Exquisite and delightful, truffles are undeniably one of the greatest discoveries in the world of fine dining. Filling each kitchen with its musky aroma, it has become a well-used ingredient among top chefs and a popular garnishing among food enthusiasts. With its frequent appearance on restaurant menus, diners who are new to its earthy taste are surely in for a pleasant surprise.
Because of its high price and pungent aroma, truffles are used sparingly. As the volatile aromas dissipate quicker when heated, truffles are generally served raw and shaved over warm, simple foods so that the flavour will be accentuated.
Give your recipes a touch of refinement with this one-of-a-kind delicacy. Here are three ways you can incorporate truffles on your specialty dishes.
Get a Hearty Fill: Fettucine with Mushrooms & Fresh Black Truffle
One classic way of preparing truffles is by adding it to cream-based sauces which soak up its flavour, and combining them with wheat-based glutens which balance its taste. Perfect for vegans, this truffle pasta recipe is a meatless yet satisfying treat.
Start by cooking the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water until al dente. On a separate skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until fragrant, before tossing in the mushrooms. Keeping cooking until the mushrooms are fully coated with butter and slightly browned, then season it with salt and pepper. Next, add the cooked pasta to the sauce and start mixing. You may add some pasta water to the mixture to achieve your desired consistency. Lastly, add grated cheese and thinly shaved black truffle over your freshly cooked meal. Enjoy!
Stay Warm and Grounded: Porcini Mushroom & Truffle Soup
Rainy days may be dull and boring, but your food doesn’t have to be! Adding truffles on your soup will not just give a twist to your usual gourd-based recipe. It will also keep your body cosy and your tummy full during the gloomy season.
To make this, leave your porcini to soak in boiling water. Add a couple of lugs of olive oil and your fresh mushrooms in a large casserole. Stir around very quickly for a minute, then add your garlic, onion and thyme and a small amount of seasoning. Once you notice moisture cooking out of the mushroom, add half of your porcini, chopped up. Strain the soaking liquid and add it to the pan. Cook for about 20 minutes until most of the moisture disappears. Season to taste, and add your stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for around 20 minutes. Remove half the soup from the pan and whiz it up to a purée. Pour the purée back in, adding the parsley and mascarpone, and seasoning carefully to taste. Add a pinch of salt and pepper with the zest of one lemon and the juice of half of it, then spoon a little of this into the middle of the soup. Finish it up with a couple drops of truffle oil or truffle shavings!
Taste Heaven in Every Bite: Black Truffle Bruschetta
Unforgettable luncheons and dinners begin with an impeccable antipasto. This rustic truffle snack may be regarded as a simple culinary item in Italy, yet is still one of the most iconic and flexible elements of their traditional cuisine.
Heat 2 tbsp. of truffle oil in a skillet over medium heat, then cook around 300g of cremini mushrooms until most of the liquid is out. Add ¼ cup of diced bell pepper, ¼ cup of minced parsley, and 2 cloves of pressed garlic to the skillet and stir all the ingredients until the mushrooms are golden brown. Remove the skillet from the oven. Next, set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the broiler. While waiting for the broiler to heat up, add another two tablespoons of truffle oil and 250g of softened cream cheese into the mixture until the cheese has melted from the heat of the skillet, and then season with salt and pepper. Spread the mixture onto each piece of sliced baguette and arrange them on a baking sheet. Broil the slices in the oven for around 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bread is warmed. Wait for it to cool down a bit and serve for everyone to enjoy!
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Our views on storing truffles: Fresh truffles are best kept refrigerated wrapped in absorbent kitchen paper in a sealed container such as a Tupperware or a polystyrene/foam box. Eggs can be added into the box to take the truffle flavour. It is recommended to replace the paper towels every 1-2 days as they get very humid. It is always best to use truffles as quickly as possible and use the small cut pieces first if any.
Well looked after, Black truffles can last up to 2 weeks. To keep truffles beyond this time, we recommend freezing them, vacuum-packed in small 50-100g bags. Frozen truffles must then be used (shaved or grated) while still frozen. If they defreeze, they will become very soft, loose juice and be very difficult to slice. White Truffle, however only last about 5 days.
Other ways to keep truffles: preserved in sterilised jars if you have the appliance to do so; or frozen in olive oil, beaten eggs, truffle butter, perigueux sauce etc.