Side Chick: White Truffle Mac & Cheese

Sometimes I underestimate myself in the kitchen.  I don’t have much confidence in whipping stuff together from the top of my head like my husband does.  He is able to think up something from who knows where and make it so delicious.  We were planning a crab cake dinner for Kevin’s parents and we thought mac & cheese would be a nice touch  as a side.  As tempted as I was to feed off of someones recipe, Kevin changed my mind. He told me NOT to look up any recipes and to use my imagination.  As I said, I’m not so confident in the kitchen.  I usually take a glance at other people’s ideas to make my own ideas, especially when I’m cooking for other people other than my husband.  Fortunately, making up this entire dish worked out for the best and came out fantastic.  Here is how I made my white truffle mac & cheese.

I started off by starting a pot of salted water for my pasta and grating a ton of cheese.  I used approximately 2 cups of gouda and 2 cups of 1 year aged sharp white cheddar.  Your choice of cheese matters a ton when it comes to the flavor you want.  I was looking for that sharp yet creamy bite when it came to this recipe.

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Add about 2 lbs of your choice of pasta to the salted water mixture.  I used shells.  Cook until al dente and strain.

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In a sauce pan, I added 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter.  I like to use unsalted butter from time to time so I can have full control over the salt level in my dish.

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Once the butter melted, I scooped and added about a half a cup to 1 cup of unbleached all purpose flour to create a roux.

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Whisk this mixture together until smooth.  I added in a small amount of heavy whipping cream and an even bigger amount of organic whole milk and whisked one more time until it was a well blended creamy mixture.

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I added some salt and pepper to taste, along with some ground mustard and stirred.

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Add both cheeses to the mixture and cook on medium heat, as you are occasionally stirring.

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Do this until it is thickened and smooth.  You want all that cheese to be fully melted.

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As soon as the sauce is smooth, I added two very small cap sizes of white truffle oil.  Truffle oil is very potent and a little goes a long way.  It’s important not to abuse the use of it.

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Once my sauce was all set and ready, I added the al dente noodles back to the pot and mixed it all together.

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I added the sauce covered pasta to an oiled 9 x 9 inch ceramic baking dish.  I then topped it with panko bread crumbs and crushed black pepper.

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This next step is crucial when it comes to paying attention.  I added the dish to the broiler until it was evenly browned.  It will brown so fast so make sure you are watching it!

Once it is a beautiful golden brown, I topped it with freshly chopped parsley and I let it sit for a few minutes so all the flavors and sauces can settle.

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Serve and enjoy!

This ended up coming out so rich and delicious.  I’m so happy I ended up using my full imagination for it.   Everyone said it was good and it made me feel good!

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