Macaroni and Cheese

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Overview

Simple and perfect, macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Now, for the first time in one collection, dozens of well-known chefs, including Bobby Flay, Rocco DiSpirito, Charlie Palmer, David Burke, Matthew Kenney, Katy Sparks, and Rick Bayless, share favorite recipes from both their childhood memories and their award-winning restaurants. There are plentiful incarnations of the classic Mac and Cheese, from chef's home kitchens and from renowned restaurants; international versions, such as Macaroni and ...
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Overview

Simple and perfect, macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Now, for the first time in one collection, dozens of well-known chefs, including Bobby Flay, Rocco DiSpirito, Charlie Palmer, David Burke, Matthew Kenney, Katy Sparks, and Rick Bayless, share favorite recipes from both their childhood memories and their award-winning restaurants. There are plentiful incarnations of the classic Mac and Cheese, from chef's home kitchens and from renowned restaurants; international versions, such as Macaroni and Manchego and Farfalle al Quattro Formaggi; contemporary combinations including Penne with Roquefort, Green Chile Mac and Cheese, and Fontina and White Truffle Macaroni. There are recipes for a quick and soothing family dinner or an elegant dinner party with an innovative flair. Simple and straightforward enough for the novice cook, yet creative and sophisticated enough for the experienced chef, this new take on a classic will delight for years to come.

Joan Schwartz is the author and coauthor of many acclaimed books, including Meat and Potatoes, Bobby Flay's Boy Meets Grill and From My Kitchen to Your Table and Joel Patraker's The Greenmarket Cookbook.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Mmmm...macaroni and cheese! Thanks to Joan Schwartz, this all-American comfort classic gets its own cookbook, with 52 recipes from humble to haute. After you've paged through just a few of these recipes from well-known chefs, you'll see that mac and cheese is really the little black dress of casual food: always appropriate and infinitely adaptable.

Schwartz divides the recipes in three sections: Traditional Mac; International Mac; and Mac and Cheese Today. All start with pasta and cheese, but some cook on the stovetop, others in the oven; some use macaroni, others prefer orecchiette; some like cheddar or manchego, while others prefer a combination of mild and sharp (gruyère and cheddar, for instance). Topping? You bet. Breadcrumbs are traditional, but some chefs go for tortilla crumbs or even panko, Japanese breadcrumbs found in Asian markets. As Schwartz writes, "In assembling these recipes, I was struck over and over by the way gifted chefs approached the classic dish, respecting and changing it at the same time."

The Traditional Mac dishes are great. New Yorkers especially will be happy to see the recipes from Chat n' Chew, City Bakery, the Fairway Market, and the restaurant Home. Over in the world of International Mac, you'll find many Italian variations (Rigatoni al Forno, Farfalle al Quattro Formaggi), but also some Greek adaptations (Pastitsio, Greek Macaroni and Cheese), and one inspired by Provence (Macaroni and Cheese Provençal with Cod).

The section on Mac and Cheese Today contains much of the culinary star power, with recipes from Rick Bayless, Katy Sparks, Waldy Malouf, Gordon Hamersley, and Charlie Palmer. These are the cutting-edge recipes, mac and cheese all dressed up for a night on the town. You'll find Terrine of Macaroni, Goat Cheese and Foie Gras (Gordon Hamersley), Baked Conchiglie with Roasted-Garlic-Cheese Sauce, Ricotta Cheese, and White Truffle Oil (Bobby Flay), and Macaroni with Many Cheeses in a Red Chile-Herb Crust (Katy Sparks).

All in all, these 52 recipes will give you a great excuse to serve mac and cheese every week, the whole year long. (Ginger Curwen)

Library Journal
What a great idea a whole cookbook devoted to one of everybody's favorite comfort foods. Schwartz, coauthor of chef Bobby Flay's books, among others, collected recipes from well-known chefs around the country and added a half-dozen or so of her own. There are lots of versions of "classic" macaroni and cheese, along with recipes for what she calls "International Mac" such as Pastitsio and Rigatoni al Forno and "Mac and Cheese Today" Fontina and White Truffle Macaroni, Mascarpone and Noodle Pudding, and more. For most collections. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307290175
  • Publisher: Sterling Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/15/2005
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 8.38 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Joan Schwartz is a graduate of Rutgers University and received an M.A. from the University of Chicago. She has worked as an editor for the University of Chicago Press, Columbia University Press, Macmillan Publishing Company, and The Free Press. She is an avid reader, writer, and cook, and is the coauthor of ten previous cookbooks, including Bobby Flay's Boy Meets Grill and From My Kitchen to Your Table, Joel Patraker's The Greenmarket Cookbook, and Matthew Kenney's Big City Cooking. Joan and her husband divide their time between Westchester and New York City, and have three grown children.
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Read an Excerpt

Ten-Minute Mac and Cheese
Serves 3-4

Well, maybe eleven — the time depends entirely upon how long the pasta cooks. Start the cheese sauce when you put the water on to boil and it will be ready by the time the pasta is done; then combine the mezzani and sauce and ladle your creamy Mac into deep bowls. Macaroni and Cheese out the box takes longer!
Chef DuFresne, who is a purist when it comes to Mac and Cheese, prepares this minimalist classic at his downtown New York restaurant, 71 Clinton Fresh Food. He doesn’t recommend adding any salt, pepper, or spices, letting the pristine flavor of American cheese carry the dish.

