When Trader Joe's changed its mac and cheese recipe, folks were understandably jaded. They noticed that the texture just wasn't quite the same, and when it comes to that perfect mac and cheese, texture is second only to cheesiness. People surmised that the newer version uses much less cheddar cheese, which contributes to an unpleasant, grainy texture. Luckily, if you're craving the old mac and cheese, Mashed recipe developer Jason Goldstein created a copycat version of this Trader Joe's comfort food staple, which he says, "is very close to the original!"
This recipe calls for four specific cheeses. To mimic the delicious Trader Joe's dish, you'll need one cup of shredded sharp cheddar, one cup of grated Swiss cheese, one cup of grated Gouda, and one cup of grated Havarti cheese. Sprinkle another cup of grated sharp cheddar over the top and you're golden. Or, at least, your mac and cheese will be.
Why These Cheeses Work Best
If we return for a moment to texture, we'll remember that skimping on the cheddar does not make for a creamy mac and cheese. But are the other three just as important? Goldstein thinks yes. He picked these four cheeses because he wanted to use the "exact cheeses on [the] Trader Joe's box." When it comes to replicating a certain taste, you can't do much better than using identical ingredients.
Goldstein also had some more general recommendations when it comes to whipping up your mac and cheese. Dijon mustard is included in the recipe to provide "an extra tangy background flavor." He also suggests baking the mac and cheese on the middle rack of the oven and covering it with foil to avoid overbaking.
Thanks to Jason Goldstein, we can once again enjoy the old-school Trader Joe's mac and cheese. As he says, "It is simple, fun, and tastes even better as leftovers."
Read the original article on Mashed.