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Truffled Mac and Cheese

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Cold weather, anxiety-comforting-dense macaroni and cheese reaches a gourmet level with generous drizzles of sumptuous white truffle oil, and a few sliced mushrooms and broccoli florets for presentation.


Ingredients


unsalted butter for baking dish, plus 4 or 5 Tbs. (1/2+ stick)

salt, to taste

1 lb. elbow macaroni

1/2 very small head of broccoli, or not, cut into small florets

1 small can of mushrooms, or not

3 tsp. good quality truffle oil, or to taste

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. sweet paprika

1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

2 cups milk

1 cup half-and-half

freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyère cheese, or slightly more if necessary

1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese


Directions


Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook, stirring occasionally, until not quite al dente, about one or two minutes less than the package instructions, depending on altitude. Add small broccoli florets to the boiling pasta water for no more than one or two minutes. Drain in colander and place in large bowl. While the pasta and broccoli are still warm, drizzle with the truffle oil, stir well and set bowl aside.


Preheat oven to broil.

Return the saucepan to medium heat and melt the 5 Tbs. butter. Lightly saute the drained canned mushrooms, remove from butter with a slotted spoon, and add to the pasta bowl. Add the flour, paprika, and mustard to the remaining butter and cook, stirring well, until no visible flour remains, 1 to 3 minutes. 


Slowly whisk in the milk, half-and-half, and a generous pinch of salt and bring to a simmer, whisking frequently to smooth out any lumps for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add a pinch of pepper and the shredded Gruyère and cheddar. Whisk or stir until smooth.

Slowly add the cooked macaroni, mushrooms, and broccoli to the large saucepan and stir well, making sure the pasta is generously covered with sauce, which might mean that you don't use the entire batch of cooked pasta. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Broil in the preheated oven for a few minutes until the top is very lightly browned and the sauce is bubbly. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6.


We serve this with a hearty dark green arugula salad when we choose not to include the small amount of broccoli and mushrooms for nutrients and presentation color. This truffle mac and cheese is also fabulous on its own, with just a bit of chopped parsley for color presentation. 


Enjoy, breathe deeply, stay warm, enjoy your day.


Ellen Troyer with David Amess and the Biosyntrx staff