1/2 pound mezzani, or substitute penne or shells
2 cups whole milk
15 slices American cheese, broken into small pieces
5 tsp. of cornstarch
2 tbsp. warm water
1/4 cup toasted bread crumbs

1.Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 10 to 13 minutes.
2.Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the milk to a boil. Whisk in the cheese, lower the heat to medium, and cook until completely melted.
3.In a small bowl or cup, dissolve the cornstarch in the water and whisk it into the milk mixture; raise the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, whisking occasionally. Remove from the heat and continue whisking until thickened slightly.
4.When the pasta is cooked, drain it well and pour it into the pot with the sauce, stirring to combine. Divide among three or four serving bowls, sprinkle with the toasted bread crumbs, and serve

Greek (and Organic) Macaroni and Cheese
Makes 4-6 servings

An amazing dish with lively colors and textures, this suggests a Greek salad transformed. Chef Pouillon of Nora and Asia Nora, in Washington, DC, uses only organic ingredients here in all the food she cooks, and they are worth seeking out when you shop. Feta contrasts with the sweet, juicy tomatoes and fresh spinach, and the herbs sing of Greece.

1 pound macaroni
1/2 pound spinach, washed and stemmed
1 1/2 pounds crumbled feta cheese (about 6 cups)
2 1/3 cups whole milk
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2/3 olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
3/4 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
1 tbsp. finely chopped garlic
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 cup pitted and coarsely chopped black olives
1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs

1.Preheat oven to 350F
2.Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and place in a large mixing bowl.
3.Blanche the spinach: Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Have ready a large bowl of ice water and slotted spoon. Add the spinach to the simmering water (in three or four batches) and submerge it. Let it cook for about 15 seconds, remove with the slotted spoon, and plunge into the ice water. Let the spinach cool completely, drain it, and squeeze out the excess water. If the leaves are large, chop then into bite-size pieces. Reserve
4.In a blender or food processor, puree the feta cheese with the milk, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Blend in two batches, if necessary. This will not be completely smooth; there will be very small chunks of cheese remaining. Stir the cheese mixture into the cooked pasta, then add the minced rosemary and thyme, the garlic, red pepper flakes, olives, cherry tomatoes, and blanched spinach.
5.Place in a 9 by 13-inch baking pan and sprinkle with the grated Parmesan cheese and the mixed herbs. Bake on the middle shelf until the pasta is heated through and the top is slightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

Today’s Macaroni and Cheese
Makes 8 servings

Rick Bayless, chef and owner of Chicago’s Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, confesses that he grew up on the wonderful slow-baked macaroni and cheese served at his parents’ restaurant, which he calls “crusty cheese over submissive macaroni.” His adult version is creamy and a little “edgy” — with the delicious jolt of salsa.

2 cups milk
4 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups good-quality salsa
3 cups (3/4 pound) shredded Cheddar cheese Kosher salt, about 1 1/2 tsp.
1 pound dried pasta (elbow macaroni, cavatappi, rotini, or fusilli)
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

1.Fill a large pot with about 6 quarts of water and set over high heat. Warm the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat, or in a glass measuring cup in a microwave, for about 1 minute. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, then stir in the flour and whisk until the mixture turns a deep golden, about 2 minutes. Add the warmed milk all at once and continue to whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and comes to a full boil, 4 or 5 minutes. (Whisk diligently and there will be no lumps.) Stir in the salsa, remove from the heat, then stir in the cheese, stirring until it melts. Taste and season generously with salt.
2.When the water has come to a boil, add the pasta. Stir well so no pieces stick together and boil until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. Stir in the cheese sauce, then spoon into a serving dish. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Note: If you want a wonderful contrasting texture, spoon the macaroni and cheese into a buttered baking dish. Top with 1/2 cup bread crumbs mixed with 1 tablespoon melted butter and bake in a preheated 375F oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until richly browned and crisp.

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Recipe

CITY BAKERY MACARONI AND CHEESE
Makes 4 to 6 servings

The trick is in the proportions of crisp topping, creamy sauce, and smooth pasta -- and Chef Ilene Rosen gets it exactly right. She advises that you have some freedom in choosing your pan: just remember that a large, flat pan will give you a greater area of crumb topping than a small, deep one.

