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The Mac + Cheese Cookbook: 50 Simple Recipes from Homeroom, America's Favorite Mac and Cheese Restaurant Hardcover – August 20, 2013
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Featured Recipes from The Mac and Cheese Cookbook
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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They’ve got a recipe for mac sauce at the front that’s used in every recipe. Then they deal with the satisfyingly crunchy topping. Those are both universal recipes used throughout the book. After that they get onto the individual bowls of deliciousness. The chapters are as follows: American Classics, International Relations (mac from around the world), Chemistry (unusual ones), Extra Credit (sides) and Finals (dessert). And they give beer and wine pairings with each mac. Nice.
1) Gilroy Garlic Mac – p 39. Yes! We were lucky enough that the timing of our California road trip coincided with the Gilroy Garlic Festival. The whole town is filled with that intoxicating smell, and this tasted just like it. Awesome. They said this is their best seller, and I totally get why!
2) Jalapeño Popper Mac – p 26. Delicious! I always wanted to have jalapeño poppers for dinner.
3) Smoky Bacon Mac – p 34. This is fantastic! There’s a full quarter pound of smoked bacon and two ounces of smoked cheddar and Monterey jack in each bowl. People were happy.
4) Truffle Mac – p 63. Delicious. It’s filled with shiitake mushrooms and truffled cheese. My three closest grocers didn’t carry truffled gouda. I found both Italian truffle cheese and truffled cheddar at TJs. I tried the Italian truffle cheese and it was awesome. To my surprise, this is my youngest’s favorite so far.
5) Mac Sauce conversion. It makes 3 cups and the recipes all call for 2. I suspect it’s because all of the ingredients are in nice whole numbers if you do 3 cups. You can pull out that extra cup of béchamel for whatever you want, or just go for it, and bring extra saucy mac to smiling people at the table. Here’s a conversion table if you want to change the amount. Use column 1 for 2 cups, column 2 for 2 ½ cups, or the original on the right for 3. We’ve determined that 2 ½ cups is our optimum sauciness level.
Some others I have flagged to try are: Vermont White Cheddar Mac – p 31, Macximus (spinach and artichoke) – p 43, Croque Madame Mac (ham, swiss, and eggs) – p 44, Mexican Mac (chipotle and chorizo) – p 48, Deliciousmacken (cheddar, mustard, onions, and pretzels) – p 54, Patatas Bravas Mac (garlicky potatoes and paprika) – p 57, Dungeness Crab Mac – p 65, Mac the Goat – p 67, and Pesto Mac – p 70.
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. Its spectacular!)
Also, the brownies are the best brownies I have ever eaten and we always thought that Ghiradeli brownies were the gold standard but we were horribly mistaken. The banana pudding is super good too. We love this book
That is what reading this book is like.
Refreshing, informative, and packed full with cheese-loving recipes. The first part of the book helps you construct the base of every mac and cheese dish. The rest of the book helps you piece together amazing additions.
I got this book as a present, but every time I see it I can't help but pick it up and start flipping through to learn something new.
Very happy with the contents of this book. Highly recommend it.