Sunday Eats: Fish Sticks and Bacon Mac and Cheese

How. How are fish sticks and mac and cheese a Sunday eat? Well. I can’t just have fish sticks and mac and cheese. Okay, fish sticks, sure. Hit the freezer section and move on with life. But mac and cheese? Mac and cheese in any other house should take the 5 minutes required to cook the Velveeta Shells and add the packet of goo. Not in my house. I must make my own Velveeta. Why? BECAUSE I LIKE REAL CHEESE IN MY CHEESE SAUCE.

I don’t like bechamels. I have a great recipe for real mac and cheese that, while fantastic in the moment, is work and is only good for that one day. reheating breaks it. This is not what I want. I want a Velveeta. I want a loaf of cheese that I can cut off and have it melt consistently every time.

Homemade Velveeta

  • 10g of Sodium Citrate
  • 1.25g Iota Carrageenan
  • 4.5g salt
  • 280g of cheese (sharp cheddar, smoked Gouda, Edam, whatever you like, but REAL CHEESE not preshredded)
  • 75g of wheat beer
  • 100g water

Sodium Citrate : a stabilizer and emulsifier. Salty, acidic. does not require much.
Iota Carrageenan: Gelling agent usually derived from seaweed. This is what makes the loaf…loaf.

Heat the beer and water in a saucepan. Whisk in the Sodium Citrate and the Iota Carrageenan. Add the cheese and salt. Stir until it’s all good and melty and shiny. If you want it in a loaf, pour into a loaf pan lined with plastic wrap. Otherwise pour into a plastic container. It will set fairly fast. But it’s worth it.

Tips: Use a good cheese. If you like strong cheeses, use them. Use a mix. I like smoked gouda and sharp cheddar. For a milder sauce, Edam and mild cheddar. Make it fancy, make it basic. It’s your cheese!

Now we come to the bacon. There was a time when I was curing my own bacon. Because it was fairly simple and cheap and I could cut thick slices with more meat than fat.

Lookit that bacon. Throw those slices into the oven at 400 or so until they’re cooked. Pull them out let them cool and chop up.

Boil your pasta. I used some freaky spiral elbow macaroni.  Whatevers. Add your cooked pasta to your serving bowl, scoop some of that homemade Velveeta (if it’s still warm), maybe a little milk if it’s too thick, then add your bacon. Mix. Serve. Eat.



Not pictured: Fish Sticks. They’re fish sticks. Who cares?