Thursday, February 18, 2010

Truffled Mac n' Cheese





From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Tucked along the Rio Grand in the quiet hill country of Texas is Hudson's on the Bend, a restaurant that has fed presidents, Hollywood royalty and a real king or two. The restaurant is known for its preparation of wild game and fish and the big flavors produced by Chef Jeff Blank and his kitchen staff. I received one of Jeff's cookbooks last Christmas. While perusing the book I came across a recipe for truffled Mac n' Cheese and knew I had to try it. I want to share it with you today. Those of you who visit me on a regular basis know that the first time I use a recipe developed by a culinary star, I follow the recipe exactly as it was written. The habit is annoying to some, but I think it's the only fair way to judge the success of the dish and the chef. After that all bets are off. I've been known to completely rewrite some of the creations that find their way to my kitchen. I have not done that with today's recipe, but I have some suggestions for those of you who want to try it. This is a delicious dish, but it's extraordinarily rich. In addition to copious amounts of butter and cheese, the recipe calls for a quart of heavy cream. The second time I made the dish I replaced heavy cream with light cream and added the juice of half a lemon to the liquid as well. I made tonight's version with whole milk. The truffle oil is a must, as is the use of a soft herbed cheese. Even with the revisions, the dish is extraordinarily rich. It is also delicious. If you love mac n' cheese you owe to yourself to give this a try. Here's the recipe as it was originally written.

Truffled Mac n' Cheese ...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Hudson's on the Bend

Ingredients:
1 pound dried pasta (i.e. elbow macaroni, penne, cavatappi)
1/4 cup truffle oil
1 quart heavy cream
4 tablespoon butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Dash cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup Boursin cheese
Optional : 1 truffle
Crumb topping
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon truffle oil
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons mixed fresh parsley and chives

Directions:
1) Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water, until just tender.
2) Cool pasta with cold water, then drain in a colander.
3) Toss pasta with 1/4 cup truffle oil.
4) Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a heavy bottomed pan.
5) Stir in flour to make a blonde roux. Don't brown.
6) Add heavy cream and simmer mixture until it thickens.
7) Season with cayenne, salt and pepper.
8) Remove from heat and add pasta and cheeses.
9) Stir to combine.
10) Taste mixture and adjust salt and pepper if needed.
11) Pour into a buttered 9 x 9-inch ovenproof casserole dish.
12) In a bowl, combine bread crumbs, melted butter, 1 tablespoon of truffle oil, and herbs.
13) Pour bread crumbs over the pasta cheese mixture.
14) Bake until golden brown at 400 to 425 degrees for approximately 25 minutes.
15) Garnish with optional truffle slices. Yield: 10-12 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:

Straw and Hay
Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Lasagna
Mushroom Lasagna Florentine

52 comments:

Rachel said...

Every day I see an array of diff recipes for Mac n Cheese..Yours is too...I am going to try yours next time

zurin said...

Now truffle oil is something im not havng around in my larder but im sure it tastes absolutely divine! just by looking at it I know!!!

noble pig said...

Oh my word I bet this would knock my boots off, I mean wowzer, it's my kind of mac & Cheese!

Mary said...

Zurin, truffle oil is available on-line.

ButterYum said...

A great use for truffle oil, but a whole quart of heavy cream? Holy cow.

I'll save this one, including your ideas for a lighter variation.

Thanks Mary!
:)
ButterYum

Coleen's Recipes said...

I'm saving this for a VERY special occassion.

KathyB. said...

I am drooling over this, and gaining weight just reading it. I think this is a recipe to try for a cold and rainy day, and make sure I have time to take a nap after eating. This mac n' cheese actually looks like an EXPERIENCE!

Elisa, Croatia said...

You're right Mary sounds rich and wholesome! perfect comfort food.

Kathy said...

The restaurant sounds lovely with the wild game and fish, I will have to check out his book, your Truffled Mac n' Cheese looks so delicious

Allie and Pattie said...

Mary, this dish will require a few extra hours at the gym for sure! But it looks oh-so-worth-it!
xoxo Pattie

bj said...

Such a great sounding recipe..we LOVE mac and cheese but...alas, it only loves our HIPS!!
And...I have never heard of truffle oil..?
Thanks for the thought of something wonderful to eat...ummm...

Martha said...

I saw Ina making a similar dish -- I have truffle oil. I will definitely have to try this. Mac and Cheese for grown ups!

Martha said...

Mary, BTW, I do the same thing -- I make a recipe first time as is -- then I fiddle. I owe it to the person who I got the recipe from (be it cookbook or friend) not to fiddle until I've tried it there way!

pigpigscorner said...

Love the addition of truffle oil here. Delicious!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Mary, this is just over the top. I can't imagine mac n' cheese with truffle oil but it must be fantastic. Very rich as you say. I love how you served it in a scallop dish for a small portion. Lovely in all ways.

