MEGA-LOCAL V.T. Späc n' Cheese

Team: Food Fighters

Host School: Centerpoint

Age Group: High School


this is based on Rachel Rays mac and cheese with root vegetable recipe:

Salt and pepper, herbs from kitchen herb garden.

1/2 pound carrots, sliced 1 inch thick

1/2 pound celery root bulb--trimmed, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes--or 1/2 pound parsnips, peeled and sliced

4 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups whole milk

1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning

2 1/2 cups grated sharp local cheddar cheese (about 9 ounces)

1/2 cup pickled vegetables 

6 cups Spaetzle (borrowing from LEE SVITAK DEAN's spaetzle recipe =

  • 3 c. flour

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

• 3 eggs

• 1 c. milk

• 1 tbsp. (or more) water


Preparation Instructions

Other than the salt and pepper and some spices, this recipe is 100 % local!!

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the carrots and celery root (or parsnips) and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, then transfer to a food processor and puree.

2. Meanwhile, bring a second large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add spatzle batter through seive and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and toss in hot buttered cast iron.

3. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, herbs spices, optional zest, optional Vegan Bacon Bits, and garlic and cook for a few minutes, then whisk in the flour. Whisk in the milk and simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and the Old Bay. Add in 2 cups cheddar to melt, stirring in a figure-eight motion with a wooden spoon.

4. Stir the pureed vegetables and cheese sauce onto the Spaetzle.  Here you can add discs of roasted Parsnip or other root Vegetable discs for additional texture and taste.  Top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar.  Here you could additionally optionally top with homemade breadcrumbs, zest, bacon bits. Broil (or Bake here) until bubbly and brown, about 5 minutes. To serve, top with the pickled vegetables from Chuckle Duck Farm.