Cowboys Mac & Cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 shallots, peeled and finely diced
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ½ cups (12 ounces) white wine (Chardonnay)
- 2 bay leaves, crumbled
- Chicken base to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- Dash of nutmeg
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cubed
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups white cheddar (cut into one-inch cubes)
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Truffle oil, to taste
- ¾ cup Japanese-style breadcrumbs (panko)
- Dried parsley to taste
- 2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked al dente
Protein: 29 g
Carbohydrate: 54 g
Fiber: 5 g
Total Fat: 160 g
Saturated fat: 71 g
Cholesterol: 380 mg
Calcium: 75% DV
Sodium: 420 mg
Heat oil in medium sauce pan on medium heat.
Add shallots and cook until translucent.
Then add minced garlic and cook just until blended with shallots; be careful not to get too brown or burn.
Add white wine and cook for 10-15 minutes until liquid in mixture is reduced by 25%.
Once reduced, add cayenne pepper and spices (white pepper, nutmeg, bay leaves).
Add cubed butter and melt. Add heavy cream. Stir continually and cook for 15-20 minutes.
Strain reduction and cream mixture through a fine strainer/chinois. The shallots and bay leaf will remain in the strainer as you strain the mixture through.
Return strained creamy reduction mixture to saucepan on medium heat.
Gradually add melted cheese to creamy reduction and stir to blend.
Add cubed solid form cheese and continue to stir until melted and blended.
Keep whisking until mixture becomes thickened and taste. Check the seasoning at this time to adjust as desired.
Toast bread crumbs briefly on sheet pan oven at 350 F; once breadcrumbs are lightly brown, remove sheet pan from oven and stir/move breadcrumbs a bit in sheet pan and return to oven to get just a bit more toasted (about three minutes).
While breadcrumbs are still on sheet pan, add parsley to bread crumbs. Drizzle breadcrumbs to taste with truffle oil; you can also choose to have your breadcrumbs plain (without truffle oil). Place breadcrumb mixture into mixing bowl and combine thoroughly. Set aside.
Drain al dente pasta very well or it will water down the cheese sauce. It is very important to add the cheese sauce into the pasta and not vice versa. Place the pasta in a mixing bowl. Add the cheese sauce to the pasta and coat the pasta completely.
Divide Mac & Cheese into two portions in small bowls or small serving dishes.
Top Mac & Cheese with breadcrumbs.