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Turkey, mashed potatoes, Mac & cheese, is that not the four food groups?

For the record, I spent the first half of my life up north and M&C was a staple for Thanksgiving.
Posts: 8693 | Location: SWFL | Registered: October 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of cheesegrits
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I'm from generations of Southerners, and mac and cheese has never been on the Thanksgiving menu. I certainly wouldn't object to it, though.

My paternal grandmother always called it macaroni pie. The version we make has a firmer texture than the runny stuff that comes out of a box.
Posts: 2638 | Location: The Carolinas | Registered: June 08, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It was always on the Thanksgiving menu growing up in Alabama.

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Posts: 29385 | Location: In the red hinterlands of Deep Blue VA | Registered: June 29, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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outta the oven!

Picture of PASig
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Originally posted by cheesegrits:

My paternal grandmother always called in macaroni pie. The version we make has a firmer texture than the runny stuff that comes out of a box.

There are two distinct styles of mac & cheese and the one is more of a firm casserole and is more custardy and the recipe often uses eggs. The other is more creamy/wet/saucy and often just a cheese sauce mixed with cooked macaroni and heated in a dish.

I prefer the wet/saucy version although I grew up eating the firm kind.

Posts: 31164 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: November 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of slabsides45
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Sooo... For those of us who haven't added this to the menu before, but are willing to become fat(ter):

What's a solid mac and cheese recipe?


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Posts: 6255 | Location: Mogadishu on the Mississippi | Registered: February 26, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My wife's nephew makes Mac and Cheese in a Crock Pot every Thanksgiving . I'm not a huge fan of Mac and Cheese myself but everybody else raves about it .
Posts: 3047 | Location: Down in Louisiana . | Registered: February 27, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of BigSwede
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Originally posted by slabsides45:
Sooo... For those of us who haven't added this to the menu before, but are willing to become fat(ter):

What's a solid mac and cheese recipe?

I based mine off of this, I add more cheese( colby jack), more sour cream, more butter and milk

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Posts: 4572 | Location: GA | Registered: September 23, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would suggest searching:
on Google. The recipe is good. I like to use some good white cheddar but the recipe is good as is.
And besides all that you get to enjoy a dish that an American Icon enjoyed!

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Posts: 2598 | Location: See der Rabbits, Iowa | Registered: June 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Never had mac n'cheese for Thanksgiving, not opposed to it but, there's many other sides that would take precedence.

If I had to do one or, a request was made, I'd make Anthony Bourdain's version, the 4-cheeses, the umami bomb with Worcestershire and the porky goodness of the ham make it my favorite recipe.
Posts: 13015 | Location: Wine Country | Registered: September 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Really surprised that mac and cheese isn't considered a Thanksgiving staple.
Posts: 1688 | Registered: April 06, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of tatortodd
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Originally posted by PASig:
... but to me the starchy side dish has always been mashed potatoes.
One starchy side for TG? Growing up in the Upper Midwest, I think the only sides that weren't starchy were the green been casserole and cranberry sauce. Everything else was starchy - stuffing, mashed tators, sweet potato casserole, Hawaiian roles, cheesy potato casserole, feathered corn (spicy cream cheese, pepper, and corn recipe), etc. I don't recall mac & cheese.

Mac & cheese was pretty common TG side the 3 years I lived in SoCal and the 12+ years I've lived in Texas.

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Posts: 21385 | Location: N. Houston, TX | Registered: November 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I believe, based on the Family's traditions that any dish can be served when the Family comes together to give thanks ~ Be it Thanksgiving, another holiday, or any Family gathering.

For me, it is not a matter of when it can be served but do I make a kid friendly or adult version of Mac & Cheese ~ sometimes it's both.

My adult version replaces elbow pasta with fresh tortelloni or tortellini pasta, which is stuffed with meat, cheese, or veggie.

Below is my "Adult" Truffle Mac & Cheese. It's a modified version of the Mac & Cheese served by Smith & Wollensky steak house. In addition to using stuffed pasta, I changed from Black to White truffle oil and reduced the amount, I also replaced Black truffles with fresh mushrooms to make it less expensive. To be honest, the original version was over-powered with truffles for my tastes.

Truffled Macaroni & Cheese
Yields 12 side portions in two 13x9x2 casserole dishes

The modified Smith & Wollensky recipe uses fresh tortelloni/tortellini in place of ditalini pasta, mushrooms in place of black truffles, and less truffle oil then the original recipe.

