Truffled Macaroni & Cheese from Eddie V’s Prime Seafood

I’m not a huge fan of seafood, but if my husband has a craving, our best bet is to make a trip to Scottsdale Quarter for Eddie V’s. I don’t complain because they have a good selection of steaks and TRUFFLED macaroni and cheese. Die.

Truffled Mac and Cheese by Eddie V's

Truffled Mac and Cheese by Eddie V’s

I sometimes feel that Donovan would shake his head for me sneaking around his back with Eddie, so I have to say, Donovan’s is still my favorite for my steakhouse macaroni. But, the black truffle addition on Eddie’s menu item switches it up and gives this dish a super savory taste.

Lucky for you, I found a copy cat recipe on tastebook.com so you can try at home for yourself.

Eddie V’s Prime Seafood Truffled Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Bechamel, recipe follows
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan
  • 1 lb. Gemelli pasta, cooked al dente, very dry, previously cooked weight
  • 1 cup scallions, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup PANKO crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons sliced Truffles (look for canned for frozen truffles or truffle peelings in a Speciality Grocery like Central Market or Whole Foods)

Directions:

1. Start by making the bechamel sauce. Bring two cups of whole milk to a simmer in a medium sauce pan. Stir constantly to avoid scorching. In a separate sauce pan melt 3 tablespoons butter. Whisk in 3 tablespoons all purpose flour to form a roux. Incorporate the roux with the hot milk and continue to stir until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and 1 tsp. nutmeg.

2. Combine the bechamel sauce with all of the other ingredients except for the truffles and panko crumbs. Place 2 cups of mixture into each of the 6 oven proof dishes. Bake at 400 degrees until the macaroni bubbles. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with panko. Return to the oven for 5 more minutes. After taking out of oven, sprinkle with the truffles and serve immediately.

 

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Eggs Benedict Puffins – with a little pepper jack.

Eggs Benedict Puffin

Eggs Benedict Puffin

A new Sunday routine is taking the pups to the dog park over in Chandler. My sister and I try to make it a weekly habit, and decided that we needed to extend the outing into brunch this week. We love to make our lives more difficult, so instead of mimosas and brunch on a patio somewhere, we went shopping and came back to my place. This was definitely a 2-person kitchen pursuit, but I’m sure it could be done solo if you just keep the bacon and Canadian bacon warm.

What you need:

  • Eggs
  • Hollandaise sauce
  • BACON
  • Canadian Bacon
  • Croissant dough or puff pastry
  • Pepper jack cheese
  • Arugula
  • avocado
  • tomato

We first cooked the bacon and CANADIAN bacon (our Dad is from Canada so we love when we get to use our family food 😉 ). I took 3-4 pieces of the bacon and cut up into crumble sized pieces. These would be used for topping on top of the Hollandaise drizzle.

Bacon

Kaela worked on the croissant dough by cutting into square and putting on a baking sheet. Baked at 375 for about 10 minutes.

We got the Hollandaise sauce on the stove so that it was ready to drizzle on the finished product.

Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise Sauce

Avocado & tomato were cut up for toppings as we cooked the sunny side up eggs. Just a touch of pepper and salt on these.


 

The stacking process. (This is where it all comes together.)

We started with the puff pastry and cut in half so that the dough wasn’t the main filler.

Croissant Pastry

Croissant Pastry cut in half

The egg was placed on the bottom and then a layer of Canadian bacon and regular bacon.

A touch of arugula with a splash of garlic infused EVO.

Avocado. Tomato. PEPPER JACK.

Top with the other half of the croissant square.

A spoon full of hollandaise was drizzled on top and then a pinch of bacon to finish.

Puffin Egg Benedict Sandwich

 

Open Faced Orange, Pesto and Cheesy Tuna Sandwich

Cold winter mornings always bring me back to those simple warm lunches that Mom would make. The stay in your pj’s all day kind of days. The fish of the sea is something some people wouldn’t touch, but it’s one of those comfort foods that I love to pair with a good cheese.

I went to a friend’s after Christmas holiday party and we played White Elephant. Guess what I won.  A box of delicious, cold cheese.

One of the cheeses in the box was Mountina Cheese, an Alpine cheese from Montana. It has a smooth nutty flavor, reminiscent of a Gruyère.

