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August 25, 2015

Truffled Mac & Cheese in Idividual Gratin Dishes

Well, it is no wonder that the Creamware Gratin Dishes (and Tart Pans) were the first things to go last Friday for the launch of my Fall products.  We all love the idea of something simple to add fresh inspiration to our kitchen and menus.  I also think it had something to do with the fact that they were filled with Truffled Mac & Cheese.  Now that so many of you have these on the way to your house (most were sent yesterday, some today!) I thought it best to post the recipe... because this is the first thing you're going to make, right?  I also think they'll make perfect individual apple cobblers topped with ice cream... or banana split bowls.

Creamware Gratin Dishes, Set of 6, $30

For those of you that missed them last Friday, I've reordered another shipment (of Creamware Tart Pans & Gratin Dishes!), expected to arrive here on Friday.  You can order them from my store now, but be aware that they are not able to ship until next Monday.

These are great along side a steak for a comfy dinner at home, or a fancy dinner party.  They can be made a day or two in advance, making them great for entertaining.

The best news about this recipe is that it is a very simple tweak to any existing Mac and Cheese recipe you like.  The basic idea is to add the flavor of White Truffles (from butter or oil) and to make it look as truffly as possible by using tiny pieces of mushrooms.  Truffle oil is easier to find than truffle butter, but both can be found at Whole Foods.  Be sure to get the White Truffle products instead of black, for the better flavor.

Truffled Mac & Cheese
makes 4-5 side servings

1/2 box of shaped pasta (shells or cavatapi)
sea salt
1/2 stick of butter
3 mushrooms, minced
1 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of flour
2 cups of milk
1 cup of white cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup of monterey jack cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons of truffle oil OR 4 tablespoons of truffle butter
salt & pepper, as needed

Cook pasta in boiling, salted water.  Strain.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter, add minced mushrooms and saute for 3-4 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add flour, stir to coat mushrooms and garlic until flour is absorbed into the butter.  Cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add milk immediately, then stir constantly until all flour is mixed into the milk.  Continue to cook on medium until it thickens and is bubbly.  Remove from heat and add most of the shredded cheese, but reserve some for the top.  Stir cheese in until smooth, then fold is pasta until it is all coated.  Add truffle oil or butter in and stir until melted or mixed in.

Spoon pasta into small baking dishes and top each with shredded cheese and set aside.

If serving immediately, place under hot broiler in oven for 2-3 minutes until cheese on top is bubbly and slightly browned.

If you are making them ahead, keep in the refrigerator, then bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, just until heated through and slightly browned on top.

Get the mushrooms as small as possible.  They should look like flakes or bits in the sauce.

For making cheese sauce, I always shred my own cheese.  Pre-shredded cheese is usually coated with something to keep the shreds from sticking, but prohibits smooth melting.

After sautéing mushrooms and garlic, add flour.

Then mix in flour, immediately.

Then add milk while stirring - whisking helps too - until smooth.  When it bubbles and starts to thicken, remove from heat.

Add cheese into the milk and stir until smooth, then fold in pasta.

Top with cheese - or breadcrumbs, if you'd like.

This is our favorite dinner - balsamic vinaigrette tossed greens, seared steaks and truffled mac and cheese.

Hope you try it soon!  Here is the link for the Creamware Gratin Dishes, $30 for a Set of 6.  I can't wait to play with more ideas for these this Fall.

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