Friday, September 14, 2012

Truffle Mac 'n Cheese Stuffed Heirloom Tomato

When I see fancy adult mac 'n cheese on menus, it's always some kind of truffle mac 'n cheese. So, I thought, why not make that vegan. To be honest, this cheese sauce was pretty good compared to my other disastrous vegan cheese sauces I have made in the past. I was starting to think I'd never get a good mac 'n cheese sauce down. This was a very tasty dinner!

Instagram Photo (User: veganmiss)
Truffle Mac 'n Cheese Stuffed Heirloom Tomato

* Prep Time: 10 minutes
* Cook Time: 40 minutes
* Ingredients (for mac 'n cheese):
  • 1 (13.25 oz) box whole wheat elbow noodles
  • 5 tbsp vegan butter*
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp sweet rice flour*
  • 2 cup non-dairy milk*
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated*
  • 3 tbsp dry white wine*
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2-1 tsp white truffle oil*
  • salt and pepper, to taste
* Ingredients (for breadcrumb topping):
  • 1/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs*
  • 1 tsp fresh basil, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • olive oil, to taste
  • 5 heirloom tomatoes (or more)*
* Recipe:
Instagram Photo (User: veganmiss)
  1. In a pot, cook the elbow noodles in salted water until al dente. Strain, run cool water over then, set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. In a deep skillet, add 1 tbsp of the vegan butter and cook the onions until translucent over medium heat. Add the garlic and continue cooking for another few minutes until garlic browns. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Add the remaining 4 tbsp of vegan butter to the skillet and the sweet rice flour. Whisk the butter and flour mixture with a whisk (easier than using a fork or spoon).
  5. When combined, slowly add the 2 cups of non-dairy milk a little at a time, stirring with whisk continuously.
  6. Add the remaining ingredients and continue whisking. Bring to a slight boil, then reduce to low heat (continue whisking so not to get clumps). The sauce should be thick and similar to regular mac 'n cheese sauce at this point. 
  7. In a bowl, add the cooked noodles. Laddle the cheese sauce a bit at a time to the noodles and mix until well combined. Add as much of the cheese sauce as desired, but not too much as to make it soupy. Add the onions and garlic and mix.
  8. In a smaller bowl, combine the topping ingredients (exclude the tomatoes). Add enough olive oil just to make the crumbs stick.  
  9. Cut the top of each tomato and take out the core. Add the mac 'n cheese to the tomatoes then top with the breadcrumb mixture.
  10. Place tomatoes on a small baking dish. Also place the tomato tops in the dish, but not on top of the stuffed tomatoes yet. Drizzle everything with a bit of olive oil.
  11. Put in oven and let bake for about 5-10 minutes until you notice the breadcrumbs starting to brown. Remove from oven and using a fork, add the tomato tops back to the tomatoes covering the breadcrumbs. Return to the oven and let bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the tomatoes seem soft and baked. If it seems like it is taking a while, put the oven on a high broil and broil for 2 minutes or until the tomatoes look done.
  12. Top the baked tomatoes with vegan Parmesan, sea salt, and fresh chopped basil.
* Note: For vegan butter, I used Earth Balance olive oil version. Sweet rice flour can be found in the Asian section of your grocery store. You could try using regular all-purpose flour in this, I would imagine, but the sweet rice flour is good because it has a gelatinous effect that will make the sauce more "cheesy". For non-dairy milk, I used almond milk as that is what I prefer. You could use ground nutmeg, I just happened to have it fresh. Make sure your white wine is vegan! White truffle oil is something that a little goes a long way. Be sparing. Some Italian breadcrumbs contain dairy in them so be sure to check the label. I used Whole Foods brand. Originally, I was going to make this with panko breadcrumbs, but I was out. I still think it would have been better with panko! You may need more tomatoes than what I suggest here. I only made 2 at the time and then two mini bowls baked (using only half of the cooked noodles and a lot of cheese sauce left over). You could make a casserole if you just don't want to keep putting it in tomatoes. 

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