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Chef Dave Bohati’s Wild Mushroom Mac & Cheese

Chef Dave Bohati’s Wild Mushroom Mac & Cheese - Parents Canada

Mushroom mac cheese - chef dave bohati's wild mushroom mac & cheese

This summer, a mac & cheese showdown took place at Dairy Farmers of Canada‘s Canadian Cheese Counter at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto.

Four chefs and foodies from across Canada were challenged to create the ultimate in cheesy comfort food as a way of celebrating the delicious diversity of Canadian cheese. Bal Arneson, Food Network TV host and award-winning author from Vancouver, chef David Bohati, executive chef at MARKET Restaurant in Calgary, Kevin Durkee, owner of CHEESEWERKS in Toronto, and chef Andrew Farrell, head chef at 2 Doors Down in Halifax, Nova Scotia found it wasn’t so easy being cheesy -the competition was stiff.

The cheesy judging panel consisted of Sue Riedl, journalist, blogger and cheese ambassador, Rita DeMontis, Sun Media food editor, Jason Bangerter, executive chef and 2012 Grate Canadian (Grilled) Cheese Cook-Off champion, as well as Lorie Chater, a cheese lover from Halifax, Nova Scotiaand the winner of the nation-wide contest for a professional mac & cheese taster. Chef Andrew Farrell from 2 Doors Down in Halifax emerged victorious with his Crispy Greens Mac & Cheese, made with four cheeses from That Dutchman’s Farm — three Gouda and one Blue — produced in Upper Economy, Nova Scotia. The uber-cheesy pasta was topped with a kale-broccoli-Brussels sprouts crust and a hit of Sriracha for some spicy kick.

The Cook-Off was organized by Dairy Farmers of Canada to take Canada’s beloved mac & cheese to a whole new level and showcase the outstanding quality, variety, taste, and versatility of Canadian cheese made from 100% Canadian milk. Although the winning mac & cheese sounds fabulous, I know Chef Dave Bohati – his restaurant, MARKET, is close to home and one I visit often – and his “dressed up” wild mushroom mac sounds perfect for these cooler fall days. Mac & cheese and mushrooms sound like a winning combination to me.

“DRESSED UP” WILD MUSHROOM MAC & CHEESE

Not your typical Mac & Cheese! This one is oozing with Canadian cheesy truffle pizzazz. By Chef David Bohati, MARKET Restaurant, Calgary.

Gouda Mornay Sauce:

6 tbsp (90 mL) unsalted butter

3 tbsp (45 mL) white truffle oil

1 onion, finely diced

1⁄2 cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour

21⁄2 cups (626 mL) 2% milk

2 tsp (10 mL) fresh lemon juice

1 tsp (5 mL) kosher salt

Pinch of grated nutmeg

2 cups (500 mL) Sylvan Star Smoked Gouda (or Canadian Smoked Gouda), grated

1 lb (500 g) farfalle (bow ties) pasta

Mushroom Ragout:

8 confit garlic cloves*

2 tbsp (30 mL) garlic confit oil*

2 shallots, julienned

5 oz (150 g) each fresh oyster and shimiji mushrooms

3 oz (90 g) each fresh morel and chantrelle mushrooms

1 cup (250 mL) dry red wine

1 sprig thyme, stemmed

Fresh ground black pepper

6 oz (175 g) fresh arugula

1⁄4 cup (60 mL) each chives and flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Truffle oil

Gouda Mornay Sauce: In medium saucepan, heat butter and oil over medium heat; sauté onion 3 min or until translucent. Sprinkle with flour; sauté 3 min or until golden brown. Gradually stir in milk and lemon juice; whisk until smooth. Reduce heat to low, season with salt and nutmeg; simmer 10 min or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Mushroom Ragout: In large skillet, heat garlic and garlic oil on high heat, add shallots; sauté 2 minutes or until tender. Add mushrooms, sauté until slightly browned, about 5 min. Add wine, cook, stirring and scraping up any bits, for 2 minutes or until reduced. Stir in thyme leaves and pepper. Remove from heat; stir in arugula to slightly wilted.

To serve, add pasta to Gouda Mornay sauce; toss to coat. Divide pasta among shallow serving bowls and top with Wild Mushroom Ragout. Sprinkle with chives and parsley; drizzle with truffle oil.

Chef’s Tips: To make garlic confit and garlic confit oil: in a small saucepan, on low heat, simmer peeled garlic cloves in olive oil to cover until garlic is tender, about 40 min. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.

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