore different southern comfort food ideas to prepare every day! Go ahead, take a bite, nobodys looking.
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Find Tons Of Other Dreamy Cheesy Meals In Ree’s Bestselling Cookbooks
And stir together until its all melted. Go ahead and turn off the heat.
Now its time for seasoning! Add about 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt If youre sensitive to salt, start really low and work your way upand remember that the cheese imparts quite a bit of salt to the mix.
BUTand this is importantbe careful not to UNDERSALT the mac & cheese. It really needs ample salt to put the flavor over the top.
*I also use paprika, cayenne pepper, even ground thyme every now and then. Play with different ground spices and see what you like best.
And finally, add plenty of black pepper, of the Black Dust variety. Honestly, I love freshly ground pepperbut not in homemade Mac & Cheese. For me, it has to be the powdery stuff.
Now THATs what Im talkin about.
And guess what? You can just steam some fresh broccoli and spoon some of this over the top. Kids from all over the land will show up at your doorstep.
Did you know a single serving of broccoli is positively loaded with Vitamin C?
Now just dump in the drained, not-fully-cooked macaroni!
And stir the mixture together.
I use a little less than the full amount of cooked macaroni, because I love it extra creamy and coated. Just add it according to how you like it.
Now, you can either dish it up as it is right now, which makes for an ultra-creamy love fest
OR you can pour the macaroni into a buttered baking dish. This is a 2-quart dish, but a 9 x 13 pan would work just fine.
Kinda like this.
In The Kitchen With Kellye: Black Garlic Mac And Cheese
Black garlic seems so mysterious. Unless you frequent the high end restaurants in some of the bigger cities, you may not have come across it yet. Thats where its apparently all the rage with chefs in the know
Well, those of us who read are in the know too and thats how I first heard about it.
Basically its white garlic that has undergone a type of heated fermentation process that most noticeably changes its color from white to black, but also does some amazing things to its flavor. Ive seen it described as the perfect mix of molasses-like richness and tangy garlic undertones.
But whats really cool is what this process does to garlics already potent health properties .
Black garlic may seem fancy-schmancy but its easy to incorporate into one of our all-time favorite recipes: mac and cheese. Give this black garlic mac and cheese a try and impress all your family and friends. While I was researching black garlic I came across this recipe for black garlic mac and cheese at blackgarlic.net. If you want to try some fancier recipes with black garlic, check out their site. But for me, this black mac hits the spot.
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Can You Make Baked Mac And Cheese Ahead Of Time
Are you wondering how to make mac and cheese ahead of time? And why would anyone want to do that anyway?
Well, the answer is yes you can for sheer convenience!
Making macaroni and cheese ahead of time can be a huge lifesaver for those with busy schedules. You could make this dish the day before, and the next day add toppings and bake.
- Put all ingredients in a baking dish and cool completely . Place in an airtight container or tightly seal with plastic and refrigerate.
- Let the dish sit on the countertop for 30 minutes before baking.
- It needs to be baked at the recipe temperature for 20 minutes until hot, bubbly, and crispy.
Tips For The Best Creamy Baked Mac And Cheese Recipe
- Boil the pasta in very well-salted water. The salt in the water seasons the noodles, adding flavor to the dish.
- Cook the pasta just until its al dente almost tender, but still firm to the bite. You dont want to completely cook the noodles until theyre tender, because they will continue baking in the oven.
- Allow the cheese, milk and half-and-half to come to room temperature before adding them to the recipe. They will blend together smoothly if theyre not cold.
- Start with blocks of cheddar cheese that you grate yourself at home, rather than using bags of pre-shredded cheese from the store. The pre-shredded cheese includes stabilizers and other ingredients to prevent the cheese from clumping, which inhibits its ability to melt smoothly into the dish.
- If you prefer a crispier, darker brown top on your mac and cheese, place the dish under the broiler during the final few minutes of baking. Just be sure to keep a close eye on it so that the top doesnt burn.
- Cooking for a smaller family? Cut all of the ingredients in half and bake the casserole in an 8-inch square dish.
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Making It Ahead Of Time
Like most baked pasta dishes, mac and cheese is perfect for making ahead of time. Here are a few tips:
- The sauce can be made ahead and stored, covered in the refrigerator, for two days. Warm the sauce before mixing with cooked pasta.
- Mac and cheese can be made ahead, spooned into a baking dish and stored, covered in the refrigerator, for two days. Cold macaroni and cheese may take a little longer than 30 minutes in the oven to be fully heated and cooked through.
- You can also freeze stovetop or baked mac and cheese for up to two months. To reheat, defrost overnight and bake or warm on the stove until heated through. Or bake from frozen. It will take about 1 hour.
