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
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
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon truffle oil
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons mixed fresh parsley and chives
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