mac and cheese with white truffle oil

MAC & CHEESE (with white truffle oil)
Right about now is when I start craving comfort food. It means extra trips to the gym for me, because after a very active summer, I am starting to settle into some of my (not so good) colder weather  eating habits again. I can’t imagine what will happen when the temperature actually gets down to freezing.  Back in June, I had friends (one is a chef) staying with me for a week. As a gift and a thank you, he cooked nearly every meal for me. I was so spoiled. When they left, he left behind a small bottle of white truffle oil, which I hadn’t touched, until yesterday. I am so glad I did! Below is my recipe for mac & cheese with white truffle oil. It adds just the right flavor with just a small amount. This is some serious grown-up mac & cheese.
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 cups warm milk
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste
  • 3 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese , shredded
  • 4 ounces goat cheese , cut up or if you prefer a sharp cheese as opposed to creamy you can substitute with almost anything but gruyere is a good choice.
  • 2 Tbsp. truffle oil
  • 8 ounces penne pasta (or if your prefer macaroni) I like penne.
  • 1/2 cup panko breading
Here’s what you do:
Preheat the broiler to 400°. Spray a 4-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour and mix together to form a roux. Add half of the warm milk. Using a whisk to make sure you get the sides and bottom of the saucepan, mix well as you add rest of the milk.Using a wooden spoon, continuously stir the sauce until it begins to thicken and tiny bubbles form on the sides (5 to 6 minutes). Do not boil. Add salt, pepper,  cheese into the sauce. Mix until completely melted and smooth. Add the truffle oil and mix well. Cover and set aside.Bring a pot of salted water to a boil (1 tablespoon salt for 3 quarts of water). Cook pasta according to package directions.Place the cooked and drained macaroni in a large bowl and pour the cheese mixture over it mixing well. Spoon into casserole dish or a deep-dish pie plate. Sprinkle panko breading over the top and broil until the top is crusty and golden, approximately 6 to 10 minutes depending on your broiler. Watch it carefully and be careful not to burn it. Serve immediately. This recipe was inspired by EVOL’s frozen white truffle mac & cheese which I found at the local natural food market, it was so good, I wanted to try my own version. Perfect comfort food as the weather changes. What’s your go-to comfort food?