2 cups shallots, chopped
1/2 cup garlic, chopped
1 bottle CA Chardonnay wine (any oaky chardonnay works well.)
1 qt. heavy cream
3 1/2 cups half and half
2 tsp. black pepper
3 small cubes chicken bouillon
5 oz. Stella brand Parmesan Cheese Wedges, grated
8 oz. Dofino Jalapeno Havarti or Maple Leaf jalapeno jack cheese, grated
(after 30 minutes in freezer, soft cheese is easier to grate)
7 oz. KerryGold (from Ireland) aged white cheddar cheese, grated
8 9oz. packages of fresh Buitoni tortelloni/tortellini pasta. (any combination of meat, cheese, or vegetable pasta can be used.)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped - Chanterelle, Porcini, Crimini/Portabella/Portobello or what fresh are available.
1/2 cup white truffle oil - black truffle oil is too strong

1 cup Japanese bread crumbs (panko)
1/2 cup white truffle oil – will use less than called for, just enough to moisten the panko
1/2 cup halved mushrooms – cut in a way you can tell they are mushrooms
Salt & Pepper (to taste)

  • In a large wide pot, sweat garlic and shallots in 1/2 cup butter until translucent.
  • Add white wine and reduce by half.
  • Add in heavy cream, black pepper, chicken bouillon, and half & half.
  • Bring to simmer.

  • In a separate small saucepan, create a roux by melting the remaining 1/4 cup of the butter then mixing in flour.
  • Whisk roux continually until light to medium blond.
  • Add roux to simmering mixture to thicken.

  • Continue mixing sauce for 10 minutes to fully incorporate roux.
  • Add grated cheeses, mushrooms, and truffle oil.

    Options - When all cheeses have melted, blend mixture using a submersion stick or tabletop blender to create a silky-smooth texture then bring mixture back to a simmer. You can blend before or after adding mushrooms. This decision depends on if you want chunky mushrooms with the pasta or just a smooth sauce. More mushrooms will be in the topping for presentation. Personally, I like mushrooms and prefer to blend mixture before adding the mushrooms.

  • Add cooked to al dente pasta to the sauce.
  • Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

  • Remove pasta and sauce from stovetop slightly cool before placing macaroni and cheese into two 13x9x2 casserole dishes to ensure sudden heat does not crack casserole dishes.

    Optional - It’s recommended you prepare the dish to this point the day before serving. This will give pasta and sauce time to incorporate, which enhances the flavor. If you are serving tomorrow, refrigerate until one hour before baking.

  • Combine cut mushrooms and truffle oil until all mushrooms have an even and light coat of oil.
  • Pick the prettiest 1/3 of the mushrooms and set aside
  • Evenly spread remaining 2/3 of the mushrooms over macaroni and cheese.
  • Combine panko and with small quantities of truffle oil until mixture has moist appearance and texture.
  • Evenly spread panko mixture over macaroni and cheese.
  • Evenly spread the reserved pretty mushrooms over panko mixture.
  • Drizzle truffle oil over any dry mushrooms or panko areas.

  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes until macaroni and cheese is bubbling and panko topping is golden brown.
  • Serve immediately.

    Posts: 2750 | Location: San Diego, CA  | Registered: July 14, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    The M+C served by my rural relatives always had ham diced very small mixed into it.

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    Posts: 14221 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
    Picture of Loswsmith
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    If I didn't have Mac & Cheese, my youngest son would be devastated. Although he (we I guess though I've lived many places) is a Tacoma Wa boy, his aunt is from SC and she has instilled the tradition strongly, as well as my mother, who while not being from the south knew it was his favorite and lavished it on him at holidays. It doesn't hurt that 50% of the time it's his declared "favorite food" when asked. I, of course, make it homemade.

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    Posts: 1547 | Location: T-town in the 253 | Registered: January 16, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
    Picture of Perception
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    Originally posted by slabsides45:
    Sooo... For those of us who haven't added this to the menu before, but are willing to become fat(ter):

    What's a solid mac and cheese recipe?

    Malcolm Reed's smoked Mac and Cheese is pretty good. I'm sure it would be really good baked in the oven as well if you didn't want to take the time to smoke it.

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    I like most all of the TGD sides except the green bean thing. I'll eat a few bits if some one (daughters) brought it. Which brings me to my complaint. When we gather, the kids have learned early on that you don't show up empty handed. So we land up with so many sides and desserts we run out of counter space. Then if I've got to carve a turkey, I get one square foot to negotiate this unruly beast. We don't have M&C But I do like it more than other sides (corn bread) so if someone brought that it would be okay.

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    Posts: 11080 | Location: Fort Worth, Texas | Registered: February 07, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    Picture of Jelly
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    Originally posted by gpbst3:
    Mac n cheese can go with any meal. Any meal.

    You're absolutely right.
    Posts: 2463 | Registered: March 15, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
    Picture of 229DAK
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    There are two distinct styles of mac & cheese
    I always thought of them as either 'baked' in the oven or 'stovetop' styles.

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    Picture of wrightd
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    Originally posted by Mboroman:
    Yay from here. In the South, Mac & Cheese is practically a food group. As usual, my wife will be making up a big batch tomorrow.

    Yep, home-made mac-n-cheese will be served tomorrow for XGiving, a bona fide major side dish. Don't eat too much though unless you're a big dude, I prefer to leave room for ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry stuff.

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    A new in-law (newly wedded wife of a cousin-in-law) from the south arrived with mac n cheese to a family thanksgiving meal. Someone announced with pride it's a special mac n' cheese. I asked in a loud voice, "Was it made with special ingredients? Wait! Let me guess. Macaroni... and cheese?"

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