Monday, August 6, 2012

Sometimes a meal is an event....

not just a meal, and this Truffled Mac and Cheese from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa is a major event.  Why did it make event worthy status?  I used a lot of ingredients, some I've never used before, many, many pots and pans, my food processor, destroyed the kitchen, and spent way more $$$ than I normally would to make my own mac & cheese. Was it worth it?  Absolutely, it was amazing!  

I normally try to keep my meals simple, but still a bit gourmet when possible.  I consider my lasagna and my prime rib an event instead of a meal, therefore it is something I may only make once or twice a year, or for company.  This particular recipe I have been glomming for three years, yes I said three years. I saw it on an episode of The Barefoot Contessa in 2009, and have probably watched it 4 times.  It has been in my "got to make this" mental file storage that long.  I decided I needed to quit stalking that episode and make the recipe, but first I needed to research cream sherry, and find truffle butter.  

I had 2 deviations from the recipe.  I used one pack of gourmet mushrooms with the cremini mushrooms because I couldn't find shiitake mushrooms, and I used panko bread crumbs instead of bread, we only buy honey wheat bread here.  I eventually found the truffle butter at Fresh Market.

Truffled Mac and Cheese

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Good olive oil
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced 1/2-inch 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced 1/2-inch 3 tablespoons cream sherry
Kosher salt
1 pound pasta, such as cavatappi
3 ounces white truffle butter (recommended: D'Artagnan)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 quart whole milk, scalded
12 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (4 cups)
8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 1/2 to 3 cups)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat the butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12-inch) saute pan, add the mushrooms, and cook over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until they are tender. Add the sherry and continue to saute for a few more minutes, until the sherry is absorbed. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a splash of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Add the pasta and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until al dente. Drain well.

Meanwhile, melt the truffle butter in a large (4-quart) saucepan and whisk in the flour. Cook for 2 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk. Slowly whisk in the hot milk and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the white sauce is thickened and creamy. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 1/2 tablespoons salt, the pepper, and nutmeg.

Combine the pasta, sauce, and mushrooms in a large bowl and pour them into a 10 by 13 by 2-inch baking dish.

Place the garlic and parsley in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse until they're minced. Add the bread crumbs and pulse to combine. Sprinkle the crumbs over the pasta and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the crumbs are golden brown. Serve hot.

Recipe Source: Ina Garten, Food

My review:  Fabulous!  Will I make it again?  Yes, the morning of a dinner party or special occasion I will cover with foil and refrigerate, and bake while appetizers are served.  

Occasionally, you need to splurge, and this was one of mine.  I hope you give it a try and let me know what you think.

Have a wonderful week!

Nancy :)

No comments:

Post a Comment