I'm a different kind of 1%
I'm the 1% that hate Truffles!
Are you gasping? Most people do when I tell them that, but it's true. I hate truffles. I understand why people like them, but I don't know why people love them so much it leaves them speechless when they find out I am not a fan. I also don't know why I am the only one.
If you are not sure what a truffle is, click here for a little info.
I was at a party last Halloween at a restaurant where a bunch of my friends had also gone to celebrate.
Of course I was at the bar for the evening sipping on my wine with a few friends while a new friend of mine named Sandy was sitting with other friends having dinner. I stopped over to say my goodbyes before I left and Sandy was so into her Risotto, she gathered a forkful and rushed it into my mouth. It was Truffled, and I calmly told her I hated it. While Sandy was feeling sorry, the look of confusion on her face was even more evident. Her response was more than typical.
My husband, P2, like Sandy (and all of you in the 99%) loves Truffles. I have used Truffle oil for him in dishes, but on this particular night I wanted to make him something new and decadent that I could enjoy too.
I see Truffled Macaroni & Cheese on menus all the time, so I decided to make Porcini Macaroni & Cheese.
Porcini are mushrooms that you will mostly find dried when you buy them. Once you reconstitute them they have a wonderful earthy flavor, and just the slightest background taste of Truffles.
It was SO good!
I used Cavatappi pasta, and instead of the usual cheeses like cheddar, I used Fontina and Provolone. It was the flavor and the decadence I was looking for.
This is what I did. This (non)recipe made 2 large individual servings.
What you need:
*Half a pound of Cavatappi
*A liter of warm milk
*About 5 table spoons each of butter and flour.
*A big handful each of Provolone and Fontina shredded.
*One package of dried Porcini Mushrooms
*A cereal bowl of hot chicken stock, or water
*salt and peper.
Start off by steeping the Porcini in the hot stock or water and set aside.
Then start to heat up the water for the pasta.
Next melt the butter in a large sauce pan that will be big enough to fit the liter of milk over medium heat. Once it is melted whisk in the flour and make a rue (or roux).
Once you have a rue let it cook for a minute or two to cook the raw flavor out of the flour. Then slowly add the warm milk whisking well to ensure no lumps. This is your Bechamel - The classic sauce used in every mac & cheese. Stir often with your whisk.
Now your water should be boiling. Add some salt and the pasta.
Once your Bechamel is thick, start adding most the cheese to it slowly, but reserving a little for the top of the mac & cheese. - Keep whisking.
Once it is all in, add some salt and pepper to taste.
-Keep an eye on the pasta.
Now take the Porcini out of the stock. They should be nice and soft now. Give them all a quick chop and add them to the Bechamel as well.
Stir them in and then also add a little of the stock. It will be awesome! Give it all a taste again, and if you would like add some more stock, salt and or pepper.
Drain the pasta when it is cooked to al dente. Don't let the pasta get too soft because it will soften a little more when you bake it.
Now mix it all together!
Now either split the mixture into 2 small ramekins, or one baking dish. Then add the remaining cheese on top.
Next bake the mac & cheese for about 10 minutes at 400 before lastly sticking it under the broiler to make to top golden and bubbly, with little bits of crunchy goodness mixed in. About 3-5 more minutes.
I think I am drooling on my computer!!!
Let me know what you think, and don't forget to add some love!!
Some truffle lovers say that eating truffles connects them to the earth and the deep dark soil . . . which to them is like an aphrodisiac. Okay . ..
My research found this amusing excerpt:
"A ripe truffle gives off an odor which is similar to the pheromones of male pigs." All the more reason why I'll remain in the 1% with you!
Aside from that, your yummy alternative must have filled the kitchen with delicious aromas that I'd surely prefer. The photo looks divine and I'll get back to you when I make it myself. . . . Gracias Paulo!