The Big Cheese (Aged to Perfection, Part Two)

For fear of inadvertently turning a little review post into a long, drawn-out novel, the urge to insert flowery prose was kept in as close check as possible. Still almost double the girth of the average article around here, it was a behemoth alright, providing plenty of info to chew on over the weekend. Countless tiny tasting notes abbreviated or discarded, I was ready to call it a day, mark this book done, and revisit it at leisure. Cleaning files and photos, it was with horror that I discovered my omission. Shortened text is one thing, but an entirely forgotten recipe trial and photo? Not on my watch.

Slipping through my fingers for a second time, I suppose, there’s a very good reason why the Air-Dried Cheddar (page 30) missed the boat on the original posting; it was ugly as sin. So ugly, in fact, that I couldn’t manage to capture any remotely appealing picture of it whole. Greasy to the touch, crackled and flaking on the outside, it was the only block of cheese that somehow picked up a little spot of mold as well. Gamely cutting out the offending fuzz, at four days in, it smelled more like yeasty bread dough than cheese. I did not have high hopes for this experiment. Although not nearly firm enough to shred or slice as promised, it was pleasantly musty in a ripened cheese-sort of way. Tasting more like traditional vegan cheeses of yore, it leaned heavily on the nutritional yeast addition, skewing it further from an authentic flavor than the previous recipes. Admittedly, I may have enjoyed it more straight out of the pan prior to aging, but it still had great potential once cured.

Making the first thing that comes to mind when anyone mentions the word “cheddar,” a lightning-fast batch of mac and cheese saved the day. Thickly coating al dente pasta in a creamy blanket, any small disappointments could be forgiven, bringing out its full culinary potential.

Yield: Makes About 3 Cups

Easy Cheese Sauce

Easy Cheese Sauce
Thickly coating al dente pasta in a creamy blanket, this easy sauce is perfect for making instant vegan mac and cheese.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes



  1. Break the cheddar into chunks, and puree all of the ingredients thoroughly until completely smooth. Transfer to small saucepan and heat, stirring occasionally, just to warm it through.
  2. To make an almost-instant mac and cheese, toss one batch of sauce with about 1 pound of cooked pasta and serve immediately.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 390 Total Fat: 29g Saturated Fat: 16g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 10g Cholesterol: 85mg Sodium: 616mg Carbohydrates: 10g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 9g Protein: 22g

Finally, because a recipe is a terrible thing to waste, I feel duty bound to share my approach to the famed aligot. Take my word though, it’s no mere variation on mashed potatoes; these spuds are far richer than any mere mashers could hope to be, even in the hands of Paula Deen. Dole out conservative portions, if you dare…

Yield: Makes 8 – 10 Servings


These are no mere mashed potatoes; these spuds are far richer and more decadent, to be doled out in small portions for special occasions that demand such lavish excess.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2 Pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes, Peeled and Diced
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegan Butter
  • 3/4 Pound Emmentaler, Diced, from Artisan Vegan Cheese (page 32)
  • 1/4 Pound Brie, Diced, from Artisan Vegan Cheese (page 12)
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to Taste
  • 2 – 3 Tablespoons Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk


  1. Fill a large stock pot with water and toss in the prepared potatoes and garlic. Set over moderate heat and bring to a boil, cooking until the spuds are fork-tender. Drain thoroughly before transferring the cooked potatoes to the bowl of your food processor.* Toss in the butter and both cheeses, pureeing until smooth.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste, and thin out with non-dairy milk if necessary. Continue processing for an additional minute or two, until silky, ribbon-like strands form when scooped up with a spoon.
  3. Serve immediately while still hot.


*Yes, I did say food processor. This breaks all the known rules of mashed potato-making, but remember, this is aligot, not mashed potatoes. You want them to end up rather sticky, stretchy, and gooey.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 293 Total Fat: 17g Saturated Fat: 10g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 49mg Sodium: 233mg Carbohydrates: 21g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 3g Protein: 15g


21 thoughts on “The Big Cheese (Aged to Perfection, Part Two)

  1. So was that cheddar less than stellar? I once made kefir cheese (back in the day) that was pretty much what you just described and ended up in the bin. It might be like making bread…you just have to mess about with it. I noticed that lots of people had problems with the cheddar (as it was obviously the first recipe in the book that most people wanted to replicate) and Miyoko has put some hints and tips on her blog to show people how to make it more attractive and cheese like. At least the results look amazing :) Good save girl! :)

    1. Yeah, that would be a fair statement. It turned out fine in the end, but I don’t think I would make it again, especially considering how incredible so many of the other recipes are to begin with. Glad it’s not just me!

  2. thats a lot of cheese deliciousness! thanks for the pointer about the cheddar. i have never been a fan of aged cheese. i cant imagine leaving the cheese on t he counter for so long:)

  3. I must admit that I am very intrigued with vegan cheese after your posts. The aligot looks so smooth and creamy! i like it that it calls for the food processor! Sometimes i get so lazy trying to mash up potatoes.

  4. Potatoes and cheese… there are so many great combinations, but I mult confess this was the first time I heard of Aligot and it sounds tempting.

  5. Now I’ve got to get a copy of that cookbook, I’ve heard so many good things about it. Never heard of Aligot before though but it sure does look good and sooo creamy. :-)

  6. Beautifiul images!

    Cheese sauce with cheddar is just a winner, like you show here.
    Unfortunately, l’aligot is not a favorite in our house, but a good cheddar with a glass of wine and bread after dinner sure is..

  7. oh my gosh Hannah. that mac and cheese is positively glorious. I just got The Book, and haven’t even started my rejuvalac yet… but I can’t wait. Sharp Cheddar is the first one I want to try because I really used to love sharp cheeses most of all.

Leave a Reply