|(1) Emeril Lagasse's recipe||(2) myrecipes.com recipe||(3) mycookbook.com recipe||(4) Southern Living's recipe||(5) Straight from the back of the box of Mueller's|
|6 tablespoons unsalted butter||1 (8-oz.) package elbow macaroni||2 cups macaroni shells||2 cups milk||8 oz. uncooked elbow macaroni|
|3 cups whole milk||2 tablespoons butter||3 tablespoons butter||2 tablespoons butter||1/4 cup margarine or butter|
|1 teaspoon salt||2 tablespoons all-purpose flour||3 tablespoons flour||2 tablespoons all-purpose flour||3 tbsp all purpose flour|
|1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper||2 cups milk||2 cups milk||1/2 teaspoon salt||1/8 tsp dry mustard|
|Pinch cayenne||1/2 teaspoon salt||1/2 teaspoon salt||1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper||1/8 tsp salt (optional)|
|2 1/2 cups grated Cheddar||1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper||pepper to taste||1 (10-oz.) block extra sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded||1/8 tsp black pepper|
|1/2 cup fine bread crumbs||1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper||2 cups shredded cheddar cheese||1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)||2 cups milk|
|1 (8-oz.) block sharp Cheddar cheese||1 tomato sliced||1/2 (16-oz.) package elbow macaroni, cooked||2 cups (8 oz) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese|
|1 cup croutons|
|Measures like 1/2 (16-oz.) package elbow macaroni, or 2 cups macaroni shells are actually equal in weight and volume, so these and other measures and volumes have been converted to a single standard measure.|
|All-purpose flour will be called flour and margarine/butter/unsalted butter is just called butter.|
|Milk is milk, which is good old regular whole milk.|
|An (optional) listing does not appear in the comparisons below.|
|Ground black pepper and fresh ground pepper are listed as black pepper.|
|Cayenne and red pepper are the same|
|Cheddar is cheddar, we aren't looking at its sharpness level, and grated or shredded are the same.|
|2 cups of cheddar is the same as 8 ounces|
|teaspoons = tsp. tablespoons = tbsp. cup(s) = c|
|Add-in Ingredients means that you can add anything you like to the mac and cheese base recipe---so add lobster or, like the original recipes above, bread crumbs, croutons or tomatoes.|
|Everything is now converted to a set standard measure, so we can compare accurately---as we compare apples to apples and nuts to nuts!|
|same in all recipes|
|Some similarities in recipe but a different amount of cheese|
|Same ingredient, slight difference in measure|
|Not in other recipes|
|8 oz. elbow macaroni||8 oz. elbow macaroni||8 oz. shell macaroni||8 oz. elbow macaroni||8 oz. elbow macaroni|
|6 tbsp. butter||2 tablespoons butter||3 tablespoons butter||2 tablespoons butter||4 tablespoons margarine or butter|
|6 tbsp. flour||2 tablespoons flour||3 tablespoons flour||2 tablespoons flour||3 tbsp flour|
|3 c milk||2 cups milk||2 cups milk||2 cups milk||2 cups milk|
|1 tsp. salt||1/2 teaspoo||1/2 teaspoon salt||1/2 teaspoon salt||1/8 tsp salt (optional)|
|1/4 tsp. black pepper||1/2 teaspoon black pepper||black pepper||1/4 teaspoon black pepper||1/8 tsp black pepper|
|cayenne/red pepper||1/4 teaspoon cayenne-red pepper||1/4 teaspoon cayenne-red pepper||1/8 tsp dry mustard|
|10 oz. grated Cheddar||8 oz. grated Cheddar||8 oz. grated Cheddar||10-oz. grated Cheddar||8 oz grated Cheddar|
|1/2 cup fine bread crumbs||1 tomato sliced||1 cup croutons|
|1 teaspoon Essence|
It seems to me, from my years of experience in the hospitality industry, that recipes #1 and #5 are completely original, perhaps #1 more so because it contains more milk and roux, which will make the entire dish saucier while not making the sauce too thick and it has more cheese too!
Recipe #5 has some dry mustard added but an 1/8 tsp. really won't do much to the flavor. It's like putting a pinch of salt into two cups of water. Also the butter/flour roux is a lot and will make the sauce almost too thick, thus making the dish a bit dry after it's baked.
Looking at recipes #2, 3 and 4, I see the same basic recipe, perhaps tweaked, simply by altering the amount of black pepper in each one. In recipe #3, I see too much butter/flour roux which again will make for a thick sauce.
Recipe #4 is the same as recipe #2 except for the amount of pepper and cheese. More cheese also makes for a thicker sauce while not really adding a lot more flavor. The difference in pepper isn't a big game changer either!
I wonder if Recipe #2 and #4 fits Julia Childs's comments about the tweaking of a recipe---you be the judge as I'm only pointing out facts. I like recipe #1 the best, nice and saucy with good flavor and salt level.