I happen to have a bottle of truffle oil in my refrigerator at home that we brought back from France. I'll give your light version a try when I return in the spring.
Sam

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Oh my. For a true mac-and-cheese fan like me, this is the ultimate spoonful of ecstasy. And, I happen to have some truffle oil in the pantry ...

Hootin' Anni said...

This is delicious, I know. Just looking at it. I can taste the cheese. Something I'm not really supposed to consume in high quantities, but I still can't give it up.

Bud and I were just thinking about taking a drive over to the Rio GRANDE in Texas. Maybe when it warms up.

George Gaston said...

Mary, what a delicious way to infuse new flavors into a great classic. The truffle oil and the Boursin cheese both have very distinct flavors.

I am definitely going to try this incredible Mac n' Cheese recipe. Many thanks...

The Chef In My Head said...

Hudson's is such a great restaurant! This "grown-up" mac n cheese looks amazing! Thank you for sharing, I always love your posts. ~LeslieMichele

Big Dude said...

That looks like some top shelf mac and cheese.

Allie said...

Oh wow this looks really good! I could eat the whole dish of it.

A Year on the Grill said...

I need to find some truffle oil.

Saving these kind of recipes, Jackie is trying to go meatless 3 days a week for Lent

Trendsetters said...

heard truffles are expensive...sure like to try this out

Marie said...

Talk about a special event dish! I know lots of restaurants offer truffled mac n cheese, but I have not yet indulged. Sounds so flippin' good. Definitely something I will have to try whenever I make my first truffle oil purchase.

Katherine Aucoin said...

Very rich indeed. This isn't kid stuff and definitely for a more sophisticated palette. This mac n' cheese is my kind of meal!

Cathy said...

An upscale version of one of my favorite foods. Definitely a special occasion dish.

The Blonde Duck said...

Why have I never heard of this? I live in the Hill Country!

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

Oh my gosh I couldn't believe it when I checked your post and saw a recipe from Hudson's! My sister lives not but two miles from there and other Texas friends of mine have even done cooking classes with Jeff - supposed to be fantastic. Love your idea of using whole milk though!

Mary said...

Duckie http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guides/north-america/united-states/texas/austin/12717/hudsons-on-the-bend/restaurant-detail.html

Bella said...

Sounds delicious. I love trying different mac & cheese recipes.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

So over the top creamy and wonderful! I have to get my hands on some truffle oil one day...

Debbie said...

Sounds wonderful even though I have never used truffle oil. Love mac and cheese

Alessandra said...

I like truffles, truffle oil is a good thing for me,since I cannot really afford truffles :-) (although very rarely I am lucky enough to eat them!)

OLLIE MCKAY'S ~ A Chic Boutique said...

Mac 'n Cheese - this looks so yummy!! One of the best "comfort" foods there is!!

Joanne said...

This sounds quite dreamy...I've never had boursin in mac and cheese before but I can only imagine how delicious it is.

Claudia said...

Oh how rich and earthy and tasty - the truffle oil is inspired. Must try this before winter ends (which means I have until May)

The Muse said...

i can imagine biting into this...
heavenly.

Lea Ann said...

I've been to Hill Country once and really wish I would have known about Hudson's.

♥ Kathy said...

I can NOT live without macaroni & cheese!

g said...

All I can say is - Whoa!

Debinhawaii said...

Mmm...it looks very rich and decadent. I love truffled macaroni and cheese!

Maria said...

Love this version of mac and cheese!

My Little Space said...

No doubt, this is my favourite kind of meal! Sooo cheesy creamy yummy.... Hhhmmm..mm...

Dacia said...

Oh my gosh! I've used truffle oil in mac n cheese before but never a full 1/4 cup! Now I know why Hudson's mac n cheese is so delicious!

JoCreek said...

Did you use black or white truffle oil for this recipe.
Thanks.

Mary said...

Jo, my oil was made using black truffles. However, I'd use one made with white truffles if I could afford it. Most chefs prefer white truffle oil.

Chef Fresco said...

Dang! That is a great looking mac & cheese recipe!!

Katy ~ said...

Surely the king of mac 'n cheese recipes. I think I need a fur lined cape and crown for this one.

Curious Lissa said...

This looks heavenly. The next post of puttanesca also looks amazing!

Virginia Taylors said...

I tried it!!! Wow, very rich. I used your suggestion of using milk and was glad I did. Velvety and crunchy all at the same time. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

My Food Blog said...

all of the stuffs here seems to be a perfect bite...looks so yummy!

Mrs. Howell said...

Holy Macaroni. . .I am DYING to try this one. The Howell clan loves us some mac and cheese (NOT from a box. . .as my son says). I love trying all sorts of variations so thank you for posting so many recipes. I'm sure at some point I will work myself through several! Yummy!!!

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