Truffled Mac and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

It's not always easy to come up with creative recipe ideas that have never been seen before. I mean, I dreamt about deep fried cheese stuffed meatballs, only to find out on google when I awoke that they've been done before! Who would've thought..

So the latest idea to pop in this food loving brain of mine, was mac and cheese stuffed mushrooms. Not just your ordinary mac and cheese, white truffled mac and cheese. If you know me, you know I love truffle oil.. I visit the local olive oil shops to make sure I am always stocked. I really love my grandma's mac and cheese recipe so that was my platform to this recipe. Creamy mac and cheese is wonderful, but to stuff in mushrooms? You need a bit of stability. To reach the correct consistency, a few adjustments were made to the milk measurements and type of pasta used, as well as cutting the entire recipe in half (which still leaves extra). An important note is to let the stuffed mushrooms sit for a bit after they finish baking.

For the Mac:
1/2 box elbow noodles
1/2 stick salted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 oz gruyere cheese (shredded from a block)
4 oz white cheddar cheese (shredded from a block)
1 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp paprika
Salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 tbs white truffle oil
Seasoned panko breadcrumbs (just enough to sprinkle on the tops)

For the Mushrooms:
16-20 whole mushrooms, stems removed and gills carefully cleaned out with a spoon
Wired rack to put over baking sheet (so any water from the mushrooms is released onto a pan under the rack)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to box. Set cooked pasta aside.

2. In a large pot on medium heat, melt the butter then add the flour and stir until blended. This will create a rue which is a tan, creamy paste.

3. Slowly add milk, about a 1/2 cup at a time, and stir continuously. Add 1 cup heavy cream and continue stirring until mixture is thickened.

4. Lower heat, add ground mustard, paprika, salt & pepper and truffle oil into milk mixture and stir until blended for 1-2 minutes. Remove pot from heat and add cheese, mixing until melted into a thick sauce.

5. Add cooked noodles to sauce mixture and stir until the noodles are coated.

6. On a backing sheet, covered with wired rack, place the emptied mushrooms onto the rack. Salt mushrooms (before filling). Fill mushrooms with an unleveled, heaping amount of mac and cheese, then top with breadcrumbs.

7. You can place any extra mac and cheese into an appropriate sized casserole dish (I used one 8"x 8"). Bake mushrooms (& extra mac) at 350 degrees, for 20 minutes.

*There are so many options that come with this recipe. You can add bacon, crab, lobster, extra mushroom stems (chopped) into your mac and cheese! Endless possibilities!

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