6 tablespoons butter, plus extra for the pan
1/4 cup corn bread crumbs (or more, depending upon pan size)
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 quart whole milk
6 tablespoons flour
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1-1/4 cups (5 ounces) grated Gruyère cheese
1-1/4 cups (5 ounces) grated Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly butter a 3-1/2-quart deep baking dish or a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking pan.
  2. Spread the crumbs in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the macaroni until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes, drain, and place in a large bowl. (To prepare up to a day ahead, mix in a small amount of canola oil, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use.)
  4. Bring the milk to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
  5. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the 6 tablespoons of butter, add the flour, and mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Whisk in the hot milk and continue whisking until smooth. Raise the heat to medium and cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the spoon. Season with salt and pepper and strain through a fine strainer.
  6. Add the sauce to the cooked macaroni. Add 1 cup each of the Gruyère, Cheddar, and Grana Padano, and mix well. Taste, and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
  7. Pour the macaroni mixture into the baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. (At this point, the macaroni and cheese may be cooled on the counter, covered, and refrigerated for one day. Before proceeding, preheat the oven to 350° F.)
  8. Sprinkle the toasted corn bread crumbs evenly over the casserole and cover with foil. Bake on the middle shelf until heated through, about 20 minutes; remove foil and continue baking until the top is golden brown, an additional 10 minutes. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

FARFALLE AL QUATTRO FORMATTI
Makes 4 to 6 servings

This mixture of flavorful Italian cheeses -- creamy, soft robiola, pungent Taleggio, and rich, nutty fontina -- stirred into an oniony béchamel is a winner from Don Pintabona, the chef of New York's Tribeca Grill. The buttery topping adds an extra kick of Gorgonzola. Absolutely irresistible!

1 pound farfalle (or baby shells, orecchiette, mezza rigatoni)
2 cups whole milk
6 tablespoons butter, plus extra for the baking dish
1 medium onion, minced (about 11/4 cup)
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup (2 ounces) aged robiola cheese, broken into small pieces
1 cup (1/4 pound) fontina cheese, broken into small pieces
1 cup (1/4 pound) Taleggio cheese, broken into small pieces
Fresh-cracked black pepper (see Note)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1/3 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and cook the pasta until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan over low heat, bring the milk to a scald.
  4. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter and cook the onion until soft and fragrant, but not colored, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the flour, and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes. Add the scalded milk, raise the heat to medium, and bring to a boil. Simmer, whisking, for 3 to 5 minutes, until thickened and smooth, with chunks of onion.
  5. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the robiola, fontina, and Taleggio, in batches, until the cheeses are incorporated (they need not melt entirely). Add the pasta and stir well to combine. Season with black pepper.
  6. Butter a 4-quart shallow flameproof baking dish and add the pasta. Sprinkle with the Gorgonzola and the breadcrumbs and dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Bake on the middle shelf until bubbling, about 25 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and raise the temperature to broil. Place on the top shelf, about 4 inches from the flame, and broil until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.

Note: For cracked black pepper, wrap peppercorns in a dish towel and smash them with a heavy pan.

TODAY'S MACARONI AND CHEESE

Rick Bayless, chef and owner of Chicago's Frontera grill and Topolobampo, confesses that he grew up on the wonderful slow-baked macaroni and cheese served at his parents' restaurant, which he calls "crusty cheese over submissive macaroni." His adult version is creamy and a little "edgy" -- with the delicious jolt of salsa.

2 cups milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups good-quality salsa ( such as Rick Bayless's Frontera Roasted Jalapeño Tomato or Roasted Poblano Tomato)
3 cups (12 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
Kosher salt, about 11/2 teaspoons
1 pound dried pasta (elbow macaroni, cavatappi, rotini, or fusilli)
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

  1. Fill a large pot with about 6 quarts of water and set over high heat. Warm the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat, or in a glass measuring cup in a microwave, for about 1 minute. In a medium-size saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, then stir in the flour and whisk until the mixture turns a deep golden, about 2 minutes. Add the warmed milk all at once and continue to whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and comes to a full boil, 4 to 5 minutes. (Whisk diligently and there will be no lumps.) Stir in the salsa, remove from the heat, then stir in the cheese, stirring until it melts. Taste and season generously with salt.
  2. When the water has come to a boil, add the dried pasta. Stir well so no pieces stick together and boil until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. Stir in the cheese sauce, then spoon into a serving dish. Sprinkle with the cilantro.

Note: If you want a wonderful contrasting texture, spoon the macaroni and cheese into a buttered baking dish. Top with buttered breadcrumbs and bake in a 375° F oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until richly browned and crisp.

Copyright © 2001 by Joan Schwartz.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2012

    Hello?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2012

    Easy as cake

    If girl title review hoohah if guy title review woopdee and you may ask me a question which i will answer by changing my review of this book. Good book too.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

    Mac and cheese

    I can eat it all day long it is my favorite snack of the day.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    Ghtj

    I love mac and cheese

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  • Posted June 10, 2011

    Mmmmac+and+cheese%21

    Made+Mac+and+Cheexe+Soho+Grand+last+night.+Sharp+cheddar+with+parmesan%2C+onions%2C+nutmeg%2C+butter%2C+tobasco.+Amazing%21

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2002

    Excellent variations on an old favorite

    My wife has made three different recipes from this book so far and they all have been great.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2002

    Macaroni and cheese. Yum!!

    It was a good bookBut the recipes were better!!! Ienjoyed reading it and you should to!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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