Monday, October 6, 2014

My Thoughts On Mac & Cheese

As I mentioned, we're having a contest: The Fall '14 Macaroni & Cheese Contest.

Some time ago Mr. Big Food made a Mac & Cheese dish and I asked how many Mac & Cheese recipes he had. He didn't know for sure but guessed about 70 or 80. What an exaggeration! He got to counting and only has 60 something. Along the way, we decided we should re-imagine our traditional Fall & Winter Soup Contest as a Macaroni & Cheese Contest

Here we are in week two of the contest and Daughter C for one couldn't be happier. She loves macaroni & cheese. 

The Fall '14 Macaroni & Cheese Contest does present some problems that the soup contests did not. Most glaring is the Recency problem. As in, "My God! This week's macaroni & cheese is really really good!"

The second problem is that macaroni and cheese casseroles have just two unchanging main ingredients. Look back at the variety of soup entries-- not often two soups had the same two main ingredients. 

THerefore, it is imperative that we take excellent notes. 

To that end, here are my thoughts (with visual aids) on the first two entries. Recipes to follow just as soon as I am able.

Entrant #1: Macaroni & Cheese Custard
Obviously, it's going to get pretty darned redundant if I say, "This was good" for months on end. But it was. It baked as a custard in a pan of water. It was light on the cheese but not too heavy on the stuff that makes custard. Lots of good stuff in it. Mr. Big Food served it with ham loaf. Together they made for an excellent Sunday Comfort Food Supper.  It was the definite winner after the first round. 

Entrat #2: Vegetable Macaroni & Cheese
Daughter C declared this her current favorite. Mindful of the recency effect, she had three (3) helpings-- just to be sure.

While more traditional tasting than the custard casserole, this was not a boring mac & cheese. I had my doubts about adding broccoli and tomatoes-- I thought the broc would be too crisp and the tomatoes to mushy. Not at all. The broccoli was fork tender and because the tomatoes were added fresh they stayed intact. 

The sauce was cheesy but not too; flavorful without being overwhelming. It was cheese, milk, cream of onion soup and mayonnaise. 

I had two (2) helpings. 

This was good. My guess is it won't win, but will stay in the top three for quite a while. 

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