Countdown to Thanksgiving: Mac and Cheese with a Twist

Hello, it’s Mac and Cheese.  I love you and I don’t care if it makes me fat.   I had to get that out before I finish this post.  If Macaroni and Cheese is one of your staples for Thanksgiving, for the love of all things cheese and pasta, break up with Kraft for the time being and make this recipe.

macaroni-and-cheese

It’s made with Truffle oil – which is used to impart the flavor and aroma of truffles to a dish.  The first time I had truffle mac and cheese, Mr. Bee and I had a fab NYE dinner at Eddie V’s.  That’s not an evening to just order a vegetable plate.  I had their Truffled Mac and Cheese.  Oh, my stars.  Literally, I saw stars.  It was so good.  A week later as I was cleaning out my pantry, I found a bottle of truffle oil.  Whomever gave this to me, thank you.   This recipe is made with Gruyere and White Cheddar Cheese yielding a flavor that is rich and intense.  And, the added touch of the truffle oil, well that sealed the deal.

I knew I had to find a recipe and the one I found that came the closest was from Williams-Sonoma.

Ingredients:

  • Unsalted butter for baking dish, plus 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 lb. elbow macaroni
  • 2 tsp. truffle oil
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh chives

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook, stirring occasionally, until not quite al dente, about 2 minutes less than the package instructions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. While the pasta is still warm, drizzle with the truffle oil and stir well.

Return the saucepan to medium-high heat and melt the 4 Tbs. butter. Add the flour, paprika and mustard and cook, stirring well, until no visible flour remains, 1 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk, half-and-half and a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Simmer, whisking frequently to smooth out any lumps, for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add a pinch of pepper and 1 cup each of the Gruyère and cheddar. Stir until smooth.

Pour the cheese sauce onto the macaroni, add the chives and stir well. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and top with the remaining cheeses. Bake until the top is lightly browned and the sauce is bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma One Pot of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2012).

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