We spent the holidays in Hawaii with my family.
After two weeks, I think we must have acclimated to the 80 degree weather. By the time we arrived back in Portland after New Year’s, the temperature in the Northwest had dropped dramatically to the low 30s – and it was really difficult to get used to the change.
All I’ve wanted since we’ve returned is comfort food: quesadillas, grilled cheese and tomato soup, and macaroni and cheese. Notice a trend here? Thank god I’m not lactose intolerant.
I justified my mac and cheese craving by making it from scratch and adding white truffle oil to make it a bit more sophisticated. And wow, we devoured this dish quickly. The truffle oil adds a really earthy, rich flavor to the already drool-worthy cheesy goodness. Truffle oil can be expensive, but a little goes a long way. And it’s totally worth the splurge.
In addition to the truffle oil, I love the caramelized breadcrumb crust. I don’t think I’ll be able to eat crustless mac and cheese again.
This one-pot-dish was adopted from a Ninja Cooking Systems Slow Cooker recipe, but you can adapt it to your own slow cooker (or for the stovetop!) easily.
White Truffle Macaroni and Cheese
4 cups water
1 pound uncooked noodles (macaroni or other)
¾ cup butter
6 T all-purpose flour
5 cups milk (I used 1%)
6¾ cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup grated Pecorino Romano
Salt and pepper
1½ cups bread crumbs
2 T truffle oil
Pour water into pot. Set to STOVETOP HIGH. Heat uncovered to a boil. Stir in macaroni. Cook uncovered 9 minutes or until macaroni is just tender, stirring occasionally. Remove macaroni from pot and drain well in colander, reserving 1 cup cooking water. Add ½ cup butter to pot. Set to STOVETOP MED and heat until butter is melted. Stir in flour. Cook uncovered 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk and heat to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook uncovered 3 minutes, or until mixture is thickened and smooth, stirring occasionally. Stir in 6 cups Cheddar cheese, ¼ cup Pecorino Romano cheese, salt, and pepper until cheeses are melted, stirring occasionally. Turn off pot and add truffle oil. Stir cheese mixture, macaroni, and reserved cooking water in large bowl. Wipe pot clean. Melt remaining ¼ cup butter. Stir melted butter, bread crumbs, ¾ cup Cheddar cheese, and ¼ cup Pecorino Romano in bowl. Spray pot with cooking spray. Press bread crumb mixture onto bottom and 1 inch up sides of pot. Pour in macaroni mixture. Set OVEN to 350°F for 20 minutes, checking after 15 minutes. Cook until golden brown on bottom and sides and invert onto plate.
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