Tag Archives: fancy

Fancy Mac and Cheese

You can call it a Gruyere Alfredo, but I prefer my name

I’m dedicating this recipe to midterms. In my opinion, there are few other organized institutions so well designed to make victims feel like they’ve lost control of their lives. I stumbled through a particularly fun one the other day, and like Stu Pickles, felt the need to stress-cook my way out of sobbing uncontrollably at my professor’s office hours.


I knew that I needed to create something extravagant, something to let The Man know that he can’t kill my vibe. And I find few things more satisfying to make than a velvety smooth cheese-like sauce (seriously, it’ll make you feel like a superhero). So I checked out some recipes online and found this one, which gave me a good start. I threw in some classy veggies, and in the name of extravagant and defiant cheese sauces, I created my masterpiece of love and joy and self-esteem, this “Fancy Mac and Cheese.”

It took quite a while, but by Alma, it let me taste the sweet flavor of achievement again.

Ingredients (This fed 6 hungry people):

1 medium/large white onion, chopped roughly

3 cloves garlic, diced

~1 cup asparagus tips

1/3 cup dry white wine or water

1 tbsp flour

1 cup whole milk

8 oz Brie cheese (or a similar variety), rind removed

5 oz Gruyere cheese (or a similar variety), shredded

1 lb dry pasta (I like using shells with creamy sauces)

salt and pepper

olive oil

~1/4 cup breadcrumbs (optional)

shredded cheese of your choosing (optional)


1) Caramelize the onions. This takes a while, but is very much worth it. Put the onions in a skillet with a bit of olive oil over low heat, and stir them while they do their thing. The trick is to hit the (literal) sweet spot between translucent and burnt. Here is a mouth-watering tutorial.

2) Boil the pasta al dente.

3) Preheat the oven to 350 F.

4) Cook the garlic in olive oil over a skillet on medium heat for just a minute or so. Add the asparagus, and cook for another few minutes, until the asparagus starts to get a bit tender. Add the white wine or water, salt and pepper, and cook for another 3 minutes or so. Remove the asparagus from the pan, leaving the wine mixture. Turn the heat to low.

5) Add the flour to the garlic pan. The consistency we’re looking for is similar to hair conditioner or a little bit thinner. If it is too dry, add a little bit of milk at a time until it gets to the correct texture. Once it’s there, add the rest of the milk and stir until combined. Turn the heat to medium and cook while stirring until the mixture begins to thicken.

6) Remove the milk pan from heat and add the cheeses, a loose handful at a time and stirring well after each handful. Add salt and pepper to taste.

7) Put it all together in a bowl, stir well, and scoop it into an appropriate-sized baking pan (I used a 10-inch pie dish). Sprinkle breadcrumbs and the extra shredded cheese on top.

8) Bake for 20 minutes.



Gettin’ Fancy with the Cake

Completely random, but some of our Culinary Society e-boarders spied this diner menu after tonight’s pumpkin carving.

Our question? What is this “Special Gourmet Cake?” How does it differ than the “Plain Cake?” How does Jell-o come to cost $3?!

Questions abound, and we have no answers. The cake conundrum… as for the jell-o, I suspect the recession is to blame. Offer your answers to this puzzling menu item–the best answer gets to choose the pie flavor that we feature in next week’s Pie Class!

Culinary on CBS’s The Early Show!

A few days ago, just as I was settling in to my Art Humanities class, I received an ecstatic text from Matt: “We’ve been invited to be on the Early Show!  Want to come?”  My response was to drop my phone in surprise, and then quickly write Matt back – “HELL YEAH!”  Matt had been contacted by some of his friends at allrecipes.com to decorate cookies with them on the Early Show.  Of course, Matt accepted and requested to bring along a few friends. Request granted.  So, today, the results of that text came to fruition.

Matt, Kelcey, Helenka, and I met up at the 116th Gates around 6:15.  It was still pitch black out, and approximately 25 degrees.  Armed with Starbucks, we hopped in a cab and headed down to the CBS studios on 5th Avenue.  We were some of the first ones there.  We anxiously hopped around and shivered as more people arrived.  We were then arranged to be smiley and cheerful for a preview pan of the audience at 7 AM.  We spent the next hour and a half doing a variety of activities to stay warm.  Matt created a hopping dance while he tried to thaw the bottles of frosting (which, in the cold weather, had started to freeze). We also chatted up other friendly foodies and discussed the art of cookie decorating.  Several times, the camera crews and news anchors would return to us and we would all start cheering and waving.  We talked to the Early Show anchors and they thanked us for making it out there and sticking around, despite the cold winds.  In between the frantic dancing and jumping to keep warm, we were able to decorate a few cookies, too.

It was so exciting to be on national television!  A friend texted me randomly saying “DID I JUST SEE YOU ON THE EARLY SHOW?”   Also, it was great to be contacted by allrecipes!  We were also there with members from Cookies Across America and Drop-In-and-Decorate.  Both programs are trying to encourage people from all over the country to donate and decorate cookies to various charities. We think it’s a great idea to unite people through yummy cookies. (:

[Post and pictures by Amanda.  For those of you who are on Facebook, more photos of us will be uploaded –  including one of Matt wearing his Cookies Across America t-shirt over his coat.  That’s one you won’t want to miss. (:]