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The Mac + Cheese Cookbook: 50 Simple Recipes from Homeroom, America's Favorite Mac and Cheese Restaurant Hardcover – August 20, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 170 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

From Booklist

HOMEROOM, a popular restaurant in Oakland, California, specializes in just one dish: macaroni and cheese. This isn’t your gummy, salty, run-of-the-mill school cafeteria mac and cheese. Befitting its San Francisco Bay address, HOMEROOM daily offers dozens of variations on its signature dish, some with multiple cheeses, some with meats, some with seafood, some with vegetables. Each has a foundation of béchamel sauce, which serves to bind the pasta with cheeses and other ingredients. Arevalo and Wade address the perennial conflict between partisans of crunchy-topped vs. creamy-throughout by offering both alternatives. An appropriate wine or beer recommendation for each version also appears. For closers, HOMEROOM offers a dessert version of macaroni and cheese made with fruit and nuts, basically a riff on a traditional Jewish noodle kugel. Other desserts include carrot cake, buckeyes, and a homemade version of Oreo cookies. --Mark Knoblauch
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 8/25/13 edition (August 20, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160774466X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607744665
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Talvi TOP 100 REVIEWER on August 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Admittedly, I LOVE macaroni and cheese - absolutely love it. But I've had a frustrating experience with Mac N Cheese recipes in the past, especially books devoted to the subject. They are usually super fancy, adding strange ingredients in order to 'reinvent' or at least present a different take on the comfort food staple. But really, I want to know how to make a good basic recipe that does what is promised and doesn't turn into a runny or blobby mess.

This book is a very different take on the subject: rather than giving us complex over the top variations, the book starts with a simple foundation using simple ingredients: milk, salt, butter, flour. They then build upon that basic recipe, giving useful advice (what the different salts do to the recipe, the best type of noodles, troubleshooting when the recipe doesn't come out right) to make sure the recipes come out as planned. Already, I was able from those advice pages to identify places I went wrong. I appreciate a book that not only gives suggestions but can also tell you why something might be better than something else as an ingredient (e.g., kosher salt vs table salt). The book also distinguishes between gooey and basked macaroni and cheese since those two variations seem to be the dividing line between mac n cheese lovers.

Half the book is varitations on a class American dish. Then interesting ways to create 'international' themed dishes using ingredients specific to certain cities or countries. As well, recipes are given for side dishes that go great with the main dish and deserts.

The authors own a macaroni and cheese themed restaurant in Oakland that specializes in inexpensive and simple (not overworked or overdone) offerings - 10 macaroni and cheese offerings at a time.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
All the recipes are based on one version of mac and cheese. Add bacon, you got a new recipe, add a bit of parmesan, again a new recipe, add hot dogs... new recipe. It starts out interestingly enough with all the procedures to make a good sauce, but the recipes go on and on with not much new after that. And I had a difficult time finding the cheeses they recommended, maybe if there was a specialty cheese store in my area...
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Format: Hardcover
I must admit the cover of THE MAC & CHEESE COOKBOOK captured my attention the moment I saw it. Doesn't it look yummy? Visions of mouth-watering dishes of mac and cheese sprang to mind and I had to know more.

I'm happy to say I wasn't disappointed by the cookbook, quite the opposite. I found this charming cookbook to be packed with delicious recipes, easy instructions, gorgeous color photos, and extremely helpful tips.

Authors (Chefs) Allison Arevalo and Erin Wade have compiled tasty recipes that will have you eager to try all 50 of them. Each recipes is written in simple, easy steps with a bit of information about the dish. In addition, many are accompanied by a beautiful full page color photo of the completed dish. There's also a section on selecting the right noodles and how to prepare them properly.

A highlight of the book for me was the step-by-step instructions and photos on how to prepare the mac sauce - the base of each recipe. The authors also note problems that can be encountered preparing the sauce and the simple solutions to resolve these issues.

Each recipe also includes a beer and wine pairing to enrich the meal. To help even more, the authors have included recipes for fun side dishes and desserts to compliment the mac and cheese.

Some of the recipes are: Trailer Mac, Mac & Blue, Shepherd's Mac, Winter Citrus Salad, Peanut Butter Pie, and Dessert Mac. I tried the Vermont White Cheddar Mac and was delighted with my results. The recipe was easy to follow, the instructions helpful and the end results delicious. While this dish took a bit longer than opening a box of mac and cheese, it was well worth the effort. Once the simple mac sauce is mastered, the recipes are a breeze.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is amazing, and an awesome starting place for a Mac and Cheese recipe. My wife and I have a bbq catering company and use this as the basis for our mac and cheese. The mac sauce is the most crucial part to successful mac and cheese, and they break it down perfectly with pictures, step by step instructions and even common mistakes.

I have read other reviews where people complain that their mac sauce makes 3 cups, but every recipe in the book calls for 2 cups of mac sauce, so you end up with left overs. We just use all the mac sauce and it is fine, because then you end with more mac and cheese...which is the best result in the world.

There are a few things that we change slightly when we cook. First is we use all the mac sauce, that way no left overs. Second, is we add more noodles than they call for. The recipe will say 1/2 pound of noodles, which is 2 cups (and this is for 2 cups mac sauce). I find this to be not enough, so here is the ratio that works perfect for us: 3 Cups mac sauce, 3 cups cheese and 6 cups cooked noodles. Last, the cheese is the most important part of this whole process. We have used everything from super expensive 2 year aged cheddar Tillamook cheese to mild cheddar, and if you are only adding cheese then it makes a difference (although we feel that there is no difference in 12 month aged cheddar vs. 18 or 24 month aged cheddar). With that said, if you start adding things to the mac-like bacon, green chiles, jalapenos or cream cheese-then just use regular sharp cheddar and you wont be able to taste the difference. This is what has worked for us and our mac is pretty bomb now, thanks to this! (By the way, green chile bacon mac is amazing, and sometimes we actually put the finished mac on a smoker and let it get a smoky flavor-holy crap.
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