I have a ritual each year of checking out the menu preview for the Oscars night, in hopes of seeing a selection of artisan cheeses called out by name, to no avail. I don’t see how you can have such a big gala without cheese as the centerpiece, but at least I also haven’t yet seen mention of a giant Oscar statuette of “liquid gold” …. The one cheesy item that is always on the menu, though, is Wolfgang Puck’s truffled mac & cheese. I guess that’s what passes for comfort food in Hollywood. For those looking to indulge at home, Grafton Village Cheese has recently introduced a truffle cheddar.
It starts with Grafton’s signature raw milk aged cheddar and is flecked with real Italian truffles for a delicious earthy flavor. I used it to make this mac & cheese, and kicked up the creaminess with Vermont Creamery crème fraiche. Perfect treat for a cold winter’s night!
Truffle Cheddar Mac & Cheese
Made with Grafton Village Truffle Cheddar, which lends a subtle earthiness and richness to the mac; for a stronger truffle flavor, you may wish to add truffle oil to the crumb topping mixture.
Makes 6-8 servings
- 1 pound macaroni
- 8 ounces Grafton Village Truffle Cheddar, shredded
- 8 ounces crème fraiche
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- salt & pepper
Bread Crumb Topping:
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Butter a 9×13 baking dish and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Boil pasta according to package instructions.
- In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and stir until smooth and bubbling. Add Worcestershire sauce and a pinch of salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in milk, stirring constantly, and heat until it boils and thickens. Remove from heat and stir in crème fraiche and shredded cheddar until melted and smooth.
- Separately, stir together panko bread crumbs, oregano and melted butter.
- Drain pasta and combine with the cheese sauce. Pour into baking dish. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly over top of the macaroni. Bake for 20 minutes, until topping is golden.