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Macaroni and cheese is a rustic homey staple that you can never get tired of. Our version is an ode to the classic mac n’ cheese while using our BamNut Milk Everyday, and two of our favourite cheeses—cheddar and parmesan—for that perfect balance of cheesy goodness.
Macaroni and cheese is a rustic homey staple that you can never get tired of. Our version is an ode to the classic mac n’ cheese while using our BamNut Milk Everyday, and two of our favorite cheeses—cheddar and parmesan—for that perfect balance of cheesy goodness.
Mac and cheese can easily be classified as a universal comfort food. Its cheesy goodness and steaming pasta can put a smile on anyone’s face. But while it’s tempting to reach for a box of mac and cheese, why not consider making it at home for yourself! This simple homemade macaroni and cheese recipe is guaranteed to make sure you never pick up another boxed mac and cheese again.
In all its goodness, one might wonder who created this perfect dish. Being a pasta dish, you can safely assume that you can trace its roots to Italy. The Liber de Coquina, an Italian cookbook from the 13th century, features a recipe called de lasanis that historians speculate to be one of the first macaroni and cheese recipes. The recipe then called for sheet pasta to be cut into 5-centimetre squares, cooked in water and tossed with grated cheese.
Moving from there, macaroni and cheese started gaining popularity in Europe. Across the sea to colonial America, casserole dishes that held similarities to the mac and cheese of today were served at New England churches. These probably had origins from recipes passed down from their English relatives. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, this dish was primarily reserved for the upper class until pasta production was made easier.
And beyond that, in 1937, Kraft Foods introduced the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese dinner at the end of the Great Depression. Due to its simplicity and affordability, this was touted as a “housewife’s best friend, a nourishing one pot meal” as a way to feed their families. In that year alone, 8 million boxes were sold, and its popularity continues till this day.
There’s nothing more disappointing than a bad bowl of mac and cheese. Other than a technical error like over or undercooking your pasta, using the wrong cheese can mess it up just as much. Not just the flavour of your mac and cheese, but even the texture can be ruined as well. Instead of letting you go through the tedious task of trial and error with your cheeses, we have compiled some of the best cheeses to use when making your mac and cheese.
Cheddar: Cheddar is arguably the king of all cheeses when it comes to coating your noodles. It has a fairly low melting point, which allows it to reach a smooth and creamy consistency. It also has the classic flavour we tend to associate with a typical macaroni and cheese. Among the cheddars, sharp cheddar is ideal because of its stronger flavour. It’s also best to buy your cheddar in a block and grate it yourself, instead of buying it pre-shredded.
Parmesan: No list of cheeses is ever complete without parmesan. Parmesan is best for sprinkling over your mac and cheese before it goes in the oven or before you serve it. Parmesan also has a salty and slightly nutty flavour that’s simply unbeatable. For this cheese, the higher the quality the better it is.
Gruyere: If you want something a little out of the norm, why not try Gruyere. Gruyere is a hard cheese that melts into a velvety and smooth texture. This is typically used for fondues, but works just as well for pastas. The flavour of Gruyere is complex, having hints of nuttiness, earthiness and a slight hint of sweets. This results in an interesting and rich flavour that you wouldn't typically associate with mac and cheese, but is just as delicious.
We think mac and cheese is perfect as it is, but if you want to add a little more excitement to it, or just make it more balanced, here are some things you can top it with.
Bacon: Bacon and cheese is a match made in heaven. We recommend cooking your bacon until it's extra crispy and then crushing it before adding it on top of your mac and cheese for a delightful crunch.
Ham: Unlike bacon, adding in diced ham instead of bacon will allow you to keep its gooey texture while adding a source of protein. It’s just as tasty, with an added savoury salty flavour. We recommend using smoked ham with a milkier mac and cheese to pair perfectly with the creamy, cheesy flavour.
Corn: For a southern twist, adding some corn is the way to go. Adding some buttery kernels of corn with some salt, pepper and paprika, will never make you eat mac and cheese the same way again.
Truffle oil: If you're looking for a way to elevate your mac and cheese, why not consider cooking it with truffle oil. Truffle oil is a great way to make even the simplest meals feel more decadent. We recommend that you drizzle a bit of truffle oil over your mac and cheese for serving it. This combination also works well if you add some mushrooms.
Mac and cheese is easily one of the most universally loved dishes due to its simplicity and delicious flavour. In our version of a macaroni and cheese, we replace regular cream/milk with our BamNut Milk Everyday. This plant-based milk made from Bambara groundnuts, is creamy, versatile and has a balanced nutty flavour, elevating the depth of flavour of your mac and cheese.
Boil macaroni according to package instructions. Strain and set aside.