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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Spicy Truffle Mac and Cheese

Spicy Truffle Mac and Cheese

As part of Foodbuzz's Tastemaker program, I recently received a large package of goodies from Hickory Farms.  The smoked cheddar went quickly because I'm strangely addicted to smoked foods (cheese, salmon, etc). I wasn't a huge fan of the sweet turkey sausage, but the beef sausage was quite good with cheese and crackers. Great for a party. The spicy cheddar packed a punch and I knew it had to be put to good use. I'm sort of obsessed with the truffle cheese at Trader Joe's and have been wanting to make an interesting mac and cheese with it for a while. The combined cheeses were great and this mac and cheese is kind of addicting. Bacon would certainly make this infinitely better, but I wanted to keep it less heart attack inducing so I used nonfat milk and spray oil to grease the ramekins. The butter in the sauce and the cheese kept this rich enough for me and a decadent weekday dinner (and breakfast...shhh...don't tell anyone).


Hickory Farms Basket

Hickory Farms Basket

Merry Christmas to those that celebrate!

Spicy Truffle Mac and Cheese
(By Esi)

Makes 4 servings

Kosher salt
2 cups elbow macaroni
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 ounces grated truffle cheese
3 ounces grated spicy cheddar cheese
3/4 teaspoon truffle salt (or to taste)
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease an 8x8 pan or 4 ramekins with butter or spray oil. If using ramekins, place them on top of a foil-lined baking tray and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a healthy pinch of salt and then the pasta. Cook for about 6 minutes or until al dente. Drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the milk over low heat. Make sure the milk doesn't come to a boil. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Slowly whisk the heated milk into the flour and butter and cook for another 5 minutes until thickened and smooth.

Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the cheeses and salt. Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary. Add the pasta to the cheese mixture and stir to combine. Pour the macaroni and cheese into the ramekins. Top each ramekin with a tablespoon of panko and a light sprinkling of truffle salt. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the panko has browned and the cheese is bubbling. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

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16 comments:

Olga said...

are these photos with an Ego light!? No way!

I absolutely loved the smoked cheddar too! And I'd eat this dish for breakfast w/o any problem, so don't feel bad :)

Anna A. said...

Mmmmm I didn't know about the truffle cheese at Trader Jo's?! Truffle grilled cheese, perhaps? ;) Your mac n cheese looks so perfect! That's funny about the smoked foods - I'm the opposite - that smoke flavor makes a gag. I'll be sure to send all smoked goods I receive your way :)

Helene said...

What a beautiful package you received.

Joanne said...

I'll take mac and cheese any way I can get it. Add truffles into the mix? And I am one seriously happy girl. This looks amazing!

marla {Family Fresh Cooking} said...

I have never tried the truffle cheese at TJ's now I know I must. Your mac n cheese looks amazing!

Kristen - Dine & Dish said...

That's certainly a special mac and cheese!!

Holly said...

Sounds Amazing!! Going to have to check out the truffle cheese!:)

Diana said...

I still haven't made mac and cheese from scratch! I think it may need to happen in 2011. I can't substitute quinoa for the elbow macaroni though, right? ;)

Maria said...

Love this version of mac and cheese! Happy Holidays!

vanillasugar said...

leave it to you to dress up a hickory farms thingee....i could not.
so glad you made it nice and spicy.

Zoe said...

I love cheesy mac and have not tried making them from scratch. This recipe is good :D

Ben said...

Oh I miss receiving those delicious packages. Well at least I can still see what my foodie friends do with theirs.

Happy holidays my friend!

Kelly said...

I too am addicted to all smoked foods. I also adore truffle cheese. I will admit that I am a bit freaked out about those cheese baskets only because shrink wrapped cheese that is fine at room temp (which I believe theirs is) is a little weird to me. That mac and cheese though looks anything but!

shaz said...

What a lovely box of goodies :) Lucky. Season's greetings to you Esi!

Shannon said...

what a great use for those goodies!

Foodycat said...

Adding truffle cheese to macaroni is an amazing idea! Yum!