Truffled Mac and Cheese

I am holding up the white flag.  I feel like I was run over by a truck this week, and I can seem to get the skid marks to go away.  What a week – between my older daughter’s rehearsals and performances for Annie Jr. and people coming and going from our home – that alone could have been enough to drive someone over the edge.  Add to that my husband was travelling, and work seemed to explode into hundreds and hundreds of emails, all needing attention – but I was too busy in meetings to respond.  I am seriously surprised I am still coherent enough to talk about it.  I am sorry I missed my usual Wednesday post – but after reading this, I am sure you understand.  Something (actually many, that I don’t wish to talk about right now) had to suffer – and this week my blog was one of them.

So, what do I make for dinner when my husband is away?  There are times when the answer is “nothing,” although that does not make my kids very happy.  Normally we have pasta.  spaghetti and meatballs seems to be the fan favorite – but macaroni and cheese is another one high on the list.  I saw this recipe in Cooking Light, and I really couldn’t get past the “Truffled…”  Last year when I took my older daughter to Paris, she had Truffled Mac and Cheese one night for dinner – and she still talks about it.  It was the best Mac and Cheese she had ever eaten.  Well, this was not as good as the one in Paris (which probably had fresh truffles in it), but it was pretty darn delicious – especially for a light recipe.  All of us had at least two helpings, and there was plenty left-over for the next day.  It re-heated wonderfully for a Mac and Cheese recipe.  I highly recommend it – the cheese was creamy, and the truffle oil really gave it that special kick.  So – I am not going to tell you that this recipe will turn chaos into order, but it certainly is a nice treat.  Now, back to the laundry…

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
  • 2 cups sliced onion (about 1 medium)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 12 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Comte or Gruyere cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white truffle oil
  • 2 ounces French bread baguette, torn
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Preparation

Heat 1 3/4 cups milk, onion, and bay leaf in a large saucepan to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edges (do not boil). Cover and remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes.

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.

Strain milk mixture through a colander over a bowl; discard solids. Return milk to saucepan over medium heat. Combine remaining 1/2 cup milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Gradually stir flour mixture and salt into warm milk, stirring constantly with a whisk. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; let stand 6 minutes or until mixture cools to 155°. Gradually add fontina and Comté cheeses, stirring until cheeses melt. Stir in pasta and truffle oil. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart broiler-safe glass or ceramic baking dish.

Preheat broiler.

Place bread, Parmesan cheese, and garlic in a food processor; process until coarse crumbs form. Drizzle with olive oil; pulse until fine crumbs form. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over pasta. Place dish on middle rack in oven; broil 2 minutes or until golden brown.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Truffled Mac and Cheese

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