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March 18th, 2010Uncategorizedeataduckimust 0 Comments

Last Saturday, we called some friends over to have a very merry truffly dinner. This dinner served two purposes, first it served as a thank you to our friend for helping us do our taxes (I’d celebrate but we had to pay up, big time) and secondly to help make a dent in the large bottle of fancy pants truffle oil that Jared had purchased for our epic Valentine’s Day dinner.
When you use truffle oil, you use it so incredibly sparingly. You walk a fine line between using just enough to add an incredible and luxurious earthy taste to a dish- and then there’s accidentally creating a dish that is putrid. This reminds me of that time I opened up a giant jar of truffle salt at a Dean and Deluca, took a big giant whiff to finally discover what truffles smell like and almost hurled right then and there. Yeah, not a good idea.
Our menu for the night went like this
Amuse Bouche- Truffled Cauliflower Sphere

Truffle Oil and Parmesan Popcorn

Truffled Macaroni and Cheese with Gruyere, Parmesan Reggiano and Sharp White Cheddar

Grilled Steak and Zucchini, Truffle Oil and Chive Compound Butter

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes with Truffle Oil
Ladies and Gentleman, that’s how we roll!
Unfortunately we finished making our dishes too late at night to take pictures of it the evening of and only had some spheres and the mac and cheese leftover the next day for a photoshoot.
Amuse Bouche- Truffled Cauliflower Sphere

Amuse Bouche- Truffled Cauliflower Sphere


We had an amuse similar to this cauliflower sphere during our Foodbuzz dinner at TRU. The intense burst of cauliflower flavor from the amuse left us wanting more. So now that we have loads of truffle oil and the powders to create spheres, why not recreate it?

Amuse Bouche- Truffled Cauliflower Sphere

Ingredients
1/2 head of cauliflower
2 cups heavy whipping cream
chives
1 g alginate
5 g calcium chloride
500 ml water
Truffle oil
salt

Recipe

  • Wash and chop up the cauliflower
  • Place the cream and cauliflower in a pot and simmer on low. (Be careful as the cream can boil over if the heat is too high. Keep an eye on it)
  • Simmer until the cauliflower is tender
  • Transfer to a blender and puree (Be careful, hot liquid in blender can cause the sauce to erupt. Open the top a little and place a towel over it to prevent spillage)
  • Add salt to taste
  • Pour the puree into another container and measure out 200 ml of the puree.
  • Place the puree back into the blender and with it on, add the 1 g of alginate
  • Pour and scrape the puree into another container and add truffle oil to taste
  • Mix well and let is sit in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight so the bubbles can rise to the top
  • When the puree is ready for spherification, add 500 ml of water and 5 g of calcium chloride in a bowl. Have another bowl of water for rinsing.
  • Transfer the puree into a squeeze bottle. You might have to warm it a little to make it runny again.
  • Using a 1/2 tsp measuring spoon, dip it into the calcium chloride solution. Squeeze the puree into the measuring spoon until full, then slowly lower the whole spoon into the calcium chloride solution. Shake gently and the sphere should come right off.
  • Let the sphere sit in the solution for about a minute, then transfer it the water bath to remove any of the calcium solution.
  • Remove and drain from the water bath and serve immediately in a spoon with chive tips on top

Truffled Macaroni and Cheese with Gruyere, Parmesan Reggiano and Sharp White Cheddar
So I have never made mac and cheese from scratch before but this time I was determined to do so. I typically get it straight out of the blue box, orange powder and all. Don’t hate. I am not afraid to admit it. It’s the first thing I ever learned how to “cook” back in junior high and that’s probably the only thing I knew how to cook for quite some time! After some twitter help, I was directed to Martha Stewart’s Perfect Macaroni and Cheese. If Martha’s going to call a recipe perfect, who am I to question such a thing?
My edits:
Her recipe includes instructions on making homemade breadcrumbs, but I skirted that by using the panko breadcrumbs we had on hand. I also halved her recipe to work in a 2.2qt pyrex and used a mix of gruyere, sharp white cheddar and parmigiano reggiano. I also used this pipe rigate from Whole foods rather than elbow macaroni since it was a little bigger and thicker to give the dish a heartier bite.
So I tried to be really good and follow her instructions to a T. I started the roux and added the cheeses in as per the instructions. Good thing Jared was around because he noticed that it was too thick and forced me to add more milk. I guess that’s the one of the dangers of simply halving all the ingredients! Use your culinary intuition and don’t be afraid to stray and fix things! I added the truffle oil into the sauce right before I added the al-dente pasta to the sauce. Then I sprinkled on the panko breadcrumbs and popped the whole thing into the oven.
Man, if this isn’t the best mac and cheese, then I don’t know what is. Baking it with the bread crumbs added a whole other layer of texture that is undeniably sati
ating. I’ve had baked mac and cheese before, but this is definitely the best I’ve ever had! And the generous amounts of truffle oil didn’t hurt either.
Truffled Mac and Cheese

I had just started setting up this photoshoot when my sister dropped off my energy-filled nephew to hang out with us for the afternoon. So I took this photo as fast as I possibly could. The mac and cheese doesn’t look overly appetizing. In fact, it looks kind of gross, but I guarantee that this martha stewart perfect macaroni and cheese recipe + truffle oil is now my new standard. Even my 2 year old nephew gobbled it up and gave me his toothy grin of approval. MMMMhmmm.

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  • http://chiknpastry.com heather @ chiknpastry

    oh man – those spheres were so good and fun! i can't believe you made them at home, but it's tempting to now that i know how. where'd you buy the alginate and CaCl? i feel as if i saw some at spice house not long ago – am i making that up?

  • swizChard

    Heather – I've been doing this sort of stuff for about a year now and have been purchasing my ingredients here: Sodium Alginate, Calcium Chloride (ironically they also have the same truffle oil brand that's shown in the photo as well). Hope it helps!

    Oh, and the way this dish is presented… flawless! Nice work.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11180774161153423323 alice

    heather, we can sell you a dime bag. jk!! seriously, though. come by and take some off our hands. we have a lot and will never end up using it all. EVER!

  • http://edibleperspective.com Ashley

    I have never experienced truffle oil! Now I will know not to take a big whiff of it ;) Those spheres are the cutest. Hmm…where are the chocolate truffles?? hehe

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11180774161153423323 alice

    Ashley- we gave up chocolate truffles many years ago. it's a long story involving my/our first business with a friend and a little bit of entrepreneurial heartache. hahahaha.

  • http://www.health-foodie.com Christina@Health Foodie

    Gorgeous pictures!! I wish I could just take it out of my monitor and eat it. Curious about the taste. Never had anything like it. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09206613740866955005 ling

    lil Diec – I'm inspired…and am on my way to Napa in a few hours…hello truffle oil and some good regular olive oil! I heart truffled mac and cheese!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11180774161153423323 alice

    ling- i am so jealous. napa valley, how i wish to visit you once more!

  • http://chiknpastry.com heather @ chiknpastry

    you are hilarious! i'm way outta my dime bag purchasing days!!

    i might take you up on the offer when i'm back in town – off to seattle for a long weekend!

    thanks!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02698926168043709934 Shirley @ Kokken69

    Alice, I have always wanted to experiment with Molecular Gastronomy and got really excited when I see this. Was about to ask you where you can get the ingredients but you've answered that. I am going to get my colleague to bring this over…can't wait to play…