Best Cheese For Mac And Cheese
A combination of Gruyere and mozzarella cheese. Gruyerefor the most superior flavour with the best melting qualities for creamy sauces such as this theres no contention in my view. And mozzarella for stretch nothing does the cheese pull like a good mozzarella!
But honestly, any cheese that melts well works is excellent with Mac and Cheese, such as cheddar, tasty, Colby, Swiss, Pepper Jack, Emmental.
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How To Store Roux
Having a stash of cooked roux in your fridge or freezer saves time when it comes to making sauces and soups. Here’s how to store it so it’s ready when you are:
- Carefully pour the finished roux onto a baking sheet or into ice cube trays and place in the refrigerator to cool.
- Refrigerate the roux for several hours or overnight until it has hardened completely.
- Roux will keep indefinitely when stored in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container. Roux made with vegetable oil can be stored at room temperature for several weeks, but roux made with butter or fat should always be refrigerated.
What Else Can You Put In Macaroni And Cheese
I am a purist, so its pasta and cheese sauce with cheddar cheese, and either breadcrumbs or buttered corn flakes for me. But dont let me hold you back. Think of your eaters. Who are you feeding?
My friend can ONLY get her son to eat vegetables if there are hot dogs and a super creamy mac and cheese involved. For this, she slices hot dogs into segments after cooking them and incorporates them into the mac along with broccoli florets.
Homemade creamy macaroni and cheese also tastes amazing with leftover pulled pork barbecue atop it. Just ask a Southerner and theyll tell you that the mac and cue belong together on the plate as one.
Butif youre me, you reach for some broiled lobster meat. Yes, lobster cheese and mac is a staple in this kitchen and its easy to get yourself hooked on it!
Soul Food Baked Macaroni And Cheese
There are many variations of the classic dish macaroni and cheese. One such variation is Southern baked mac and cheese the soul food way!
This recipe is made with rich, creamy cheese sauce and Southern comfort soul food flavorings baked til the edges are crispy and browned to taste like someone stewed over it in the kitchen all day!
We call this Black folks baked mac and cheese an authentic soul food dish easy for anyone to make!
Special Equipment Used In This Recipe
- Box Grater remember, the best mac starts with freshly shredded cheese!
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Post has been updated in September 2019 with new photos and additional information.
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
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Can You Make Macaroni And Cheese In The Slow Cooker
Mac and cheese is also one of the easiest dishes to make, but when you hear slow cooker, your first thought might be that it would take all day.
Not so! Slow cookers are a great way to make macaroni and cheese. You can have mac and cheese ready in less than an hour if you use the right ingredients and follow these simple instructions.
The best part about this recipe is that it requires only one pot. There is no need for multiple dishes and pots just your slow cooker !
For baked mac and cheese, the extra baking step is necessary to achieve that golden bubbly texture!
What Type Of Cheese
This classic mac and cheese recipe is made with cheddar cheese. I particularly love medium or sharp cheddar cheese but any type will do. If you want a more luxurious mac and cheese or youre really trying to impress a crowd, you could use a combination of different cheeses. Just be sure to select a type of cheese that is good for melting, like white cheddar, smoked gouda, gruyere, brie, goat cheese, mozzarella, or fontina.
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Why Is Black Folks Mac And Cheese The Ultimate Comfort Food
Mac and cheese is warm, gooey, and cheesy everything you want on a chilly evening.
But baked mac and cheese has a bonus crunchy texture on top with a yummy cheesy, creamy texture in the middle.
And when you make Southern mac and cheese the Black way theres the unrivaled addition of delicious, heart-warming soul food flavors!
Just when you think youve mastered mac and cheese, it seems like theres always new toppings and techniques to try out!
What Is The Best Cheese Combination For Macaroni And Cheese
Most Southern cooks use a cheese combination of medium or sharp cheddar with another cheese variety for the best macaroni and cheese. Sharp cheddar provides a deeper flavor, while the medium cheddar melts quickly.
The sharpness of the cheddar is an excellent contrast against a more mellow cheese like mozzarella or a Colby-Jack. The bite of the two makes a beautiful texture.
This combo whips out the best mac and cheese.
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Did A Black Person Invent Mac And Cheese
Southern baked mac and cheese the James Hemings way
James Hemings was a highly trained cook known to many modern-day chefs and culinary historians alike. A notable African American chef who helped create and define American cuisine as we know it today.
According to Netflixs soul food documentary High On The Hog, where an all-Black creative team tells the story of African American food. Baked mac and cheese is initially cooked by Hemings in a mixture of boiling water and milk.
Hemings placed sharp American cheese in between layers of butter and milk-coated macaroni. Then baked in a Dutch oven over an open-hearth fireplace stove with hot coals placed on the pots lid to bake.
Today, we can make easy macaroni and cheese while still incorporating the original recipes culinary technique. Much safer inside an Instant Pot!