Friday, April 10, 2009

En Vitesse: Behind the Burner

Hot webspot Behind The Burner may just be the Justic League of the culinary world; a site where the World's top chefs and visionaries join forces, sharing their secrets and techniques via video tutorials, recipes and articles.
I'm excited to try my hand at John DeLucie's notorious Truffled Macaroni & Cheese. (I may have to skimp on the freshly grated truffle 'garnish' - what lands this dish at the $100 mark on the Waverly Inn's menu!)
"At the time we started it, most restaurants that were doing truffles were charging considerably more than us, but they were calling their dish “Pasta con Tartufi Bianco.” We called ours “mac and cheese with white truffles,” and the press went berserk."

Makes 2 servings

1 pound elbow macaroni or cavatappi
1 tablespoon table salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered mustard or dijon
5 cups milk
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (2 cups)
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
1 teaspoon table salt
White truffle oil to taste
1 fresh truffle

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat broiler. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven over high heat. Add macaroni and 1 tablespoon salt; cook until pasta is tender. Drain pasta and set aside in colander.
In now-empty Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Add flour, mustard, and cayenne (if using) and whisk well to combine. Continue whisking until mixture becomes fragrant and deepens in color, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk; bring mixture to boil, whisking constantly (mixture must reach full boil to fully thicken). Reduce heat to medium and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened to consistency of heavy cream, about 5 minutes. Off heat, whisk in cheeses and 1 teaspoon salt until cheeses are fully melted. Add pasta and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is steaming and heated through, about 6 minutes.
Transfer mixture to broiler-safe 9-by 13-inch baking dish and broil until crumbs are deep golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, rotating pan if necessary for even browning. Cool about 5 minutes, then serve.
Shave seasonal truffles over each serving.

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