The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

Truffled Mac n Cheese with Shitaki 
Shrooms and Spelt Egg Noodles

I know, I know...It's barely past the holidays and I am offering up a foodies
drug of choice. No not the Shrooms silly, they are not those kind...
Mac n Cheese. Known to many as the ultimate comfort food, and I
 even upped it a bit by truffleizing it.. OK, so that's not a word,
yet, but it may be soon :)

These lovely organic Shitaki mushrooms were a new find for me. Not the type
nor the organic part, but these babies were huge! I mean huge, they had an
approximate circumference that one would expect to see with a portabella.
I tried to find a more common size just to pair it against, but the smallest
I could find at the market was the one in the foreground of the
 photo, and that one was a bit large as well. I mean just look at it,
 sitting there just waiting to attack that truffle cheese.
Which is nearly a pound itself, see what I mean? 

And for our pasta I chose organic spelt egg noodles. Spelt is an ancient
wheat that has a light reddish brown color. This particular spelt pasta is
made from the whole grain and is said to be high in protein as well
as a good source of both iron and fiber. This pasta also has
a soft texture and mild flavor compared against other whole
 grain pastas. And added together with the unique color, makes
this a rather fun choice for our mac n Cheese.

What you will need:

For the mushrooms
8 ounces Shitaki mushrooms
2 tablespoons truffle oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh pepper, ground
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, ground

For the mac n' cheese
16 ounces spelt egg noodles
12 ounces truffle cheese, grated and halved
3 tablespoons truffle oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup half and half
1 teaspoon fresh pepper, cracked
Your sautéed mushrooms
Truffle salt as garnish

Let's get cooking:

For the mushrooms
Start by preparing your mushrooms, cleaned and dried. Then slice
mushrooms into 1/4 inch strips. Place oil into a heated pan and sprinkle
with salt and pepper. Note: the salt will help to sweat the mushrooms to remove
 more water. Sauté mushrooms until tender, about 5-8 minutes depending on
pan size. Set aside to be layered into the mac n cheese.

For the mac n' cheese
Prepare pasta as directed, al dente typically about 5 minutes.
Add prepared pasta to a large mixing bowl and add oil, butter, half and half,
 and pepper. Mix until well coated. Now layer half of this pasta into a baking dish,
then layer on the 1/2 of the grated cheese. Now add the mushroom sauté, then
 more pasta. Now top off with the remaining cheese.

Bale in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes, or
until cheese has thoroughly melted.
Serves 4-6 as a main dish, 8-10 as a side.

Side Notes: There are a couple of fantastic Foodie things I would
 like to point out to you.

The first is a wonderful article with recipes, that if you have
 not yet seen, you should. Here as seen on Everyday Health
 10 Fall Recipes Inspired by the White House Garden
This is a must read for anyone looking to experience and
support the Earth to Table life.

Next is a fantastic discovery I recently came across... Cook 'n" Scribble,
a fantastic site that offers up a variety of courses on writing for Food Bloggers.
Oh, cool is that! The courses begin with The Hungry I: Food Memoir
from January 11th – February 29th, 2012. You have to check it out if
you are a blogger and/or food writer.

Alisha ~ Magic of Spice

YBR January 2012

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