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Rover

Reheating Macaroni and Cheese

19 posts in this topic

Made a great :wub: Mac & Cheese and with the bonus of leftovers. I reheated for lunch and encountered the usual unsatisfactory result, which I'd forgotten. I've tried this several ways:

- microwave

- Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven

- Standard oven

The sauce "splits" and it becomes an oily mess. :angry: I've added a little milk/cream, tossed it around a little, but somehow - the result is always a little disappointing - a shadow of it's former glorious self. :sad:

Does anyone experience this? What is the best way to enjoy Mac & Cheese, Second Time Around...?

Rover

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Cold :biggrin:


Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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I had a boyfriend that once requested Mac&Cheese about once a week. Since I got tired of making it all the time, I would make the first batch really really thick and I wouldn't add all the leftover sauce to the pasta. I would freeze what sauce was left over right away. When it came time to make it again, I would place it in a pot and reheat very slowly. If it started to break I would add more milk and whisk furiously. This usually worked and took less time than making it all over again. For leftover's that were pre-mixed, I would actually heat it up in the oven until dry and crispy. Best advice, store separately :biggrin:

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I think the problem of the split/oilyness has to do with the fact that cheddar really doesn't suit itself to melting and as the primary cheese component, it needs to be incorporated with some other kind of cheese, like colby or monterey jack. I think also you need to have a considerable amount of bechemel to make a Mac and Cheese that suits itself to reheating.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I think the problem of the split/oilyness has to do with the fact that cheddar really doesn't suit itself to melting and as the primary cheese component, it needs to be incorporated with some other kind of cheese, like colby or monterey jack. I think also you need to have a considerable amount of bechemel to make a Mac and Cheese that suits itself to reheating.

Jason, the cheeses in my recipe are 2 cups Cheddar, 1 cup Mozzarella, 1 cup Parmesan - however, I hear you on the amount of the béchamel. I use penne in this recipe and it does plump up pretty significantly so the ratio to the sauce might be a clue.

Thanks! :rolleyes:

Rover

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Well, it isn't for the cholesterol-conscious, but I have found that cutting cold M&C into slices, dredging the slices in eggwash and then bread crumbs, and pan-frying or deep-frying them is pretty tasty.

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Add more milk/cream *and* some more cheese.


...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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Well, it isn't for the cholesterol-conscious, but I have found that cutting cold M&C into slices, dredging the slices in eggwash and then bread crumbs, and pan-frying or deep-frying them is pretty tasty.

Mel, I have often fried leftover Mac & Cheese (ziti with ricotta, grated parm, grated asiago, some pecorino, much much much pepper). Deep-frying sounds interesting.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

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Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Much patience is called for. Lots of time, using verrrrry low heat, whether rangetop or microwave -- both work for me. My mac and cheese is the John Thorne/Cooks Illustrated type, using cheddar, evaporated milk, and egg. Using very low heat and frequent stirring to distribute the heat, I have never had any curdling of the sauce or splitting of the cheese. True, I am sometimes tempted to eat it cold instead of waiting for it to reheat properly, but warm mac and cheese is so worth the wait, and just as good the next day if you heat it right.

Just make sure to reserve a couple of large spoonfuls of cold mac and cheese to nibble on while you stand at the stove or microwave, waiting and stirring.

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Yes, like Brownie Baker, I use the Cooks Illustrated method, one of the main reasons being that even in the microwave, the sauce doesn't split the way a roux based sauce does. Plus it has a great texture. Unlike Cook's suggests thought, I don't use "American Cheese". Being a Canadian, I am not even sure what that actually is :rolleyes:

Ann


The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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They don't sell American Cheese in Canada? In it's most vile form American Cheese is Kraft Singles, but you can also buy a (minimally) nicer version in brick form from the deli counter, at least in the states.

It is like cheddar but without flavor and a more rubbery texture.


He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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Hmmm,

I guess they just market it differently- it is just called processed cheese food.

I don't know that I have ever seen it in brick form, but they may just call it something else, like America Online is always marketed as AOL here :wink:


The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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Could you pm or post the Cooks Illustrated recipe, please? I tried the site, but it seems to need a fee registration.

Thanks

Rover

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Bring some milk to temp in the pot first, then add the M&C. The hot milk will help distribute the heat more effectively, and the cheese goes into solution, without breaking. After a few minutes of cooking, you can have something that is just a bit looser than the original. Reseason and serve.

Or just fry that bad boy. :biggrin:


Screw it. It's a Butterball.

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I asked this same question a few weeks back after Hollis made a fantastic bunch of the Saveur Classics version of Mac n Cheese...someone suggested the toaster oven, which worked for a minute then it started to burn. I then transferred it to the oven, uncovered, for about 10 more minutes at 350 and it was great. It didn't separate as much and the bread crumb topping got even more crispy. It wasn't as great as the first go-round, but it was good enough.

He used large shells too which was a good touch.

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I make the Cook's Illustrated M&C -- you basically just make a Sauce Mornay with one pound each of cheddar and monterey jack. Tonload of truffles optional. :biggrin:

I've never found it as good reheated as fresh. However, I like to reheat it on a low burner on the cooktop with additional milk added to counteract evaporation, and this usually yields acceptable results.

I am very intrigued, however, with the idea of frying the leftovers.. perhaps in little Rice-Krispie-Treat size bars??


Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

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Rover,

The Cooks Illustrated method from the "best of Cooks" book is the super easy non roux method.

Basically you boil the macaroni.

Grate 2 plus 1/4 cups cheese-the recipe says American, but I use decent aged cheddar of a blend of whatever I feel like- many great combos on this thread.

Mix about a cup of evap milk with an egg and a little tabasco, dry mustard, worcester. If you like it a little wetter, you can use the whole tin of milk.

If you like breadcrumb topping, pan fry some bread crumbs in some butter till golden, remove from heat, and stir in 1/4 c of the cheese.

Drain the macaroni, and add a decent knob of butter. Stir in 1 c of cheese and add the milk and egg mixture, stirring constantly. Add the remaining cup of cheese and stir till smooth. If it is not cheesy enough, add more or a little parm.

If your are using bread crumbs, spread the crumby cheesy stuff on top. If not, just sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Run it under the grill to brown the top.

Ann


Edited by annanstee (log)

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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Thanks Ann - I'm going to try this; would never have thought of evaporated milk!

Rover

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Deep frying is very good, but only to be used in emergencies. Last time I ate it was right after I had been dumped by a crappy ex-boyfriend.

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