I had a dinner party for some of the besties and as always I needed to sit down and come up with a menu to impress, cooking is one of my greatest passions, just behind eating, and it is my thing, I have people over so I can cook for them and try and impress them. To design the menu you need your main’s prime ingredient first and foremost and from there you can work backwards and forwards to entree and dessert. I was pondering said menu when I get an email from Harris Farms claiming they were having truffles on sale starting the next day. After just devouring the Trufllenator the week before from Dee Why Hotel a giant lighthouse light went off in my head – my main would be truffled. I wanted something wintery and something also very comforting to impress the guests, so #winning – I would make a Mac and Cheese and I would truffle the shit out of it. One of the previous recipes I have shared on this site I have called THE BEST MAC AND CHEESE ON THE PLANET – the link to that is below – but now I have made this recipe it now takes the title, so dear reader – we have the recipes for the two best Mac and Cheese dishes on the planet :).
PLEASE NOTE: This dish is not cheap in anyway – all up for four people this dish cost me about $70- for ingredients, if you break it down to $17.50 per person for a gourmet piece of heaven then it is well worth it but if you want a cheap mac and cheese, you need to buy the packs from a supermarket, this is next level eating people 🙂
Now I wanted something very special about this one, I wanted to be the one to write the recipe, I did not want to google this one, I wanted a huge bloody stamp on it. So I took my previous favourite and still bloody amazing recipe ever – WASABI MAC AND THREE CHEESE from the always delectable Katrina Meynink out of her cookbook KITCHEN COQUETTE that years and years ago was given to me from the peeps at Allen and Unwin. I really owe most of the credit to this dish to her, the Wasabi Mac and Cheese up until I completely changed her recipe to truffles was my favourite cheese dish of all time and now I can at least say I have cooked the two best Mac and Cheeses on the planet. You will not be disappointed with either – make this one during truffle season and the other one for the rest of the year #winning.
I got a small bit of help from a truffle expert – Brad, the chef at Dee Why Hotel, he messaged me and offered some advise to better get the truffle into the dish. Basically infuse as many things as you can before. I used some truffle salt for the dish, I also purchased truffle oil for the dish and for all the cheeses used I pre-grated them about 6hrs before cooking and placed them in a container with a paper towel and some chopped truffles. Now for the truffles I used about $40 worth of black truffles that were on sale for $2000 a kilo – if my maths is good that was 20gms of black truffles you will need.
YOU WILL NEED:
200gms macaroni – I use pasta elbows for mine – always loved them
2TBSP truffle oil
375mls full cream milk
15gms of black truffles (the other 5gms is for the topping)
truffle salt and ground black pepper
160gms grated smoked cheddar
50gms grated pecorino cheese
30gms grated gruyere
50gms panko breadcrumbs
2tsp chill flakes
5gms finely chopped black truffles
YOU WILL NEED TO:
1) 6HRS PRIOR TO COOKING – grate all the cheese and put together in a container with one sheet of paper towel and 7.5gms of finely chopped truffles – seal it up and put it in the fridge
2) At time of cooking – preheat oven to 250c (500f/Gas 9), grease a 25 x 25 x 5cm ovenproof gratin dish and set aside
3) Cook the pasta as per instructions, leave it a couple of minutes undercooked – drain, place in a large mixing bowl and toss in a tablespoon of truffle oil and set aside (covered) to keep warm (ish)
4) Gently warm the milk, cream, 7.5gms of finely chopped truffles and butter in a saucepan and bring to a slow simmer, seasoning well with a good pinch of truffle salt and pepper
5) Add half of the truffle infused cheese to the milk and butter mixture, mix well and stir into the cooked pasta well, you want it incredibly well mixed but don’t get violent with it 🙂
6) Tip pasta into the prepared gratin dish, sprinkle the top of the dish with the rest of the infused cheese mixture
7) Sprinkle over the top the panko crumbs and chilli flakes
8) Bake for 15mins until browned and bubbling
9) I suggest the BEST BROCCOLI EVER as a side – said recipe is on my old site – SYDNEY TABLE, but any form of green or even a nice salad would suit this as a side, but one of my guests loathed broccoli and loved this dish and even asked for said broccoli recipe the following day
For this menu I did not make an entree, I served nibbles instead, lots of Maggie Beer pate and those little peppers stuffed with feta – but I tried to keep the cheese as close to zero as possible because of the cheese levels in the main. For dessert I made the best apple crumble I have ever made, recipe for that one is coming soon.
Now get into it and make some gourmet stuff!! If you make it let me know what you think 🙂
Thanks to my besties for coming to this dinner, we had a lot of fun, most of it at my expense at the end of the night. Great night, great friends and sublime food – can’t wait for the next one!! Love you guys!!