Let's talk about cheese. And also our friend pasta. And also what an incredible, beloved duo these two are. Melt is the book of mac n' cheese recipes you know you want: creamy weeknight stove top creations, baked pasta dishes that will make your house smell amazing, and more than a few surprises that make justifying another dinner of macaroni and cheese even easier.
• Who wrote it: Stephanie Stiavetti & Garrett McCord
• Who published it: Little, Brown and Company
• Number of recipes: Around 75
• Recipes for right now: Baked Camembert with Pears and Shell Pasta, Rogue River Blue with Crab Sauce Over Fettuccine, Tomato Soup with Star Pasta and Vella Dry Jack Crisps, Paneer Korma with Idiyappam Noodles, Pan-Fried Morbier Macaroni and Cheese, Peppers Stuffed with Miticrema and Toasted Orzo, Baked Ziti with Ricotta Sopraffina, Sweet Potato Kugel
• Other highlights: If your only idea of mac and cheese is a bowl of shells covered with cheesy bechamel, then hold onto your fork. Melt takes the basic idea of "cheese + pasta" and stretches it just as far as it can be stretched. Oh, never fear — you will find plenty of gooey, chewy, rib-sticking pastas here, but you'll also find pasta salads for summer, Indian kormas with paneer, peppers stuffed with fresh sheep's milk cheese and orzo, soups made hearty with pasta and a sprinkle of cheese, and even a soufflé made with elbow macaroni!
Stephanie Stiavetti and Garrett McCord also bring fancy cheese into the mix, encouraging us to move beyond cheddar and mozzarella with our cheese choices and get to know some of the unique and tasty cheeses out there. I'm in love with the idea of those pan-fried macaroni fritters made with earthy French Morbier cheese. I also need to try their recipe for Mexican style mac n' cheese made with spicy chorizo and mild cotija.
Most of the cheeses they specifically call for are fairly easy to find at a good cheese counter these days, and if not, that's your cue to get creative and find a similar substitute with the help of the Cheese Compendium in the appendix.
Melt definitely takes macaroni and cheese to another level. Even so, these recipes have that essential mac n' cheese characteristic of being instantly comforting and deeply satisfying.
• Who would enjoy this book? Mac and cheese lovers who are ready to grow up a little bit and try something new.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Melt by Stephanie Stiavetti & Garret McCord
• Visit Stephanie's website: The Culinary Life
• Visit Garrett's website: Vanilla Garlic
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Image credits: Emma Christensen)