Truffled Macaroni & Cauliflower Gratin
This is what I made for Super Bowl Sunday yesterday. No wings or nachos here.
This is really just a version of macaroni & cheese but I added cauliflower and broccoli (I've done it before) and truffles.
I only make one lasagne and one version of mac and cheese a year.
My friend Stephane gave me the idea, however he uses about $40. worth of cheese and about $200. worth of truffles! (fancy pants).
I used his title and his panko breadcrumb topping, but changed around the cheeses and quantities.
(Who invented those wonderful Panko breadcrumbs anyway? The Japanese?).
Mac 'n Cheese is not a science, it's just some pasta mixed with a cheesy sauce of your liking.
Some like dry mustard and nutmeg in the sauce (me!), others like blue cheese (no thanks).
There are some with a breadcrumb topping, and others sans crust.
Cheddar? Gruyere? Fontina? It's all good (except no Gorgonzola, too rich).
Do your own thing, you can't go wrong, but please don't use a can of cheddar cheese soup or Kraft slices, though I know some of you will anyway.
A drizzle of truffle oil over the top is really gilding the lily.
Truffled Mac 'n Cheese w/ Cauliflower (serves 6)
8 oz. (half a box) of elbow macaroni
half a head of cauliflower, cut into small florets (I also added broccoli)
2 cups of good Gruyere cheese, grated
1 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
3 tbsp butter
2 cups of milk (I used 2%)
1/4 cup of flour
salt & pepper
drizzle of good quality truffle oil
1 cup of panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese
Make the breadcrumbs. In a skillet, heat the panko with the butter and add the cheese.
Stir for a few minutes until browned. Set aside.
Cook the elbows as per package directions in salted boiling water.
During the last minute of cooking, throw in the cauliflower and blanch for 1 minute.
In a heavy saucepan, heat the 3 tbsp of butter with the milk and flour. Whisk until bubbling and add in cheese. Keep whisking until you have no lumps and you have a nice, thick cheese sauce.
Pour the drained pasta and cauliflower into the saucepan w/ the sauce and mix together.
Spoon into a well buttered 8" x 10" casserole dish and spread evenly.
Pour the breadcrumbs on top and bake for 30 minutes at 350F.
When out of the oven, drizzle a very small amount of truffle oil (a little goes a long way!) over the top of the gratin.
Let rest 10 minutes and serve.