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Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese Hardcover – October 22, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Thomas Jefferson knew a classic when he served it. Way back in Monticello times, our First Father of mac and cheese set the stage for every variation thereafter. In fact, a few centuries later, Stiavetti and McCord will create fervor for reinventing this casserole; every one of the more than 80 recipes features the traditional pasta-and-cheese ingredients but with many delicious twists. There’s the Greek and the Italian caprese salad and fettuccine Alfredo, all enlivened and rejuvenated with the addition of specific top-notch cheeses. Light dishes appear first, accompanied with mouthwatering color photographs and suggestions for alternate cheeses, wine choices, and pairings with fruits and meats. As the book progresses, heavier fare dominates; who could resist a pumpkin stuffed with fontina, Italian sausage, and macaroni, or beef stroganoff with egg noodles and Moody Blue (cheese, that is)? There’s much information to be absorbed, even by the experienced chef or ­cheesemonger, as the authors introduce us to a modern dairy (in Sebastopol, California) and answer the question, “Is blue cheese gluten free?” The actual recipe titles get a bit long for handling (since the brand of cheese is incorporated). Otherwise, it’s tough to fault this sassy, carbo-loading collection. --Barbara Jacobs


"Melt is a cheese-lover's dream, with creative takes on pasta and cheese pairings of all sorts. . . . Garrett and Stephanie's intention [is] to broaden our minds and tastes, appreciating the classics while taking on new culinary territory. Bravo!"―Elise Bauer, founder of Simply Recipes

"This is not only a book filled with excellent info on cheeses and pastas and great recipes . . . it's yet another hopeful example of the way American cooks are raising the quality of the food we eat."―Michael Ruhlman, author of Ruhlman's Twenty

"Calling these recipes 'macaroni and cheese' is a little like calling Fred Astaire a 'hoofer.' Using fine cheeses from everywhere, pasta familiar and not so, imagination and more than a touch of whimsy, Stephanie and Garrett have created modern, sophisticated, beautiful food that satisfies the way the old mac and cheese did. It's almost a feat of magic."
Dorie Greenspan, author of Around My French Table

"In Melt, Stephanie and Garrett take a dish as beloved and familiar as macaroni and cheese and turn it into something positively transcendental. The classic comfort food we all grew up loving is turned upside down, inside out, and made more decadent than I ever imagined it could be. What I love most is that in this beautiful book, recipes such as Pastitsio with Kefalotyri and Lamb can live so harmoniously and unabashedly alongside a comfort food standby like Tuna Noodle Casserole. For ardent mac-and-cheese enthusiasts, look no further than these gorgeous pages!"―Ree Drummond, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks

"This is a gorgeous, entertaining, and exhaustive resource, with recipes not only for classic mac 'n cheese lovers, but also inventive takes on the theme, from a farfalle pasta salad with asparagus, ricotta salata, lime, and mint to a whole roasted pumpkin stuffed with Fontina, macaroni, and Italian sausage. McCord and Stiavetti have redefined the genre."―Molly Wizenberg, founder of Orangette and author of A Homemade Life

A cheese and pasta-filled tour du monde of macaroni & cheese. Cozy comfort foods at their best--with Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese, you'll be grating, melting, and baking your way to soul-warming nirvana!―David Lebovitz, author The Sweet Life in Paris and Ready for Dessert

"With Melt, authors Garrett McCord and Stiavetti Stiavetti take the comforting concept of macaroni and cheese and push it to stratospheric heights. Packed with artfully written, deeply researched information on cheeses across the spectrum -- from the familiar to the exotic -- Melt delivers creative recipes that both seduce and inspire. This is one cookbook you'll definitely want on your shelf."―Cheryl Sternman Rule, author of Ripe: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables

"Who knew that two household ingredients-pasta and cheese-could inspire such mouthwatering variety? This book is proof that the best kind of culinary ingenuity gives home cooks more choice without added complexity. Easy never tasted so good."―Elaine Khosrova, editor-in-chief of Culture, the word on cheese

"Think macaroni and cheese is almost always the same? Think grilled peaches with Humboldt Fog and orzo. Homemade breadcrumbs. Fresh paneer. Mornay sauce that will leave you drooling. Melt made me hungry and happy. McCord and Stiavetti offer tips for choosing and storing cheese, as well recommended varieties of pasta for each recipe (including a brown rice pasta for those of us who have to eat gluten-free). If you don't want a big bowl of creamy macaroni and cheese after seeing this book, there might be something wrong with you."―Shauna James Ahern, author of Gluten-free Girl

"Melt is much more than a cookbook of mac and cheese recipes; it's a guide to a mac and cheese lifestyle. Sure, it's loaded with decedent variations on the classic, but it's the salads, seafood, and soufflé that will make you reconsider mac and cheese as mere comfort food. Stiavetti and McCord's use of sophisticated cheeses and thrilling flavor combinations make this book and its recipes exceptional and, thank cheeses, fun."―Kiri Fisher, founder of The Cheese School of San Francisco

"Ah, what a book! It combines the glories of pasta with the scrumptiousness of cheese in such delicious ways. This book taught me about Yodeling Goat cheese and how to experience it. I learned about chocolate pasta and how topair it with a cheese whose name sounds like a French superhero. With terrific recipes for sweet and savory dishes, this book is anything but ordinary! A must have."―Monica Bhide, author of Modern Spice

