Mac and cheese is one of my favorite foods ever
; one I think I probably could eat daily, and probably have for more days in a row than I should admit. The only way to make the creamy and cheesy deliciousness better is to add some truffle flavor and lobster. Unfortunately, it is normally a high calorie, high fat dish. I was recently found this recipe
that makes virtually fat free mac and cheese, and was immediately intrigued and had to try it. (Brandon behind Kitchen Konfidence
has a lot of cool recipes and ways to do some of the modern techniques without all of the expensive equipment.)
I’ve re-posted the recipe below with my adaptations. I was extremely pleased with the outcome despite my initial fear that it would not live up to my ideal of mac and cheese.
Virtually Fat-Free Truffle Lobster Mac and Cheese:
- 1 head of cauliflower, thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups grated Jack cheese
- 3 cups grated Gruyère cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 10 ounces dry macaroni (I used Mueller’s Hidden Veggie Twisted Elbows)
- 2 lobster tails
- 1/2 tablespoon of butter
1. Thinly slice full head of cauliflower and set aside.
2. Place lobster tail in bag with 1/2 tablespoon of butter and salt and pepper. Cook sous vide in a 60°C bath for 45 minutes, then set aside in microwave to keep warm.
3. Put all of the grated cheese in bag with 3 1/2 cups of water. Vacuum seal the bag to best of your ability. (It’s a bit difficult to vacuum seal the bag fully because of the water; as you can see below, there was a little bit of air left in mine, which is okay.) Cook sous vide in a 176°F bath for 30 minutes.
4. While the cheese is cooking, boil the cauliflower, then drain and puree using a hand emulsion blender. Set aside.
5. Once cheese has finished cooking, strain the cheese and cheese water into a bowl, through a strainer using a cheese cloth (or paper towel as I did if you don’t have a cheese cloth on hand-see below).
6. Cool the sous vide bath temperature back down to 60°F, and put lobster back into it to warm until the rest of the steps are done.
7. Boil the macaroni noodles in the cheese water until they are al dente and have absorbed the cheese water.
8. Mix in the cauliflower puree, and season with truffle salt and pepper.
9. Serve mac and cheese in a bowl and top with lobster tail and chives.
Note and Thoughts on the Recipe:
- If you do not have a sous vide, all of those steps can be done using a big pot and zip lock bags, as described on Kitchen Konfidence.
- The original recipe called for 2 1/4 cups of water to be added to the cheese, but that amount didn’t fully cover the cheese, so I added more. I think 3.5 cups was the right amount to allow the noodles to fully cook.
- My only negative/sad thought from this recipe is that after straining the cheese water from the cheese, I was left with about 6 cups of flavorless cheese/lard, which seems a bit like a waste. I tried eating/using this lump of “cheese” in subsequent days, and came to the conclusion that it was basically flavorless fat, and threw it away. Maybe you are more inventive than I am and can find a use for the leftover cheese.
- You could easily make the mac and cheese without the lobster, and either have it plain or add bacon. The possibilities are limitless and delicious!
- I cannot verify that this is entirely fat-free, because I lack in equipment and scientific training; however, the few science classes I took and general reasoning lead me to the fact that it seems to be at least mostly fat free, since you simply use the flavor from the cheese (similar to an extract, maybe?) and no butter or milk/cream.
This was an excellent choice to make on a rainy Friday night and enjoy with a buttery chardonnay, and be able to enjoy knowing you have cut out extra calories and fat!