Sunday, September 30, 2018

Chef Dave Martin and D'Artagnan: Black Truffle Mac and Cheese

Once again, I have come across a lovely black truffle in my wanderings at my local grocery, so the race is on to make as many delicious recipes as possible with the gold-plated sucker.  In Googling around, I found this recipe from Top Chef contestant Dave Martin, and I sounded just about perfect.  Note that it is VERY rich, so you only need a small bowl, although I dare you to try and stop there.

Note: To roast garlic, preheat oven to 400°F.  Remove the outer papery layers of the garlic bulb, cut ¼-inch off the top, drizzle with oil, and then wrap in aluminum foil.  Roast for 40 minutes, then begin checking the garlic for doneness.  It is ready when even the center cloves are soft, or you can keep roasting until it is golden brown.

Black Truffle Mac and Cheese
Adapted from Chef Dave Martin and D'Artagnan

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup minced shallots
12 cloves roasted garlic
4 cups heavy cream
1½ tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped and cleaned from stems
1½ tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped and cleaned from stems
¼ cup cream sherry
¼ cup brandy
3 tablespoons chopped black truffle
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for topping
¼ cup white truffle-flavored oil
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 large egg
1½ teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1½ cups Fontina cheese, finely grated
1 pounds gemelli noodles, cooked in salted water and drained
½ cup Progresso Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

In a stock pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over a medium flame. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to caramelize. Add thyme and oregano, stirring to combine. Turn the heat up to medium-high, add roasted garlic and continue to cook, about 2 minutes. Carefully add sherry and brandy, scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Return the heat to medium.  Stir in chopped truffle. Slowly stir in the cream, Tabasco sauce, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, and truffle-flavored oil. Continue to cook, until the cream has thickened, about 15 minutes.

Temper the egg: In a small bowl, while whisking, slowly add hot cream mixture, a few teaspoons at a time, to bring the egg up to temperature without cooking it. Whisk tempered egg into the cream mixture. Continue cooking until the mixture coats the back of a spoon and then remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together cooked and drained noodles and Fontina cheese. Add the reduced cream mixture, stirring to completely coat all of the noodles. Pour into a large casserole dish.  Stir the remaining Parmesan cheese into the breadcrumbs. Top each ramekin with the breadcrumb mixture.

Put the ramekins on a lipped sheet pan and bake until lightly golden and heated all the way through.

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