Mac-n-Cheese, Cheese, & More Cheese (v2.5)

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Can you imagine playing Russian roulette with the crust at your favorite pizza joint, the done-ness of your steak, or the hardness of your egg? Take away the obsessive cooks, and we'd all be eating Swanson's Hungry Man or instant ramen with a spork, which is a roundabout introduction to Why I'm Still Trying To Perfect Mac-n-Cheese. The mountains of grated cheese, the errors like some pagan fortune engraved in burnt milk at the bottom of sauce pots, the sweet, nutty smell of flour frying in butter that fill the house, and - finally - today's installment, in which I learn that, unlike Crisco or tickling, if some is good, then more is better.

In Search of Mac-n-Cheese Perfection, v2.0

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In our earlier skirmish with this thread, we waxed philosophical on the gustatory wonder and sundry therapeutic benefits of a classic macaroni and cheese, but made precious little headway toward the dish itself. While the end result was good, maybe even satisfying, it nevertheless fell short of transporting. And a truly classic mac-n-cheese must, above all else, transport us somewhere: Perhaps to a time when we were younger, or in circumstances more care-free, or maybe precisely where we are now, but with softer edges, the carbohydrate equivalent of a Snuggly.

Seeking Mac-n-Cheese Perfection: The Ground Rules

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OK, it's Monday, enough of the booze chatter. We promised to engage in the pursuit of mac-n-cheese perfection, and here in the Proximal Kitchen, we don't take such promises lightly. If you caught my previous post on mac-n-cheese, despair not yet another sermon from the culinary pulpit, because today's post - our introductory foray into the mac-n-cheese sweepstakes - is all business.

Why I’m Trying To Make a Perfect Mac-n-Cheese

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An old friend of mine and nascent PK supporter, a certain Ms T (you know who you are), recently put in a request in for my best take on mac-n-cheese. Not just any mac-n-cheese, mind you, but a "rich, rich, rich, very adult mac-n-cheese". This, T must have intuited, sits squarely in our wheelhouse because, here at the Proximal Kitchen, we love cheese, we love pasta, and we're not scared of butter. But for me, and I suspect for T and probably most of you, it's also about much more than that: