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Mac 'n' Cheese: Rags to Riches

Mac 'n' Cheese: Rags to Riches

Frankie's World - Sn 1/Ep 8Frankie's World - Sn 1/Ep 8

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From unloved pantry stalwart to gourmet pub favorite, mac 'n' cheese continues to reinvent itself.

Mac and Cheese Pasotto


  • 1 1/2 tablespoon butter

  • 1 shallot, minced

  • 1 slice bacon, sliced into 1-inch squares

  • 1 cup small elbow pasta

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 1 cup yellow cheddar cheese, grated

  • 1 tablespoon cream

  • 1 tablespoon chives, minced


  1. Heat a pan over medium-high heat.

  2. Add 1 tablespoon butter and the shallots. Sauté until fragrant. Add

  3. Elbow pasta and the chicken stock; cover. Toss or stir every 2 minutes for

  4. 8 minutes. Remove top and allow stock to reduce.

  5. When the stock is evaporated, check the doneness of the pasta. If it

  6. Needs to cook longer, add some warm water or more stock.

  7. Once the pasta is fully cooked, add the shredded cheddar and fontina.

  8. Once the cheese is melted and incorporated, add 1/2 tablespoon butter and

  9. The cream to finish. Top with chives.

Mac and Cheese Casserole


  • 1 pound elbow pasta

  • 3 tablespoons butter + extra for greasing the baking dish

  • 3 tablespoons flour

  • 3-4 cups whole milk

  • 2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese

  • 1 cup shredded fontina

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano

  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic

  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder

  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika

  • 1 cup panko


  1. Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain, then

  2. Place in a buttered baking dish.

  3. In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter, and add in the flour

  4. While whisking to make a roux. Slowly add the milk while stirring to make a

  5. Béchamel. When consistent, add the cheeses slowly, making sure to allow

  6. Each to melt in a homogenous manner. Mix in the granulated garlic, mustard

  7. Powder and paprika.

  8. Add the cheese sauce to the baking tray with the pasta and mix well. Add

  9. Salt and black pepper to taste; cover the top in panko.

  10. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.

