Monday, July 20, 2009

Truffle Infused Mac & Cheese

Every week, a bunch of my friends and I meet up and spend the evening together eating, gaming and watching insanely scary movies. This usually ends up with my being walked home at about 2 in the morning by one of the biggest guys around (hey, I might not be brave, but I'm not stupid!)...
Anyway, last night we had movie/game night again, and I offered to cook, after having put it off forever.
I decided to keep it simple and make this AMAZING Mac & Cheese recipe, with muffins to snack on later. The first time I ate this was at my very first french cooking lesson ever, where our instructor was showing us how to make a bechamel sauce. It was my very first truffle experience, and ever since then, I've been addicted!!
Mac & cheese, I figured, was fun and uncomplicated enough for an evening at home watching movies, but not so commonplace as to be boring, thanks to the truffle oil..
I made a whole lot of it, and by the time we were through with dinner, there wasn't any left, so I'm sure you'll agree when I say that it was a hit!

You will need - pasta (I've used macaroni, what with it being MAC & cheese and all...), milk, butter, all purpose flour, cheese (I've used parmesan, pecorino and cheddar), white truffle oil, and salt and pepper (neither of which I've included in the photo). Simple isn't it?

To begin, grate a HUGE amount of cheese. No, I'm kidding. I like using this ribbon grater though, because what would normally be half a cup of cheese, gets grated to about 4 cups. Really, I promise. Makes me feel like I've been generous with the cheese without worrying about throwing in an extra yoga session to work it all off.

Alright, now that your cheese is all grated, take a nice heavy saucepan. Alternatively, if you live in MY world, please just get the only saucepan thats not waiting to be washed in the kitchen sink.
Crank up the heat and bung in the butter! (Yes, again, bung IS a real world. Where are you people from, another planet???) Once the butter foams, add the flour in and whisk until blended.

Now, let the roux cook for a few minutes (you can lower the heat during this part).

Once the flour has cooked well, take the pan off the heat and start whisking in the milk, and bring the mixture to a boil. Then, strain the whole thing to remove any lumps. At this point, while its still very hot, add the rosemary.

And now for that grated cheese....mmmm...
Don't put all of it in though! 

Reserve one-eighth of the total, and add the rest, whisking until you've got a nice sauce...

See how good that looks?
Check seasoning. Ooh, this is the part where you realize you have a winner. The sauce alone is good enough to eat all by itself, and we haven't even got to the good part yet!!  Patience, patience!

My sauce didn't need any salt, but I did sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper on.
In the meanwhile, boil the pasta until its al dente.

Mix the pasta and the sauce. Fight the urge to eat it all now. I promise you, it gets better, MUCH better. Really.

And now for the good stuff! Truffle oil! Drizzle/mix/stir, whatever you want. Just make sure that its EVERYWHERE. Now sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.

Bake for a few minutes in the oven, or stick it under a salamander until the cheese on top melts and becomes nice and golden and bubbly.

Serve warm...

Be warned though, this is a one way trip to truffle heaven. I shall see you there.



Milk - 350 ml
Flour - 15 g
Butter - 15 g
Rosemary - 1 tbsp dried/2 sprigs fresh
Parmesan - 1/4 cup
Pecorino - 1/4 cup
Cheddar - 1/4 cup
White truffle oil - 3 tbspns
Salt - as required
Pepper - 1 tsp
Macaroni - 2 cups

Bring liberally salted water to a boil in a large pot. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.
In a heavy saucepan, heat butter until it foams. Add the flour and stir until well blended.
Cook the roux for a few minutes.
Remove from heat, add the milk, whisking all the while. Back on the heat, bring the milk to a boil. Remove from heat again.
Pass the mixture through a sieve. This is now a bechamel sauce.
Pour the bechamel back into the pan (low flame) and add the rosemary. Cook for a minute before taking the pan off the stove.
Grate all 3 cheeses and mix them together. Reserve 1/8th of the mixture. 
Whisk the remaining grated cheese into the bechamel.
Check seasoning (pepper and salt).
Mix the pasta with sauce in an oven-proof dish.
Drizzle the truffle oil on the pasta and mix well.
Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on the pasta. 
Pass under a salamander/cook in an oven until the cheese bubbles and turns a golden yellow.
Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.


layeah said...

OOOh ! im the first to comment ! i feel privileged and al !
I have tried this out when you taught me this on a forum earlier...
its nothing short of fabulous!

raj said...

i'm so glad! haha, i hate to admit this, but i don't think there are enough people commenting at the moment for it to be special!! but you made my day! was wondering of everyone was pointedly ignoring the post!!

Vasishta Dasika said...

Awesome! Had Pasta with HUGE portion of truffle oil at Anise (you recommended in CFG)!

Do you think I can get truffle oil in Nuts & Spices??

Vasishta Dasika said...

Oh and I feel like sharing some gyan now- Truffle Oil is generally not oil from truffle as many people think (or it was just me)

The Purple Foodie said...

Hiee I'm finally blog surfing after what seems like an eternity! I love your post on mac and cheese. I don't know what's with our wavelenght. I've had a bottle of truffle oil tucked in my pantry for a while and I only pulled it out a few days ago. had some with the bread I made. Now I think I need to make this pasta. However, mine's black truffle. You go for yoga class? WOW! I dropped out of the last one I enrolled for. :P

rajiika said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
raj said...

@ vasi - see? i knew you guys would like anise's pasta! truffle oil available at maison.
@shaheen - lol, we need to start getting used to these strange coincidences! black is just as good, try the mashed potato recipe we were talking about! its delicious! also- learnt yoga for about 11 years. now i just practise at home. makes me fee; less guilty about eating! lol.

La Bella Cooks said...

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and I appreciate your kind comments. You would have to physically remove me from this fantastic mac and cheese. Truffle oil? Talk about a heavenly addition.

raj said...

@ bridgett - loved your blog! and thank you!

Marta said...

Mac & Cheese is the perfect food for movie night, especially this grow-up, classed-up version! I'd had a hard time paying attentio to the movie :)

Sneha said...

I love your Mac and Cheeze post! Will try some eventually...have my mind set on Garlicky baked fries as of now (and nope, I dont have a food blog)

Btw....while we're at it, I'd please like to know where I can find some Thyme and Rosemary in India...Thanks :D

Vasi said...

@ Sneha..

Rosemary and Thyme are available at almost all your standard departmental stores these days- Nilgiris, Spencers, etc..

Unknown said...

That looks rich and creamy! I should try this some day!

raj said...

@ everyone - thank you! and sorry ive not replied. been away for a bit (singapore!!) back now... will blog about my trip to food paradise soon!