Basic Mac’n’Cheese Recipe
I ended up talking about this on Twitter, and the tweet chain became rather long, so I figured it was worth a post. Even though I haven’t done any food stuff here before.
As tends to be the case with my recipes: They’re a mix between stuff I read online, information from family and friends, and personal experimentation. It took me several attempts/iterations to work this one out.
As the title states, this is just a basic recipe. It’s for macaroni and a cheese sauce to pour and stir in, not oven-baked mac’n’cheese.
Feel free to add anything you want on top/alongside it, or just eat it as is if you’re having a lazy day. ❤
- 300-400 grams macaroni
- 200-300 grams of cheese, more details below
- 200 ml cream
- 200 ml crème fraîche
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- Seasoning: whatever you feel like, some tips below
- Serves 2-3 people, depending on how much they eat.
Cheese. The main ingredient for a cheese sauce, naturally. When it comes to what sort of cheese, you can basically just pick whatever you like. I’ve found that pretty much any semi-soft cheese can work: Cheddar, mozzarella, gouda, Norvegia, edamer, maasdam, etc. Mix and match as you see fit. I kept the amount variable because it depends on how cheesy you want the sauce. I find that around 200 grams is enough for about 300-350 grams of macaroni (I tend to just eyeball it).
NB! I don’t recommend using particularly aromatic cheeses, because they can be too overpowering.
You can also supplement the butter with a little bit of spiced butter or garlic butter, but I don’t recommend more than half a tablespoon, as it quickly becomes nauseating.
Seasoning tips: While of course this is entirely based on personal preference, I have some tips that have worked well for me. First of all, I recommend some salt to counteract the sourness of the crème fraîche. Secondly, I’ve found that powdered red peppers work well, for instance paprika, chili, and/or cayenne. If you’ve not used cayenne before, be careful. Even a light sprinkle can increase the spiciness of the sauce really quickly. Thirdly: A lot of garlic.
Put the crème fraîche and cream in a small pan/saucepan.
Heat up on low heat. Do not go over medium, at least.
Stir regularly with a spiral whisk. I recommend a steel one similar to this rather than a plastic one, but that’s up to you.
Add the butter. When you see it start to melt, you are free to start adding the cheese.
Add a bit of cheese at a time. I would say about 50 gr at a time, but up to 100 gr should be fine. Stir and wait for it to melt before adding more.
While you’re doing this is a good time to get the macaroni water started. Put plenty of water, 1.5 to 2 litres, in a pot/pan with 1-2 teaspoons of salt, and set it to boil.
Keep stirring regularly, and use that to also check the sauce. For a while the cheese will cling to the whisk, and you’ll feel the resistance. When you no longer feel that resistance, turn the heat down to minimum. Now is a good time to add the seasoning.
Once the water boils, turn the heat down to just above medium, and add the macaroni. You want to keep it boiling. Stir regularly. I just use a regular tablespoon for this, but you might have your own way.
Let the sauce simmer, and keep stirring that regularly as well. If you want, you can bring it up to a light boil for a few minutes, but personally I don’t find that necessary.
When the macaroni is done, drain the water (preferably in a colander), quickly rinse the macaroni, put it back in the pan, pour the cheese sauce on top, and stir it together.
Food is now ready for eating. Enjoy. ❤