I make it a rule that I can’t post any recipe that I don’t personally like on the site. Otherwise why am I recommending it, right? In this particular case, I don’t like this truffle mac and cheese, I friggin’ LOVE it. It’s now in contention for my favorite entree (or side!) yet. I fretted a ton over the amount of truffle oil and salt, but ultimately, I wouldn’t change a thing. I mean, hell, it’s got this trinity of decadence: brown butter, white truffle oil, and three kinds of cheeses.
I intended for this to be a Super Bowl side, to go along with these chocolate-covered strawberry footballs and a soon-to-be-posted, Southwest-inspired appetizer. Stay tuned for that later this week.
Oh party food, you are the funnest of the funs.
If you’re used to making boxed macaroni and cheese, I don’t blame you, it’s yummy. But there’s something magical about making your own cheese sauce. The trick is mastering the roux, which is pretty easy. A roux is just a mixture of a fat (in this case brown butter) and flour, forming a thickening agent for the sauce. It’s the magic that makes béchamel sauce, which, when added to a crap-ton of cheese, is what mac and cheese is all about.
Have you already seen my post on how to make brown butter? If not, go forth and find the joy.
This truffle mac and cheese is the ultimate mash-up of comfort food and party food. For upcoming Super Bowl and Oscar parties, I may form these into balls and bake ’em up as little bite-sized appetizers.
You can absolutely eat this after mixing the macaroni with the cheese sauce and skip the baking part altogether, but the topping is a nice bonus. It’s a mix of cheese, bread crumbs, and some Parmesan. Optional, but awesome.
Prepare for a photo dump of how I made this sauce for the truffle mac and cheese. There’s a step-by-step in the recipe itself, but you can see each step below as well.
This is the white truffle oil I used. You can snag it on Amazon if you have trouble finding it in stores. You can also sub in truffle salt, just adjust your other salt accordingly. It also may not be quite as truffle-y using the salt as compared to the oil, which is intense.
TIP: use this bad boy sparingly, but use it on anything you like: mac and cheese, casseroles, FRIES.
Force roux awakens.
- 4 Tbsp unsalted browned butter, recipe here! (substitute regular unsalted butter if you prefer)
- 1 lb large elbow macaroni
- 2 tsp truffle oil
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 1/2 cups shredded smoked Gouda cheese
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs or panko
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp mustard powder
- Dash ground pepper, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- Preheat an oven to 375°F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with butter.
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until not quite al dente, stirring occasionally.
- Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle with truffle oil and stir very well.
- Return the saucepan to medium-low heat and melt butter. Add the flour, paprika, and mustard powder and cook for about 2 minutes until a roux forms and no lumps remain.
- Slowly whisk in milk, half-and-half, and a large pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Lower hear to a simmer, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and add a pinch of pepper and 1 cup each of the white cheddar and smoked Gouda. Stir until smooth.
- In a small, separate bowl, combine the remaining shredded cheeses, bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
- Pour the cheese sauce onto the macaroni and stir. Transfer to the baking dish and sprinkle with the bread crumb and cheese mixture.
- Bake until the top is lightly browned and the sauce is bubbly, about 25 to 30 minutes.
If you make this recipe, share a photo and hashtag it #BIJOUXANDBITS. I’d love to see what you’re cooking!
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma.