No, you are not reading that incorrectly. I did skip from week 6 to week 9, but for good reason. You see, I have this problem. I don't read recipes fully before cooking. This week's dish was actually supposed to be Leanne's Fig Stuffed Gnocchi with Duck Confit. I was going to make this dish for our weekly dinner with our friends Chris and Chelsea. Knowing that I would have to wing the recipe fully, as there is no recipe online nor in the Top Chef Cookbook, I looked up a recipe for duck confit. It takes 2 days to make. Dinner was in 36 hours. No go.
Well, why not episode 7, you ask? Well, the winning dish was roast chicken. Not something I want to serve my beloved dinner guests. Week 8? An appetizer won. I may be able to eat only an appetizer for dinner, but I did not want to starve my guests. So episode 9 it was.
A few hours before dinner, I read the ingredients and discovered that the dish needed a veal demi glace. I know that demi glace takes at least two days to cook. Dinner was in 6 hours.
Do I never learn?
I asked my friend's on Twitter if there was a quick demi glace method that only took about three hours. They laughed at me. But Michelle of From Laptop to Stovetop sent me this link for a pan sauce that would have done the trick. It was perfect, but I actually lucked out and found a demi glace at Harris Teeters (ah, Harris Teeter, how I will miss you so). Problem solved.
Since this episode aired, I have remembered this dish. The judges went wild for Dave's truffled macaroni and cheese.
The challenge was to cook with black truffles. The chefs were given $250 to shop for ingredients. I, however, was not. And since black truffles are currently $300 a pound and I needed 6 ounces of black truffle, I decided that my trusty $12 bottle of black truffle oil would do the trick.
Unfortunately, my Stephen was kicked off of the show by this point, so there is no Stephen moment to revel in this episode. So I will just imagine Stephen instructing viewers on the finer points of black truffles. Cue Stephen's voice: The black truffle, also known as the Perigod Truffle is named after the Perigod region in France and only grows on oak trees.
Ah... I am fulfilled.
But let's talk about the dishes, shall we? I really thought that the macaroni and cheese was going to be the standout star of the dinner. But the Filet Mignon. Ohhh. The filet mignon.
I just have to stop for a minute and give homage to the wonder that is this filet mignon dish. The filet was the most tender, succulent, melt-in-your-mouth piece of filet that I have ever tasted. It was then topped with a complex truffled mirepoix that was flavored by mushroom stock, demi glace, and truffle oil.
HEAVEN. IN. YOUR. MOUTH.
Don't get me wrong. The mac and cheese was pretty stellar as well. This was also a complex, creamy dish flavored by sweet cognac, pungent truffle oil, sharp parmesan, creamy fontina cheese, and is finished by a slight kick from the addition of pepper sauce.
Dave Martin, I have a feeling you don't swing my way, but will you marry me? And make me this every night?
Dave's Black Truffle Mac and Cheese Adapted from Top Chef
Dave's Black Truffle Mac and Cheese
Adapted from Top Chef
Black Truffle Mac and Cheese
1 Tbsp. EVO
1 small shallot, brunoise
6 cloves of roasted garlic
3 teaspoons black truffle oil
One pint heavy cream
One pint whole milk
one cup of cognac, reduced to demi sec
2 tsp. fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 tsp. fresh thyme stems removed
1 Tbsp. sherry
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. white pepper
8 oz. Fontina, finely grated
6 oz Parmiggiano reggiano,finely grated
2 tsp. chipotle Tabasco
2 cups seasoned sourdough croutons, run thru food processor to turn into crumbs
1 lb Fresh pasta noodles (rigatoni or other noodle that will hold sauce), cooked in salt water to al dente
Heat oil on stove top in stock pot and then add shallots and garlic and heavily sweat until aromatic. Deglaze with sherry and then add fresh herbs, truffles and cream and reduced cognac. Cook over low heat until reduced by half and truffle flavor is infused. Season and add parmesan and Tabasco. To this hot mixture add the cooked and drained noodles and the fontina and mix cheeses are melted. Taste noodles for seasoning and adjust as needed. Set aside.
8 oz unsalted butter
Take small 4 -6 oz. baking dish and butter the bottom and sides. Set one slice of truffle on bottom of each dish. Then add noodles and sauce to the dish and top with the crumbled croutons, finely grated truffles and a pinch of the finely grated parmesan and back in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until mixture is bubbly and toasted on the top.
Peppered Filet Mignon with Truffled Mirepoix
EVO for pan
8 oz Angus Filet Mignon, seasoned on all sides with kosher salt and black pepper
2 tsp black truffle oil
2 carrots, peeled and small dice
2 celery stalks, small dice
1/2 yellow onion, small dice
1/2 shallot, brunoise
2 tsp. fresh thyme stems removed
1/2 cup sherry
2 cups veal demi glace
1/2 cup mushroom stock
Heat evo in sauté pan and then add mirepoix and heavily caramelize. Then deglaze with sherry. Add truffles, demi glace and mushroom stock and reduce. Pan sear filets in EVO on high heat to just under medium rare and set aside to rest until they come to medium rare and slice. Place 3 strips of filet on plate and then add solid tablespoon of truffled mirepoix over the filet.