There are lots of complaints I could make about Rick Massa’s Ultimate Recipe Showdown winning recipe, Cheese Lovers 5 Cheese Mac and Cheese. Buying all the ingredients, especially 5 kinds of cheese, cost me about $30, which is more than I generally like to spend on a single meal. And then I had tons of cheese left over-but I bought the only size packages the store had! I still don’t know how to grate fontina cheese, even though the recipe says to. It’s way too soft. Sometimes I had so many things going on in the kitchen at one time, I was sure something was going to go wrong. There is pretty much no nutritional value to it–its cheese, cream, milk and bacon.
But it won for a reason.
The recipe was easy to follow and made complete sense to me (a rarity). Even though I sometimes felt like I was doing too many things at once (watching pasta, stirring sauce, adding ingredients to sauce, etc) everything happened just the way it was supposed to. The sauce thickened beautifully–that never happens to me! It cooked perfectly-crusty on top and super creamy in the middle…but not runny. And it is delicious and filling. Just about everyone who reviewed the recipe on Food Network loved it. My Kraft “blue box” Macaroni and Cheese-eating family even loved it. I can’t even get them to eat Annie’s mac and cheese! I ate it with my family for dinner and then I had more again later in the evening.
I would make it again in an instant, and I suspect that some of my complaints about the recipe are due to inexperience, not actual issues with the recipe. It should be noted that this recipe makes closer to 8 servings than the 6 it claims. Which is fine with me-I can hardly wait to enjoy it for dinner tomorrow.