Orgasmic Mac 'n' Cheese
1 1/2 cups sliced crimini (baby bellas) mushrooms
1 1/2 cups sliced shitake mushrooms
2 tbsp oil or bacon fat
1 1/2 tbsp sherry vinegar
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
3 cup whole milk, warmed
4 oz herb chevre, crumbled
4 oz sharp cheddar, shredded
4 oz parmigiano reggiano, separated in two 2 oz piles
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (didn't have this so I skipped it)
2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp fresh sage, minced (didn't have this one either)
2-3 tbsp white truffle oil, depending on how strong you like it
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup panko
10 oz elbow pasta (I used the whole 16 oz. box. It was less saucy but I didn't mind)
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 400F. Boil water for pasta. Cook pasta according to directions but 2 min less.
Sautee your mushrooms until caramelized. Deglaze the pan with some vinegar (recipe called for sherry vinegar but I had balsamic). Cook mushrooms until vinegar cooks out. Set aside for mixing into pasta later.
Make the Cheese Sauce
Start with a roux: Melt butter in a sauce pan, add flour and cook out raw flour flavor but do NOT let caramelize. Add herbs and pepper flakes for heat and let cook a few seconds. Whisk in room temperature milk slowly. Bring bechamel to a simmer. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add truffle oil. Take off heat.
Mix It All Together
In a new mixing bowl, stir together pasta, mushrooms, cheese sauce. Pour into a baking dish. If you are not going to bake it right away, set aside covered with aluminum foil.
Add panko/Parm crust to top just before baking. Bake until golden brown in 400F oven.
Next time I'd adjust the cheese mix more to my taste. Less goat more parm or cheddar. You can also adjust the mushroom to your faves. When you're having a hankering for cheesy mac, reach for this grown-up version.