How to hack your macaroni cheese

You won’t need to make a flour roux for your macaroni cheese if you cook your pasta in milk rather than water, says Sam Wong

Humans

23 November 2022

Shutterstock/foodstck

CHEESE sauce is one of the first things I remember learning to cook as a child. You melt butter in a pan, whisk in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Then, gradually add the milk, whisking vigorously to avoid lumps. Simmer until it thickens, then mix in the cheese.

I must have made macaroni cheese this way dozens of times, but I might never do so again since learning of an ingenious shortcut.

Before I get to that, let’s consider why we need flour in a cheese sauce in the first place. The starch in flour plays two important roles here. One is to thicken …

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