cooking question

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by kris, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. kris

    kris New Member

    <span style='font-size: 11pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #3366FF"> for a smidge over 30 years i have been making mac & cheese ~~~ a huge family favorite the same way. that is the way my grandmother made it. simple recipe if ever ther was one. enough milk to cover the macaroni. whisk in a few tablespoons of flour...not a whole lot. three or four tablespoons at most. add velveeta to give a cheesy taste. add sauce to macaroni in baking dish. layer with-cheddar & top with-bread crumbs.

    this recipe has never failed me until about six months ago. all off a sudden the sauce is not thickening usually finishes thickening in the oven. it's not thickening well at all tho once the left overs have sat over night it is M&C of yore lol.

    anyone have any ideas on how to fix this. i've tried increasing the amount of flour. i've searched a few sites & flour is by far the most popular thickening agent. only a couple recommend using corn starch.

    if i was just making it for family we could make due, however, jarrod wants to invite girlfriend who has only eaten M&C from a box & can't understand why he won't touch the stuff (yes, he's spoiled lol). i don't want to serve her M&C with-runny sauce.....sigh. i've thought of cooking it half way they day before, but again it could still be risky.

    any suggestions welcome.

    by the way, i never measure a thing. neither did my g/ma.


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  2. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    I'm not sure. Corn starch wouldn't be what I would recommend though. I've known people to ruin mac & cheese with that ingredient.

    I read your instructions on the sauce, but I'm confused. Do you add the milk to the macaroni first or do you start a rue with milk/flour and mix in velveeta, then add to your macaroni?

    I've always used equal parts milk/flour to start a rue, then added whatever else goes in the sauce/stew.

    Besides doing equal parts before adding in macaroni...have you put a thermometer in your oven to be sure the temp is right? Sometimes ovens can start not heating properly and it can ruin anything you cook in it.

    Didn't velveeta change its flavor recipe recently? Like new and improved or something? I wonder if that can cause it to not be as thick as usual?

    I like your recipe though, I've been wanting to try a baked macaroni recipe with cheddar in it, but I love the smoothness of the velveeta. Best of both worlds.
  3. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    This coming from a food network junkie:

    Definitely make the roux first. then add the milk and cheese. you need to bring that to a boil to see how thick it will be. then mix in your noodles, then bake.
  4. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Did you change the milk? From 2% to 1% or something? Are you using a different baking dish?

    I have no idea how to thicken it, but I thought I would get you thinking about what changed.
  5. kris

    kris New Member

    <span style='font-size: 11pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #003300"> roux? what is this roux you speak of? all we've ever done is pour milk into a large pot & whisk in the flour. as i said, been doing it this way for a bit more than 30 years with-no problem.

    busy this started in the pan i'd been using for a good five years. the last time i made it i used my new stainless pan. there was, sadly, no difference in the outcome.

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  6. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    A roux is a base for gravies and sauces. it is a mixture of equal parts flour and fat (usually butter) that is heated and mixed in a pan until the desired color is achieved. In this case, you want it golden, sometimes you are wanting it brown for darker sauces. When it is the desired color, THEN the liquid (in this case, milk and cheese) is added. It is heated through (and mixed to get any lumps out) until it boils. You will not know HOW THICK the gravy will be until the mixture boils. After it boils and is thickened, then you would add it to your noodles and bake. My guess is that the mixture was not getting hot enough in the oven for it to boil, and therefore it was not thickening. By doing the extra step with the roux (it is pronounced roo), you ensure first of all that the sauce is smooth, and secondly that it is thick.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Can't help you out Kris because mother in law #1 made a "dry" mac & cheese
    and since l960...I do, too. My family did the roux etc. and I
    was shocked to mother in law pour the macaroni into the dish, cover with
    grated cheddar, pour some milk on, top with salt & pepper and
    pop in the oven. It may not win I've never
    tossed out leftovers either! DDD

    PS: I,too, thought maybe you downgraded your milk fat or your
    oven was on the fritz. Hope you get it squared away.
  8. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    Is it supposed to butter each time? Maybe thats why my mac n cheese isn't turning out right. I differ from butter & milk with flour depending on what I'm making. Hmmm...I love Food Network too, but dieting, can't watch it, makes me hungry and makes me want to cook. I should have known it was spealt roux, half my family is cajun and darnit, if I remember correctly, it has a french origination and is used in many cajun meals.

    Good luck! Hope the mac n cheese turns out well!
  9. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    All Stressed Out -

    Last January, when my beloved Bears played the Saints in the playoffs, I was seeing signs that said "Geaux Saints". I was like Whaaa? Then it dawned on me, that must be the cajun version of GO.

    So clever, those folks from the Big Easy! (and their food ROCKS)
  10. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    Ya, cajuns are corny like that...everything is ..eaux it seems. Love their food too, except the crawfish that are still in once piece. Just can't eat anything that still can look at me. Ewwwwww!
  11. kris

    kris New Member

    <span style='font-size: 11pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #003300"> okay, now that i know what a roux is lol i can safely say i can't use that method as it is butter based which would definitely change the taste of the white sauce. even when we make lipton Parmesan noodles we leave the butter out because we don't like how the butter makes the sauce taste.

    did find a couple of white sauce M&C recipes online that just use flour & milk. will try that.

    thanks for the suggestions.

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  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    Get an oven thermometer at the grocery store or Wally World and put it in your oven. Watch the temp you set your oven and and compare it to the temp on the thermometer.

    It very well may be that your oven isn't heating properly. Some people's ovens just run cooler or warmer than true.

    A cheap oven thermometer is fine. If there is a big difference have someone look at your oven, it may need repair. Or it may just be aging.

    We have to do this every year or so with my moms oven. It is an antique, works wonderfully but is quirky. And each time we get a new very cheap oven thermometer. Getting a really expensive one is just not worth the money.

    Does cooking the M&C longer make a difference?

    If you want a site for more recipes, try It is my new fave.