Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mac and Cheese, plus 13 ways with Gruyere

gruyere and fontina mac and cheese gruyere-title.jpg
It's no secret that I loooove cheese. I could spend an hour in front of the epic wall of cheese at Harris Farm. You may have noticed that I don't often do savoury recipes here, but be sure that when I do they are really something special. I hope you enjoy this round up of cheesy recipes from some of my favourite food blogs!

13 ways with gruyere

1. This thing of beauty was inspired by a wonderfully comforting Cheese Toastie we had at a dinner together at Gazebo Wine Garden. Steph from Raspberri Cupcakes take on it included sweet roasted garlic and oozy gruyere. Yes please!!

2. There is red hot competition for the title of Sydney's best burger and Rockpool's with bacon, gruyere and Zuni pickles rates pretty highly! I didn't manage to try it on my recent visit to Rockpool Bar & Grill in Perth (which you'll hear more about soon, promise) but I'll definitely be heading to the Sydney restaurant soon. Just look at that burger!

13 ways with gruyere
Picture Credits: Citrus and CandyTartelette

3. I can tell you firsthand how amazing the Gnocchi a la Parisienne is at Tastevin restaurant in Darlinghurst. Karen from Citrus and Candy made a beautiful version of it. The most interesting thing about this dish is that the 'gnocchi' is actually choux pastry, not made from potato. Note to self, try this at home... And make another reservation at Tastevin soon!

4. One of the ultimate comfort foods is French Onion Soup, especially as its getting colder by the day here in Sydney. Helene's version is stunning, especially when topped with steaming hot, deliciously melty gruyere toasts.

13 ways with gruyere
Picture Credits: Cannelle et Vanille & Donna Hay

5. I love the idea of these unique Apple, Gruyere and Sage Muffins from Cannelle et Vanille to accompany a bowl of  hot pumpkin soup. I imagine these would also be quite adaptable - substituting pear for apple, or perhaps adding in some bacon and changing up the herbs. Yum!

6. If Stuffed Zucchini Flowers are on a restaurant menu, it's fairly likely that they'll end up in front of me - especially if they're filled with cheese! I've never tried making them at home, but this recipe from Donna Hay looks particularly lovely.

13 ways with gruyere
Picture Credits: Spicy Icecream & Gourmet Traveller

7. This is a bit of a blast from the past, dug up out of the archives, but i had to share these Gougéres from the Tartine cookbook again because they were delicious. The perfect bite-size appetizer washed down with a glass of wine, you'll find it impossible to stop at just one. I also really liked the combination of gruyere and thyme.

8. I remember the very first time I tried a Gruyere Souffle at Ripples in Pyrmont, it was amazing! Being the twice-baked kind, it's a little easier for a home cook and every bit as delicious. I'm keeping this recipe from Gourmet Traveller on file for my next dinner party.

13 ways with gruyere
Picture Credits: Eat Little Bird & Williams-Sonoma

9. Savoury waffles is an interesting concept - usually I douse mine in ice cream and maple syrup! Eat Little Bird brings us Waffles with Gruyere and Thyme, which started as a way to use up leftovers in the fridge but I think it sounds like a delicious lunch. Note to self - buy a waffle maker!

10. Okay, so I've never actually eaten a Popover but by the sound of them, I think they'd be delicious - especially with Gruyere! The recipe from Williams-Sonoma suggests serving them with steak, which sounds like a beautiful modern take on the classic Yorkshire pudding.

13 ways with gruyere
Picture Credits: Real Simple & My Recipes

11. Bacon. Gruyere. Meatloaf. Yes please! This recipe from Real Simple dresses up the humble meatloaf into a delicious gourmet dinner. This would be lovely with a simple green salad.

12. I recently expressed my new found love of bread and butter pudding, and this Pear and Gruyere Strata layered with cinnamon bread from My Recipes looks delicious! I think it would be lovely for brunch or dessert, with a big scoop of ice cream.

gruyere and fontina mac and cheese
13. Mac and Cheese is a guilty pleasure of mine. I mean the nasty microwave stuff - so bad it's good right? But absolutely nothing beats homemade, even some fancy restaurant versions I've recently tried! In my opinion Mac and Cheese is best when baked with a scattering of breadcrumbs so the top gets nice and crisp.

I like experimenting with different cheeses and I think this version with Gruyere, Fontina and a smidge of Reggiano is a winner, but feel free to experiment with your favourite cheese varieties - the original recipe used an intriguing chilli-flavoured cheddar.


Gruyere and Fontina Mac and Cheese
Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side
Adapted from What Katie Ate
  • 1 1/2 cups macaroni pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups cream
  • 20g butter
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Fontina cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup Reggiano cheese (optional), grated
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3-4 tablespoons sourdough breadcrumbs
  • Fresh parsley, to serve
Preheat your oven to 250˚C (480˚F). Cook the macaroni pasta in boiling, salted water until just slightly under al dente - as it will continue cooking in the oven. Drain and keep warm.

In a saucepan (I used the same saucepan), warm the milk, cream and butter and bring to a slow simmer, adding mustard and parsley, and seasoning well with a good pinch of salt and pepper.

In a bowl, mix all cheese varieties together, then add half into the milk and butter mixture, combine well and stir in the cooked pasta. Grease the inside of an ovenproof dish with butter and add the cheesy pasta, then pour in the remaining milky cheese mixture. Sprinkle the top of the dish with breadcrumbs and the remaining cheese. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until browned and bubbling. If you like, you can add another handful of grated cheese and brown under the grill. Serve with fresh parsley scattered on top.

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