Saturday, August 7, 2010

Melanie W.'s Macaroni and Cheese

First of all, I found the Good Eats cookbook at a local library and let me just say, Wow, the book is huge!! Browsing through it I find many of the tidbits helpful and interesting, but I wish it was organized better. You have to read so much to get everything! I also wish there was a table of contents with each episode name listed. The index is ok, but not thorough enough. This mac n cheese recipe wasn't listed under 'cheese' but only under 'macaroni.' And what's up with the "applications" and "software" business? I find that annoying as well. I'm glad I'm able to check this out from the library because it's resourceful, but I don't see myself buying the book, especially since I can get the recipes online.

Ok, on to my food! Like everyone else has said so far, this isn't the best mac n cheese recipe out there, even though Alton Brown says it is. Like his nephew (who's not really his nephew, he admits in the book) said in that video clip, I prefer the stuff from the box. At least over this recipe.

I didn't know how to best tweak it, so I just added more salt and pepper than it called for. I don't know how much salt I added, I just kept adding it til it tasted better, which means it probably had way more than I should admit. :) The book doesn't mention using a bay leaf but I noticed the online recipe does, so I added it halfway through. When eating this it didn't taste too bland, but the taste was just off. For me I think it was the onions. If I were to make this again I'd leave them out. Ham would have been really nice but I didn't have any on hand.

This recipe wasn't a complete waste because my super picky almost 2 year old ate some, I learned what it means to temper an egg, and I learned what Panko bread crumbs are (had never heard of them before). I also found it interesting that he says to rinse the pasta in cold water to stop the cooking....every other source I've learned from has said NOT to rinse pasta! I never knew why though, so I almost always do. Now it makes sense to rinse the pasta to stop the cooking, so rinsing I will continue to do!


Maren said...

I've wondered a lot about the rinsing pasta thing, too, but I finally found helpful information from a Giada de Laurentiis cookbook (I forget which one, unfortunately). She says that whether you should rinse the pasta or not depends on what you want the pasta for afterward. If you're making spaghetti and you want the sauce and noodles to bond nicely, you don't rinse the noodles, leaving them coated in their starches. If you're making macaroni salad, you do rinse them because otherwise the starch will make the noodles stick together.

Josh and Melanie said...

That makes sense too. I love Giada!