If you’re in the mood for macaroni and cheese, it can be tempting to simply open a box, follow the simple directions and plop down onto the sofa minutes later to enjoy a startlingly orange bowl of pasta. Perhaps you are in the mood for something a little more gourmet, something to use up that artisanal Cheddar and smoked Gouda that’s lurking in your fridge — mac and cheese could be the perfect solution!
But making a roux can be messy and time consuming, and can still result in a finished dish that is not smooth and shiny, but rather, grainy and stiff — not such a comfort. The answer is simple: American cheese. Before you throw your hands in the air with exasperation, listen for just a minute.
I hate American cheese, but while my feelings for it are far from fond, there’s no denying that it can have a wonderfully positive effect on any dish that requires a gooey cheese sauce. The answer is in the additives. American cheese is full of stabilizers, and it is those stabilizers that will prevent any unpleasant graininess.
When natural cheeses are heated, they tend to separate, the proteins within clumping together, the fats and moisture simultaneously oozing out. Processed American cheese however, does not behave this way; hence it is the perfect addition to a gourmet mac and cheese recipe!
Combined with high quality Cheddar, American cheese will ensure you end up with a silky, smooth cheese sauce. When using American cheese, you can even forgo making a roux, if you are really in a rush — instead you simply combine milk, butter, and a preferred mixture of cheeses with your macaroni. (Make sure it is very al dente as it will continue cooking in the cheese sauce.)
To make mac and cheese with American cheese, just add a few slices to your favorite recipe, and voila! Creamy, gooey, delicious, and smooth!
Click here to check out The Daily Meal’s Best Mac and Cheese Recipe Ever for a delicious and super-cheesy starting point.