"Stephanie Stiavetti and Garrett McCord have created magic with this book, taking the beloved American classic, mac 'n cheese, into an exploration of regional and global flavors. From comforting Chili-Mac with Redwood Hill Smoked Goat Cheddar to a more exotic Paneer Korma with Idiyappam Noodles, there's a favorite in Melt for everyone of all ages. The book is much more than a collection of recipes--you'll also learn why Swiss cheese has holes and if blue cheese is gluten free!"―Jaden Hair, founder of Steamy Kitchen

"This is cozy comfort food at its sophisticated best."―The Tampa Tribune

Perfect for the cheese lover and creative cook.―

"Melt is the book of mac n' cheese recipes you know you want: creamy weeknight stove top creations, baked pasta dishes that will make your house smell amazing, and more than a few surprises that make justifying another dinner of macaroni and cheese even easier."―theKitchn

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (October 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316213373
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316213370
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By I Do The Speed Limit TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been working with this cookbook for almost two months now. I wasn't so hot on it at the beginning because I had my heart set on mac 'n cheese. The title of this cookbook is more than a bit misleading: This book is not all about "melt" or "mac", but it is all about cheese and cheese pairings. So it took a while for my heart to come around to where my brain and tummy already were. I'm all together now, so you are seeing a five-star rating and not a three or four.

UPDATE Dec. 30, 2013: I just felt compelled to come back to this review and make a few comments: I'm still enjoying this book. I am surprised by just how much I am learning about cheese--my husband, too. We're having a lot of fun with this book. I think it has something to do with the way the authors teach and coax the reader to try a new cheese. I think it also has something to do with the sidebars that the authors include along with each recipe: There are all kinds of suggestions and alternatives that make it easy to walk into a cheese shop or over to the cheese counter at your local grocery store and pick up something new. And, I find it interesting that I'm remembering so many of the recipes that I read through without making.

TO THOSE OF YOU WHO THINK THESE RECIPES ARE TOO TIME-CONSUMING: There are shortcuts you can take. I admit that, on occasion, I sidestep on the recipes' use of white sauces: When we want comfort food fast, I often cook my pasta in 2% milk, then after the pasta is cooked and I have a low-cal creamy milky sauce from the starch the pasta has released, I add the cheese. You won't find that recipe in this book: 2 C large mac, 2 C milk, 2 T butter, a little salt; bring to a bubble, stir often, done in about 20 minutes.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Talvi TOP 100 REVIEWER on October 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Melt takes macaroni & Cheese and turns it into something else completely - I think a better title would be "Macaroni, Cheese, + other exotic stuff" since a lot of the recipes really aren't even about that great American comfort food staple. I find the cover image, which looks fairly traditional, a bit misleading for that reason.

The recipes are quite diverse and encompass a lot of different pastas and shapes. They are clearly designed to make use of each of the different types of pastas and cheeses. Each recipe has an introduction of its origins/roots and cooking/preparing it. The ingredient list is off to the side margin and easy to read. There are alternatives for several of the different ingredients (though they can be as hard to find as the original). Two of my favorites were the pumpkin stuffed with Fontina, Italian Sausage, and Macaroni and the every faithful Tuna Noodle Casserole (one of the few traditional recipes)

The book is very educational as well - providing information from all kinds of pasta and cheese topics - from the pasta types, cooking, choosing cheese, to yankee doodle dandy.

Some (ok most) of the recipes are quite esoteric. e.g., Yogurt Chicken Salad with Abbaye De Bel'loc. Or Petit Basque With Roasted Garlic, Shallots, and Gemlli. Or Brigante with Tilapia, Shallots, Springs Herbs, and Fusilli. When I could find the ingredients, the dishes were very interesting and unique. But a lot of the recipes had ingredient lists lasting half the page, as well so cooking many of these can be a labor of love.

This is definitely a cookbook for those who like to cook - rather than something for a busy working adult who needs to get decent food on the table for the kids every night.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Digitalsingularity on November 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book is awesome. My wife and I just tried the cauliflower and Gruyere gratin recipe... first recipe out of the book and it's probably about the most delicious mac and cheese I've ever had. That's probably saying a lot, since I live in Seattle and we have access to plenty of upscale restaurants that have their own delicious takes on macaroni and cheese. I can't wait to try another recipe... unfortunately, we'll eventually need to buy the follow-up book: The Mac and Cheese Diet. :)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Umer Azaz on November 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The first thing that gained my attention towards this book was the glazing and scrumptious book cover. Matt armendariz did an amazing job in snapping those delicious treats. A little history about what cheese is all about and how it can be formed in many different ways. From the beginning of cheese making till the unveiling of the final product , the whole process is overwhelming and insightful.

How to understand the piece of cheese you have got is part I enjoyed the most; sight , touch , smell and taste all senses works in their own to pick out the perfect cheese. Pasta type and textures have also been very informative.

Innovation with the mac and cheese has been so inspirational through out this book that I had to stop and think for a second that hey this could be the next food invention. It started with chocolated paste to toma macaroni egg rolls, pasta frittata with mushrooms to chicken breast stuffed with star pasta, the list can go on and on and I could drool all over my kindle but all of those recipes stand in one line of exemplary taste.

Wine pairing, alternative cheese , special equipment and those organized instructions throughout the making of the dish is very helpful.

Appendices for cheese and their origins and pasta types are another touch to detailed writing and perfect describing.

If you are in any way a cheese lover you must check out the book and the book will make you the great chef in the world of macaroni and cheese.
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