  11. If you're an insane person, add truffle oil before serving.



Facebook Comments


- So what I learned in the end is whether I'm slathered in shellfish or in a simple blue box, people just love noodles and cheese, and that's exactly what I am. Tonight, Mac and Cheese Behind the Noodle. Frankie's World. In the course of just a few hundred years, He went from obscure Italian origins. - At first I was like, there's no meat in this. Then I tried it, and I realized, this may be to noodles what fried is to chicken. And then, this shit just blew up. - [Frankie] To American super stardom. - I mean you couldn't open a cupboard without the mac and cheese jumping out at you. - [Frankie] From poverty to incredible wealth. He went from forcing the advancement of technology just to accommodate him to being left in the pantry for years, but in between, he lived the American dream. - It was like he was everywhere. Your home, your school, even your mom liked him. - His popularity boiled over out of cities and into homes all across America. So ubiquitous was it that mothers all across the US began innovating with peas and ham, and just like that the fame got to him. His head got so big, he wanted to be called MC Ham and shit, but just like everything, as time goes on, people's tastes change. - That was when all hell broke loose. - Love me. - Ah, there's gluten all over my yam fries! - [Man] And GMOs. - But then something interesting happened. Urban pub goers decided what was out, was in. - What was fat, was thin. - And if you add a little truffle flavor, jack the price $20, a little lobster tail on the side. - I never did understand that business model. - You got a whole new millennial mac and cheese. - I am the boxed food of my generation. No one is more talented than me. My name is Young Cheesus. - [Frankie] Now, after all the ups and downs, macaroni and cheese can finally rest on its laurels. - At first, I thought I was one thing, but that's because I was young, I didn't know you know? The rise to the top was too fast. I wasn't thinking outside of the box. And then when it hit me, the fall was hard. Nobody liked me anymore. Some people still liked me. Then I reinvented myself and insisted that people love me again for a whole lot more money, and then they got sick of me again because I was taking myself way too seriously. So what I learned in the end is whether I'm slathered in shellfish, or in a simple blue box, people just love noodles and cheese. And that's exactly what I am. - [Narrator] History! - Undoubtedly there is one song about macaroni that trumps all others, Yankee Doodle Dandy. But where did this song come from? What is it about? Well it turns out that it came from Holland in the 1500s and originally contained nonsensical lyrics. ♫ Yankee Doodle doodle down diddle doodle tanther ♫ Yankee viver vooher vounden ♫ Booter milk and tanther - The end of the verse actually has some basis in reality. Farm laborers at the time were paid as much buttermilk as they could drink. Booter milk, and they were also paid 1/10 of grain. A tanther. The word doodle first appears in English in the 1700s and it means to play music badly, comes from the word dudle with the double dot umlaut on top and that can also mean fool or simpleton. A little later in the 18th Century, and this one's a little hard to believe, the macaroni wig becomes the hottest fashion item of this season. And macaroni becomes a term synonymous with chic and foppish and dandy. Now the wig wasn't actually made out of macaroni noodles. Like any good wig it was made out of human hair. But it had tight macaroni curls. - Dandy. - And those are the roots of one of the greatest songs of the 18th Century, or any century for that matter. - [Narrator] It's cooking time! - I'm Frankaroni and this is Cheese and he's gonna help me promote our latest album, Lactose Intolerant. While he does that I'm gonna show you how to make macaroni and cheese, the old way. Yes start with some butter in a pan. And you gotta melt it. So this is a roux, and it's essentially fat and flour and this is the basis of mac and cheese the old way. Sprinkle in some flour. Let's get a little more. Make it nice and smooth. Now we turn it into a bechamel, so that means you add milk. A little bit at a time 'cause you don't want anything to seize up. And this is how you get a smooth, creamy cheese sauce. Bechamel's looking pretty good. Little more milk. Little more power. Got some granulated garlic. Got some mustard powder. Paprika, paprika! So you got these spices in here, and we're beginning our cheese sauce and we're probably a half hour into cooking at this point. There are a lot of problems with doing this the old way. It's delicious sure, but it's a PIA which is an acronym for pain in the ass. - Gettin' saucy. - Got fontina, got cheddar cheese. Cheesy. Nice and smooth. At this point, you can come in with our cooked macaroni. Okay so now you incorporate this around, get that cheese sauce flowing, oh baby. Parmesan cheese. Ah yeah. All right. That is, that is some cheesy goodness. We've got a greased up pan here. It's quite greasy. Here we go. So at this point you just spread it out a little bit. Oh my god that's so gross! Panko, it's a Japanese bread flake, yeah. This is going to be great right before we put it in the oven because it's gonna create a crispy, crunchy, delicious top. So now we bake this. - Cheese on the keys. - So that's in the oven for a while, but now for the fast version, over here. Shallot. Bacon. Why would you ever do it the old way again when this takes no time at all? Just wait for it. Drop the temp of that pan a little bit. Now here's the deal. Raw pasta. Directly into pan. Coat it around, chicken stock, chicken broth, water, beer, wine. Pick one. Put it in. Make sure everything's nice and loose and put a cover on it. Now just wait. So at this point, take this top off. And you gotta test your pasta right? Give it a little stir. And just say is this done? And the answer is yes, so what is the advantage of cooking in beer or wine or stock like this? The advantage is that can you see how thick the bubbles look in there? They're very starchy looking right? It's because they are. You see normally all that starch water goes down the drain, but by keeping it here in the pan by cooking the pasta in what is eventually going to be the sauce, what we did was create that butter, flour roux thing sort of by cheating. It like eliminated a step. It's brilliant. - Cordon bleus. - Cheese. Can come in with just a touch of cream. Just a touch. It's even a little thick yeah? Then you can come in with just a touch of butter at the end. Smell that? - Mm. - At this point, chives, very important and the best way of course to cut chives is with the choo choo train rolling technique which is like this. And that is macaroni the new way. You cook it in the style of risotto so you cook the pasta in the pan and what you get is the starch that comes off from the pasta is left in the pan which gives you a faux roux which eliminates steps. Long story short, this takes a quarter of the time as the old way. Here's the old way. - Al dente. - It's crusty, it's wonderful, but it takes a long time. This is like the printing press and this is voice dictated speech to text. Makes sense right? Oh, it's hard to beat I gotta say. Yo Che, try this. That's his nickname, it's short for Cheese. What do you think, one to 10? - Four? 10 man, 10, it's really good. - You hear it right there from the source, 10. - Totally delicious, 10. - You could do it the old way and it's fantastic, but in the time this takes to cook this can be completely done start to finish. So I leave it to you, how many minutes do you have to cook? Frankie I only have 11 minutes to cook. New one! Frank I got all day because I'm really bad at time management. Old way, and with that take us out, Cheese.

Coming right up

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