Open Faced Orange, Pesto and Cheesy Tuna Sandwich

Open Faced Orange, Pesto and Cheesy Tuna Sandwich

I was craving a tuna sandwich, but of course also some cheese, so I looked in my cabinets and fridge to see what I could whip up. Here are the ingredients I used:

  • Bread
  • Tuna
  • Mayo
  • Slice of orange for a spritz of juice
  • Pesto
  • Mountina Cheese or a Gruyère
  • Arugula
  • Olive Oil (I used one infused with garlic)
  1. Mix the tuna and mayo together
  2. Squeeze the orange to get the juice out. Normally I use lemon, but didn’t have any. I’m glad I didn’t because it brought a floral taste to the sandwich. Also, I drop the orange rinds down my disposal after to make my kitchen smell fresh!
  3. Use a cheese grater to get thin pieces of the cheese. Mix into your tuna.
  4. I don’t usually toast my bread  before I broil, because I like it to still be a little soft. If you like crispy, toast your bread.
  5. Spread pesto on bread, then the tuna mix. Pop in the oven and broil on low for about 10 minutes.
  6. After the cheese has melted and the tuna is warm, pull out and top with arugula.
  7. Pour a tablespoon of garlic olive oil and drizzle on top of the arugula.
  8. Get a glass of milk and enjoy!

These cheeses came from local Cheese Queen, Lara Mulchay, who owns Petit Fromage & of Hot Dish Inc., a pop-up cheese shop.  You can check out her products here: http://hotdishinc.com/shop/

 

Black Truffle Bacon Mac & Cheese

I’m sorry to those of you who I said I would post this recipe sooner but the holiday season brought on a wonderful sickness in my household! Cheers to Kleenex and Nyquil stocking stuffers!

Alright, so I met Go Lb. Salt at the Mac and Cheese Throwdown this past year. Aaron is awesome and gave me some of his new black truffle bacon. I knew when I laid eyes on this thick cut bacon I had to put it in my favorite dish. Lucky for my family, I made it on Thanksgiving for them.

Black Truffle Mac and Cheese

Black Truffle Mac and Cheese

Here is the recipe that I used from Chow.com to make my from-scratch macaroni and cheese. Chow.com got the recipe from Homeroom a restaurant in California that sell nothing but mac and cheese. (I die.)

The recipe didn’t include bacon but don’t forget it! I mixed it in before baking, and also saved some to sprinkle on top. The truffle bacon is going to be the hardest part. If you can’t get some of Go Lb. Salt’s bacon, get thick cut bacon and drizzle a little truffle oil into the dish.

 (My notes below in italics)

For the béchamel:

  • 4 cups (1 quart) whole milk
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt (Since you’re using bacon, I would recommend less salt)

To assemble:

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 8 ounces shredded 2-year aged sharp cheddar cheese (about 3 cups)
  • 3 ounces grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 2/3 cup panko (optional, but I used since I baked)

For the béchamel:

  1. Heat the milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until it just comes to a simmer, then turn off the heat and set aside.
  2. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk constantly until the mixture turns light brown in color, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. While whisking constantly, slowly add the hot milk to the flour mixture until evenly combined and smooth. (It will get very thick when you first add the milk, then thin out.)
  4. Return the saucepan to medium-high heat and while whisking constantly, cook until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the salt, taste, and add the remaining salt as desired. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To assemble:

  1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until it’s almost al dente (just on the edge of being underdone), then drain and rinse with cold water; set aside. (If you plan to top the mac ‘n’ cheese with panko and bake it, heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle.)
  2. Place the reserved saucepan of béchamel over medium heat and stir in both cheeses just until melted and smooth. Add the pasta and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is heated through and steaming, about 2 to 4 minutes. (THIS IS WHERE I ADDED TRUFFLE BACON.) Serve immediately or, if baking, transfer to a 5-quart baking dish, sprinkle with the panko (AND BACON), and bake until bubbling and brown on top, about 25 to 30 minutes.

If you don’t want to bake and want the ultimate creamy dish, just serve and top with the bacon.

Spicy Red Sauce and Tattooed Arms

The agony continues back in the states; missing wandering the streets of Italy, drinking wine from decanters any hour of the day and basking in course upon course of pasta and cheese.

With my husband begging for a glimpse of this bittersweet memory, I decide to treat him to his favorite meal – Baked Eggplant Parmesan. If you would have asked me 3 years ago if I would eat the green, slimy vegetable, I would have scrunched my nose faster then you could finish the question. Alas, for love, I have learned how to cut the vegetable, get most of the goo off, cook it and dress it on a plate for an hour (or usually 10 minutes) of smiles while he devours.

Baked Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

Baked Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

If you have the time, it’s a great meal to fill the house with smells of Italy. What has made the dish even better, is finagling the secret recipe from my husbands’ family for a red, spicy sauce.

Cheese you ask? Only the best fresh mozzarella to complete this dish.

I’ll give you my recipe for baked eggplant, but you’ll have to kill me for the sauce.

Ingredients:

  • Large eggplant
  • Salt
  • Italian Bread Crumbs (or breadcrumbs, basil, red pepper, salt, pepper, etc.)
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • Pasta sauce (hint: use fresh garlic and some red pepper please)
  • Slices of mozzarella (I use a whole log from Trader Joes)

Directions:

Slice the eggplant so you have ¼-in slices of circles. Lay out on paper towels and soak excess water from eggplant for about 20 minutes (more time is better to get crispier).

Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat.

Mix breadcrumbs, parmesan, salt and red pepper in one bowl. Beat eggs in another bowl. Lay out more clean paper towels to begin frying.

Dip eggplant slices into the egg, then breadcrumbs and drop into the oil. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes or until a golden brown.

After all pieces are fried, layer a casserole/baking dish with red sauce. Add four eggplants. Top with mozzarella slices, red sauce and another eggplant slice. Continue until all eggplants are in the dish. Layer with leftover mozzarella and sprinkle with parmesan.

Place in oven at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes until the dish is bubbling and the cheese is fully melted, sliding to the sides.

Thank Ashley later.

Citizen’s of Macaroni

Seeing old friends is always a refreshing stance during the hurried, work-filled weeks. Catching up on lives that have all changed so much puts into perspective how quickly time passes without a sudden care.

I had been to Citizen Public House before for a Valentine’s dinner with the fiancé. Although, I usually hate set menus, I enjoyed each course; just never made it back to the dim-lit, upscale and cozy pub.

The setting last week was for the well known crafty cocktails, appetizers, and talk about the future.

The Citi-Zen handcrafted cocktail was my drink of choice. Made with Absolut Pear vodka, Domaine de Canton, ginger liqueur, housemade sweet & sour.The best part is the rock candy that doubles as a martini stirrer.

Pork Belly Pastrami with a Brussels sprout sauerkraut, Burrata and Chicken & Waffles made it to the table to share. We couldn’t be satisfied without a couple orders of the Bernie’s Mac and Cheese as well.

Citizen Public House Macaroni and Cheese

Citizen Public House Macaroni and Cheese

Cavatappi is not my favorite pasta, but it was cooked well so no complaints. I couldn’t tell if it was the Emmental as it can become spicy when aged, but the M&C had a bite that I loved. The Gorgonzola and tomato relish gave it the savory component that had us order two more bowls for the table.

We ended the night with the peanut butter dessert and smiles.

After I left, I kept thinking of the rock candy in the Citi-Zen and the elementary science experiments when I had home made. For all of you who never had a rad teacher who showed you how to make rock candy..here’s your rock candy recipe:

Homemade Rock Candy recipe

Homemade Rock Candy recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 2-3 cups of white sugar
  • Food coloring
  • Wooden skewers
  • Clothes pins
  • Champagne flutes or a mason jar
  • Pot to boil water

Directions:

  1. Boil the water and add a quarter cup of sugar until all is dissolved.
  2. Clamp a skewer with a close pin near the top, dip in the simple syrup, then roll in sugar. Place in flute or glass jar to dry.
  3. After cooling the simple syrup add to your flute/mason jar. Then use a generous amount of food coloring to each glass. The more the better for the sugar to catch the color. Make sure the skewer is in the middle of the class and not touching the bottom.
  4. Wait 3-7 days, then break the top of the sugar with a butter knife. Hang it upside down to get excess liquid off. Package for a later day or enjoy!

Cheesy Valentine’s

Prequel: I have a fiancé and he will be mentioned in many of these posts, but as JRS.

Present time: Valentine’s Day. A day for wasting money to prove your love. Don’t take that last sentence as if I don’t love receiving delivered flowers at work. Just a statement that I recognize now that I’m older.

JRS and I had multiple things to celebrate last weekend and decided to have an early Vday dinner at the new Chandler steak house CHoP. It is owned by the same creators of The Living Room and Sushi Room. Walking in, it reminds me of The Keg. Hostess in short FBD, with an immediate view of the simple, modern steakhouse engorged by a large bar. It was super busy so it is evident that South West Chandler needed something of the sort. Long story short, I ordered the mac and cheese even though there were multiple options to accompany my filet, because obviously it’s the right choice. This decision is prior to this blog, so no decent pic to share. #morechzplz rating? It was a four out of five. Not the bees knees best, but definitely good enough to come back for. The tender and perfectly cooked filet next to it may have flawed my judgement.

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This dish inspired my day of Valentine’s dinner cooking with the following mac and cheese side to accompany our own filet and lobster meal:

Inspired by the Chandler, AZ steakhouse.

Inspired by the Chandler, AZ steakhouse.

Preparation for two (with plenty of leftovers).

1.5 cups of shell macaroni
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 pepper, or to taste
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup half-and-half (or more milk)
1.5 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1.5 shredded jalapeno jack cheese for some bite
3/4 cup breadcrumbs

Cook macaroni following package directions. Drain in a colander and rinse with hot water; set aside.

Butter a baking dish. Heat oven to 350°.

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Stir flour into the butter until smooth and bubbly. Stir in the dry mustard, salt, and pepper. Gradually add milk and cream, stirring constantly. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add cheese and continue to cook and stir until melted.

Combine the macaroni and the sauce and pour into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and bake for about 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly and topping is lightly browned.

Second day reheat still magnificent.