Kardea Brown Names The Biggest Mistakes You Are Making With Mac And Cheese - Exclusive

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Whether you are a charcuterie board fanatic or a queso lover, cheese is a vital part of any holiday party. Among its many favorite iterations is macaroni and cheese. It's one of those dishes that was ingrained in your childhood but can still be enjoyed as an adult — especially when there is an Instagram-worthy cheese pull involved (and that debated crunchy breadcrumb topping). Homemade macaroni and cheese is a sure crowd-pleaser at your parties as long as it's done right, and with her background in Southern food, Food Network's Kardea Brown is here to make sure you get the tastiest mac and cheese possible.

In an exclusive interview with Tasting Table, Brown revealed all about her first cookbook, "The Way Home: A Celebration of Sea Islands Food and Family with over 100 Recipes," and the recipes are nothing short of mouthwatering. The "Delicious Miss Brown" host also disclosed her go-to cocktail, her infamous house seasoning ingredients, and most importantly, the biggest mistakes you are making with your mac and cheese.

Using pre-shredded cheese

Kardea Brown includes a decadent seafood macaroni and cheese dish on her Christmas table every year. When we asked her for tips, the food connoisseur mentioned that there are several mistakes you should avoid with mac and cheese, including "not putting enough liquids" such as heavy cream or half and half. Brown told us, "It in turn makes a very dry macaroni and cheese, so you want to make sure you have enough of your milks."

The Food Network star also stressed that using good quality cheese is vital for taking your macaroni and cheese from good to great. Brown explained that pre-shredded cheese is a culinary taboo with this dish, noting, "Pre-shredded cheese has enzymes in it to keep it stabilized on the shelf, and that inhibits the cheese from melting. If you hand-shred your cheese, you get it right from the block, hand-shredded, and it has a higher melt."

Brown recommends grabbing an extra sharp cheddar cheese at the grocery store the next time you get the urge for homemade mac and cheese. The television personality is from South Carolina, and she describes this cheese to be a "Southern staple." She would know — her book has no shortage of delicious Southern Lowcountry recipes!

Purchase Kardea Brown's cookbook, "The Way Home: A Celebration of Sea Islands Food and Family," on Amazon. Keep up with Brown's upcoming projects on her Instagram page.