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[Comments] (7) Cheese Lust: If you harbor a guilty craving for macaroni and cheese--not the baked kind with breadcrumbs that sounds great but takes too long to make and ends up tasting milquetoast and not cheesy, but the junky kind that comes in a box and is done in fifteen minutes and turns powder that can't possibly be real cheese into sauce that tastes like you're drinking the very lifeblood of some beast made out of (admittedly metallic-tasting) cheese.

Sorry, that turned out to be a sentence fragment. IF [previous paragraph], you will be pleased to know that there is a way to feed your craving that involves real food. A couple days ago I made Alton Brown's Stovetop Mac-n-Cheese recipe, and it was as though the genie of the lamp had said "So, you want it cheesy? I will grant your wish, but with an ironic twist--it will be TOO CHEESY TO EAT!" And it is, almost. I planned to cut it with frozen peas, but my only box of frozen peas expired almost a year ago and looked like it had been defrosted more times than was good for it. I composted the peas and ate it straight.

By the time I was done I was sick of macaroni and cheese and never wanted to eat it again. I packaged up the leftovers and took it to Sumana's house, hoping she would eat the rest. Now, two days later, I want to eat the rest. It's that good.

The only downside is that it's 2-3 times more expensive than the boxed kind. At least it is around here. It's probably proportionately less more expensive (huh?) elsewhere, since the boxed kind seems to cost a dollar everywhere in the country. It's still cheap compared to other dinners you could be having. My faith in Alton Brown is vindicated! Maybe his baked macaroni and cheese will finally live up to my mental image of "baked macaroni and cheese".

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Posted by rachel at Thu Aug 19 2004 16:18


Posted by Sumana at Thu Aug 19 2004 16:30

You can have the rest this evening after our early-evening date.

Posted by Kristen at Thu Aug 19 2004 16:42

Alton Brown amazes me. I really like his show.

Posted by Susie at Thu Aug 19 2004 16:44

That is a LOT of cheese. Kraft Mac n Cheese I think is usually on sale for about 50 cents a box here, although I don't buy it anymore. I do eat Easy Mac though, when desperate.

Posted by Alyson at Thu Aug 19 2004 19:44

Oooooo, hot sauce! I find that broccoli cuts mac-and-cheese well. I'll have to try this one some time.

Posted by Joe at Fri Aug 20 2004 01:48

Cutting perfectly good Mac & Cheese with peas? With brocolli? Abominable behaviour!

I'm going to give this Alton Brown recipe a try even though the baked method is the only way to fly in my book - the secret is to add more cheese than you think is appropriate. There will be no "cutting" of any kind, however.

Posted by Zack at Fri Aug 20 2004 12:24

I made the baked macaroni and cheese (cut with broccoli) last night and it came out reasonably well. I wouldn't describe it as the Platonic ideal of baked mac and cheese, though.
I didn't have any breadcrumbs and I left out the egg on my usual "this doesn't need to have an egg in it" theory. It may be that baked mac and cheese is one of those things where the theory fails.

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