Mac & Four Cheese Gratin with Truffle Oil in Le Creuset’s Mini Cocottes


I’ve been eyeing these beauties for years–these Le Creuset mini cocottes in red. (These are the enameled iron one’s, not the pottery versions). Perhaps I’ve been drawn to these beauties because of their diminutive size, or maybe it’s because of their name–cocotte. You do know what a cocotte is, right? Yes, one definition is ‘a shallow baking dish,’ but the other? Look it up. Meanings aside, it’s their impracticality that makes them so appealing to me–perfect for a Valentine’s Day meal.

What can you possibly make in these mini Dutch ovens, you may ask? The possibilities are endless. I imagine adorable little pot pies, souffles, soups, appetizers…and Mac & Cheese!

I chose to make Mac & Cheese in an attempt to recreate one of my favorite dishes from Cheesetique in Alexandria. This is definitely not low-calorie, but come on, Valentine’s Day only comes around once a year, so I splurged.

Macaroni and Four Cheese Gratin with Truffle Oil

Adapted from Le Creuset’s Mac & Cheese Recipe

This recipe serves 4, but I only have two mini cocottes, so I put the remaining mac and cheese in a small Le Creuset baker.

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 18 oz winter durum wheat macaroni
  • 1 oz (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, plus 1 tbl
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 oz Gorgonzola
  • 2 oz Fontina
  • 2 oz Marscarpone
  • 2 oz Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 cup panko or bread crumbs
  • Truffle oil, to taste (I drizzled a teaspoon or so on each mini)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Tip: Cheeses with higher fat content melt better than those that with a lower one! So combine your favorites: creamy Fontina, Gorgonzola, buffalo mozzarella, Parmigano Reggiano.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly butter 2 mini cocottes (and the small baker, or ramekins) .
  2. Cook macaroni in boiling salted water for about 8 minutes; it should be al dente; not entirely cooked.  Pass the pasta under cold running water to stop them from cooking.
  3. Melt the butter in a small pan over a low flame. Add the cream, the Gorgonzola,
    the Fontina, the Marscarpone and the Parmigiano Reggiano (reserving 4
    tablespoons for the top). Stir the cheese until all are well melted. Add salt and
    freshly ground pepper to taste.
  4. In a separate pan, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Once it’s melted, add the panko or breadcrumbs to lightly coat.
  5. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and divide into 2 mini-cocottes and baker dish. Sprinkle the
    rest of the Parmigiano Reggiano over each cocotte along with a little bit of panko or breadcrumbs to your liking. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and crusty looking. On taking them out of the oven, let them rest for 5 minutes before serving. Drizzle a little bit of truffle oil on each, to taste.

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35 thoughts on “Mac & Four Cheese Gratin with Truffle Oil in Le Creuset’s Mini Cocottes

  1. I notice that you have some new friends in your rotation although none as faithful as I. I just made the crab mac and cheese from “Pure Flavor”. I love that book. We are having it tonight.

    1. If only I could get crab–even canned crab. Pure Flavor, along with MOST, if not ALL of my books will remain on the shelves until I leave the ME b/c of the ingredient conundrum.
      I see you’re up early. You’re off today, right?

  2. Jen, looks great but very small servings. Raj will have to have two of these mini’s to fill up that bad boy..I will now be on the look our for these iron cute cooking pots. But I have to be quick as Dick is out there competing with me..JP

  3. That looks yummy! And your little cocettes are great too! I’v been looking for something like them to make mini pies (both of the dinner and the desert varieties) in. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  4. Your apple pies plus mac and cheese look so delicious!! You have no idea how much I love mac and cheese LOL. I’ll have to try your recipe sometime.

    Keep smiling,
    Yawatta

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I’ve been working on a book while I’ve been here in Jordan. I’m taking a break from it because I’m frustrated so I plan on coming back to your blog for inspiration.
      Best,
      Jen

  5. Mmmm Mac and cheese with truffle oil is amazing – and I’m not even the biggest fan of mushrooms. It just adds that extra hint of deliciousness behind all that gooey cheese, yummy! Now I want some 🙂

  6. I love your cocottes! I always feel like a kid in a candy store in the creuset store, and I haven’t bought anything from them yet 😦 Waiting to get my own kitchen first!

    1. When you get your own kitchen, check out the Staub ones too. They’re actually cuter and have cocotte accessories too! (You can buy the cutest accompanying cocotte server).

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