In case you missed it, I guest posted this recipe over at Jumble Mash. And because I love this recipe so much, I'm posting it again. Yep, that's right.
I have the best friggin Mac & Cheese recipe of all time. I recently blogged about Restaurant Week. My hubby and I dined at a swanky restaurant who was known for this mac & cheese and upon eating it, we knew we had to make it. Particularly for Thanksgiving. So we did some research on recipes, put one together we thought would be the best, and did a test run.
It was incredible. No, outrageously awesome. THE Truffle Mac & Cheese of a lifetime.
What is a truffle, you ask? Well, it's basically a fungus that grows from trees that is very similar to a mushroom, but waaaaaaay more expensive and tastier. There are different types of truffles with different flavors, but the most popular are white and black truffles. There are specially trained pigs that hunt these babies down and dig them up! They're like... special Piggie Truffle Hunters! Truffles are very highly esteemed and a huge delicacy. Far better than any mushroom you'll consume. In fact, I really don't like mushrooms, but I love truffles. However, I cannot afford truffles, seeing as how they can cost up to $1,000 per pound.
They aren't the prettiest looking devils, and do in fact resemble poop, but I assure you they are delicious.
The next best thing? Truffle oil. We got this small jar for about $13. It's black truffle oil, which is stronger and you do not have to use much to get the flavor into your cooking!
If you don't have access to buying the truffle oil in your city/town, you can purchase it on amazon here. Truffle oil can be pretty reasonable. If you have no idea what you're looking for, be sure to ask a professional at a gourmet food store or you can e-mail me if you plan to buy online. Another somewhat exotic ingredient for this recipe is Japanese (panko) bread crumbs. We used a Japanese brand, but it looks like Progresso makes them and could be accessed at most grocery stores.
Anyway, here's the recipe! It is based off of one we found on FoodNetwork.com and another one here.
O. Family Outrageously Awesome Truffle Mac & Cheese
1 lb cavatappi pasta (it's way prettier than macaroni)
1 and ¼ sticks of butter
¾ cup chopped red onion
2 Tbsp minced garlic
½ cup flour
16 oz. block white aged cheddar, shredded
½ cup parmesean cheese, shredded
1 cup skim milk
½ cup half & half
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup chopped fresh basil, thyme and rosemary
cracked black pepper (to taste)
1 Tbsp and 1 tsp black truffle oil (this is to your preference - start with 1 Tbsp and if that's enough for you, stop there. We were feeling a bit adventurous so I added one more teaspoon. You may have to use more oil if you are using white truffle oil and the taste is a little milder. I suggest black. It's stronger and you use less of it, so the dish doesn't become too oily.)
Splash white wine (about ¼ cup)
½ cup (or more) Japanese panko bread crumbs
Add butter to pot over medium-high heat. Saute the onions and garlic until they turn slightly brown. Add the flour and whisk together for 3 minutes to make a blonde roux (What's a "roux"? Click on the link for more info). Whisk in the milk and a splash of white wine and bring to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent the roux from burning. You may have to keep adding in skim milk if you think it's looking a little too "flour-y". Just eyeball it. Cook until the roux has dissolved completely and you can no longer taste the flour. Add the fresh herbs, the truffle oil, the cheddar, and half of the parmesean until dissolved. Season with cracked black pepper (to taste). Put ingredients into a baking dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs and remaining parmesean cheese on top evenly. Place under a broiler until top becomes golden brown.
Photos from our recipe: