I know I am an incurably fickle lady, and that my stance on this subject will likely change a million times over, but right now, at this moment, if I had but one meal left to eat on this earth, it would be this gloriously-creamy macaroni and cheese. With a side of seared scallops, of course.
Several weeks ago I had the best sandwich of my life. Carbs covered in cheese and stuffed inside more carbs. We were star-crossed from the start.
Though the idea of a pasta sandwich immediately enthralled me, there were so many ways to go wrong. But that sandwich, that life-changing sandwich danced around every possible error and glided past the finish line of perfection. If it is possible to fall in love with two slices of bread, that definitely happened to me.
You may remember the time where my sweetheart and I set out to discover the very best macaroni and cheese, and I still LOVE the recipe that we declared to be our favorite. However, when I tried that macaroni and cheese, at a tiny little bistro, I suddenly realized that our macaroni and cheese needed the "something extra" that was taking their version past wonderful and into the realm of culinary perfection.
The secret was and is truffle oil.
And...now I am obsessed.
If you see me snapchatting truffle oil-enchanced cereal please call for help.
I know I am getting so many eye rolls for this, and I know a huge percentage of chefs would throw that little bottle right into the trash. But darn it, I love what truffle oil can bring to the table when it is used reservedly.
That counts double when you are using it with cheese. Truffle oil almost has the flavor of a very strong rind from an aged cheese. It's earthy, potent, and slightly musty - but not in a grandmother's basement kind of way. It just lifts the already wonderful flavors of your cheeses to the next level.
The base of this recipe is identical to my original macaroni and cheese, except that this is the stovetop version, which translates to super creamy.
Oh, how do I love brie? Let me count the wheys. HA! Haha!
My dad is laughing right now. We might be the only ones, but that's okay.
Like all things that are smooth and creamy, this cheese sauce begins with a roux.
You remember how to make a roux, right? Butter is melted, flour is whisked in, and then they cuddle together in the hot pan for a bit, until the raw flour flavor has cooked off. Whole milk is slowly whisked in and then seasoned with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. After the sauce has thickened, the shredded gruyere and cubed brie are stirred in.
Because this macaroni and cheese did not already seem indulgent enough, I added lobster tails.
I steamed my lobster tails, and then soaked them in a mixture of rich, French butter, and reduced Sauvignon Blanc.
The lobster turned into buttery, wine-soaked pillows.
Oh if you only knew the torture of knowing how wonderful this dish is, and having to stare at these pictures, but not being able to eat it.
I used a large, ridged macaroni for this dish and I preferred it so much over the standard elbow variety for soaking up this glorious cheese sauce.
Dear Santa, I'd like a hot tub full of this macaroni and cheese, please.
Ahhhh, I died.
I used two, good sized lobster tails for this recipe, and it was enough. Of course, is there ever really enough lobster? Um, no.
Next time, I might opt for four tails. Why not?
Did anything ever look more sumptuous?
I am already planning to make this for our first wedding anniversary. What's better than celebrating one love affair with another?
Not a single thing.
I should probably just stop blogging now, there's no way it will get better than this.
Truffle & Brie Macaroni and Cheese with Lobster Tail
for the lobster
- 10 ounces lobster tail meat (2 medium-sized tails)
- 1/4 cup Sauvignon Blanc
- 2 tablespoons salted european butter
Prepare your lobster by cutting through the top part of its shell (the smooth, curved side) with a sturdy pair of kitchen shears. Cut a slit down the center, starting at the top of the tail, and stopping when you get to the fanned part of the tail.
Fill a sauté pan with about 1/4-inch water. In my pan, that was three cups of water.
Place the pan over medium-heat heat and bring to a simmer. Add lobster tails and reduce heat to medium. Cook, covered, for 8 minutes.
Remove the tails from the water and allow to cool before removing the shells.
Cut the meat into 1/4-inch cubes.
In a small frying pan, slightly reduce 1/4 cup of Sauvignon Blanc over medium-high heat. After about 3-4 minutes of heavy simmering, reduce the heat to low and stir in butter. Once the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and toss the chopped lobster in the sauce.
for the macaroni & cheese
- 1 pound dry macaroni
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups whole milk
- 8 ounces double or triple cream brie, cut into cubes and rind removed
- 1 1/2 cups gruyere, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon quality black truffle oil
Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil and cook your macaroni for about 10 minutes, until it is just al dente. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheese sauce.
Heat whole milk until warm.
In a large sauté pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in flour whisk to form a roux. Cook, whisking constantly for 2-3 minutes. When the roux has become slightly golden, add salt, pepper, and nutmeg. While continuing to whisk constantly, slowly stream in warmed milk.
Bring the sauce to a simmer and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in brie and grated gruyere. When all the cheese has melted, taste the sauce and adjust salt and pepper, if necessary. Stir in truffle oil.
Add your strained, cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce and stir to coat the pasta in the sauce. Toss in the lobster, along with its cooking liquid and serve immediately. Enjoy!