Can do it all. And modest to boot.

Mac’n'cheese ‘o’ lantern…..

Posted: September 11th, 2009 | Author: alyssa | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments »

Yesterday I recieved an email that was a bit frantic, and a phone call that was downright freaked out.  Josie, thats right, our very own improvisor, was accepted into the Brookly Cheese Experiment.  Basically she has to make a cheese based recipe for about 300 people and hopefully it will be amazing enough to win a prize (lets face it…OF COURSE it will be amazing enough!).  We spoke for a little while and tried to work out some of the details of her recipe because its actually one she hasn’t made before. I will let her give you the details, but basically she is making a pumpkin mac’n'cheese.   Since she only has a couple days to prepare I offered to do a test run of the sauce she wants to use to help her out and pinpoint any problems that might arise.  Basically it was just a pumpkin-white cheddar beschamel.


1Tbsp Butter

1 Tbsp Flour

2/3 cup chicken stock

1/3 cup whole milk

1 1/4 tbsp pumpkin

3/4 block of cheddar cheese -grated

cumin, cayenne, and nutmeg to taste


Its a pretty simple process, but you have to pay attention so that it doesn’t burn or over heat.  Just melt the butter over low heat in a sauce pan and add the flour.  Cook the roux until the flour and butter are fully mixed and form a sort of paste on the bottom of the pan.

P-C Roux1

Then just add the chicken stock and milk and raise the heat a little (still on medium low).  Stir for about a minute and let the roux blend with the liquids, and then add the pumpkin and stir until the pumplin is fully incorporated into the sauce and it it thickens enough to coat your spoon.  Add the spices until to taste*, but be careful not to throw your cayenne into the pan, because then you get to reach in and get it our before the plastic melts on the bottom of the pan, and its just a situation at that point…P-C Cayenne Poor Cayenne :(

Then stir in the cheese a little at a time until it is all fully mixed in to form a thick creamy sauce.  You may want to re-spice it after you add the cheese to ensure that it tastes the way you want it to.

One thing that happened that I did not expect was the the pumpkin actually caused the sauce to get frothier than usual which I think will help it absorb into the pasta and not settle to the bottom as much.

*I have been told that ‘to taste’ is not really specific enough for some people, but really there is no other way to describe it.  You just have to add some and then taste, and if it s not enough, add more.  The trick is…the closer it gets to tasting right, the less you add so that you don’t over spice :) .

The final product

The final product

If the dish turns out even half as good as the sauce, Jo will definitely put up a good showing in her first major food competition :) .  I am so excited for her and I’m looking forward to hearing how it goes on Sunday.  She is an amazing cook so I know she will do great.  GOOD LUCK JO!!!!

Thanks to all my loyal readers (if I have any…)


9 Comments on “Mac’n'cheese ‘o’ lantern…..”

  1. 1 Leanne said at 6:39 pm on September 11th, 2009:

    So 2 questions:

    1. Does Jo’s family own a pumpkin farm I don’t know about it. I seem to remember some pumpkin cookies I got jipped out of…
    2. How much wine did you have before dropping the cayenne into the beschamel?

    All in all this does sound delicious, despite the fact that I am not normally a huge pumpkin fan!

  2. 2 Paige said at 6:52 pm on September 11th, 2009:

    So, I love mac and cheese; I will hope an pray for Jo and her success; I have to be honest, Pumpkin Mac ‘n Cheese sounds kind of yucky. I don’t like pumpkin though…

  3. 3 alyssa said at 6:54 pm on September 11th, 2009:

    Sadly I wasn’t drinking while I made this…I was however distracted by people knocking on my door and calling me all night.

  4. 4 Mom J. said at 10:31 am on September 12th, 2009:

    Good luck my Josie! Wish I were there to give a hand if you need it. I know you will do amazing! I’m waiting on the edge to hear how it goes!

  5. 5 Johanna said at 11:30 am on September 12th, 2009:

    Hey, Leanne, you watch out because one of your freezable feasts involves a sausage and pumpkin cream sauce for pasta. It’s addictive. TRUST ME!!

    Plus, pumpkin is so rich AND so good for you — it’s great. And honestly, how many people in the world have a lifelong friend who will listen to them freaking out, offer to try their nebulous, purely theoretical recipe, and then blog about it??? I’m a lucky kid. :)

    Also, I think that “freaked out” is putting it kindly. I was in a panic. Luckily, my culinary brain isn’t as scary a place as it appears to be. Yay!

  6. 6 leah said at 4:22 pm on September 12th, 2009:

    can’t wait to hear the results!!! i hope there is a full blog dedicated to this adventure. in the meantime my mind is warped with dreams of pumpkin. i want to stir it in to oatmeal, risotto, bread dough, and of COURSE mac n cheese :)

  7. 7 Adi said at 9:28 am on September 14th, 2009:

    Our Josie is quite awesome. I’m tempted to make this myself..I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin, but I usually only have it in sweet dishes. Savory, in my mind, sounds like a more suitable area for it. Hmmmmm!!

  8. 8 Mom Mac - and that ain't cheese.... said at 6:44 pm on September 14th, 2009:

    When do we get the results?

  9. 9 Johanna said at 8:29 pm on September 14th, 2009:

    Hi everyone — thanks for the support!!! We didn’t win, although there were many, MANY happy faces, and in general it was a great dish.
    You can check my site for the recipe, if you want to make it!! :)

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