Mama’s (Cooking) Day Out


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As a stay-at-home mom, I don’t get much time to myself (not a complaint) and when we do get Grandma to babysit, it’s for Mommy and Daddy date nights (much needed), so it has been a long, long time since I’ve had an afternoon all to myself. Last Saturday was such an afternoon and I spent it in the kitchen (not my own).

I attended a cooking class presented by a young, local (to AZ) up-and-coming chef, named Matthew Grunwald. This young man is truly destined for culinary greatness. Remember his name. I am sure you will be seeing him on The Food Network with a show of his own in the not-so distant future.

The class was held at the Sub-Zero Wolf Southwest Showrooms and I could have spent that afternoon just perusing the awesomeness and grandeur of these high-end kitchen toys. When I grow up I want my kitchen outfitted with these appliances. WOW!

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It was a hands-on experience and attendees were paired up to make a Chef Matt creation for everyone to share. My partner and I chose to make Asiago Truffle Mac and Cheese with Mushrooms and Poblano Peppers.

Ummm…hello high-caloric, aphrodisiac, pan of cheesey, gluttonny-inducing fabulousness. Where have you been all my life?

The Asiago cheese gave the creamy blend a balanced sharpness that perfectly complimented the meatiness of the mushrooms and the subtle heat of the poblano peppers. This was my first foray into using and eating truffle oil and I must admit, I’m now a believer. The mac and cheese was divine without it but when we mixed it in and drizzled it on top the dish went from delicious to eat-the-whole-pan-by-yourself divine. Talk about savory decadence.

The other dishes made in the class were pretty fantastic too and I gorged myself silly on a carb-laden meal that made me smile. Then I helped myself to seconds and smiled some more.

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After class I stayed to help clean up and I found myself happily doing dishes. Weird, I know but I wanted to prolong my “me-time” a bit longer. Plus, there was this dishwasher there that did an entire load of dishes in 90 seconds – a minute and a half, people! And it does it all without any detergent, it blasts them clean with super hot water and then sterilizes them with heat.

I want one. Really bad. Owning one would be life-changing, no life-enhancing…life-enriching even! I need one.

Maybe I can get them to give me one in exchange for a glowing blog review. Hahaha! A girl can dream.

I am sure Sub-Zero Wolf won’t be giving me that life-altering machine of wonder but I am giving you the recipe for that amazing Asiago Truffle Mac and Cheese, courtesy of Chef Matthew Grunwald.

Enjoy!

Asiago Truffle Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Pound Oyster Mushrooms, torn
  • 2 Poblano Peppers, seeded and 1/4″ sliced
  • 8 Tbsp Butter, unsalted
  • 8 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Gallon Whole Milk
  • 7 Cups Asiago Cheese, shredded
  • 1 Cup Parmesan cheese
  • Water As Needed
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp Truffle Oil
  • 1 Pound Macaroni
  • 1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 5 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbsp Parsley, chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat and season with salt a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the macaroni for 8 minutes until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil to high and roast the mushrooms and poblano in the pan for 5 minutes until brown. Set aside when finished cooking.
  3. In a sauce pot, melt the butter over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Cook the roux for I minute until light, light golden brown. While whisking, add in the milk and bring to a simmer on medium-low heat. It is important to stir and scrape the bottom often. When the Bechamel has thickened, turn off the heat and add in the cheese and truffle oil. Stir until the cheese is fully melted.
  4. Combine the cheese sauce and macaroni together an mix until each noodle is fully coated. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the Mac and Cheese to an oven safe dish and turn on the broiler.
  5. In a small bowl combine the panko, olive oil and parsley and mix. Sprinkle on top of the Mac and Cheese and place under the broiler 1-2 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Let cool 5 minutes and serve.

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Just looking at this picture will make you gain three pounds.

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 Chipotle Glass Noodles Topped with Fried Eggs. Yum!

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Bacon & Caramelized Onion Spaghetti with Marsala Parmesan Sauce. (my second favorite dish of the day)

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 Dessert! Cayenne Pepper Fudge Sauce Dipped Pretzels with Peanut Butter. (my other second favorite)

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 Jacquelyn enjoying the leftovers I brought home for her.

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