What are Truffles? Where do they come from? Well, to be blunt, the best ones come from Le Maison Pebeyre, a century-old French company run by the grandson of its founder that provides truffles and foie gras to some of the finest restaurants in the world. MaiLe Maison Pebeyreson Pebeyre’s website is a wealth of information about truffle cultivation and products, as well as the best place to buy them.
The best ones come from Le Maison Pebeyre, a century-old French company run by the grandson of its founder.
Yet, back to our first question: What are truffles? Truffles are a mushroom that grows in symbiosis with oak trees in France and Italy and a few other areas of Southern Europe. The white variety, which has a stronger, sharper flavor grows in Italy, while the black variety, which has a more mild, even flavor, keeps better, and is more common, grows in France. Black truffles are easier to get due to their comparative shelf stability. Therefore, if you see truffles in a dish, it’s usually going to be the black variety. There are also a number of truffle flavored products you can try to get the taste of truffles at a lesser expense.
Maison Pebeyre offers truffle butter and jarred truffle pieces. Yet, they point out most helpfully, that truffle oil is a misnomer–truffles do not produce any oils that can be distracted, and due to their high water content, it is difficult for truffles to offer their flavors to oils and remain stable. Therefore, commercially available truffle oil is artificially flavored. However, they offer truffle butter, which is more shelf stable and an absolutely decadent addition for any recipe. If you want to get a bit more adventurous, there is also truffle infused vodka, which is made with real truffles. Black Moth Vodka offers a black truffle vodka that can add flavor to a variety of dishes.
If you want to get a bit more adventurous, there is also truffle infused vodka.
Speaking of dishes, listed here are a few of my favorite ones to use truffles in. You may notice that these recipes are comparatively simple and straight forward. And, this is by design. When working with the world’s most expensive mushroom, it is not desirable to mix in too many flavors. When one buys truffles, one should surely taste them as clearly and completely as possible! In that spirit, here are three dishes that will show off the truffle’s unique, earthy flavors:
- 1 oz finely chopped preserved black truffle pieces
- 1 1/2 cups gnocchi, boiled
- 1 1/2 tbsp butter
- Sprinkle of salt
- Dash of nutmeg
- Sprinkle of black pepper
- 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
- Chopped parsley to garnish
In a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the cooked gnocchi and sautee, increasing the heat to medium-high. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. When the gnocchi are almost done, add the finely chopped truffle pieces and toss around to incorporate. Serve hot, and garnish with Parmesan and parsley. This is an Italian dish, which, in Italy, would be made with white truffle. If you go that route, be sure to shave the truffles over the cooked dish, as white truffles should never be cooked. If you don’t want to use gnocchi, you could use any larger pasta. Tagliatelle, in particular, would be lovely.
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 oz finely sliced fresh truffle
- Shaved Gruyere cheese for garnish
- Chopped chives to garnish
A truffle omelet is among the most popular uses for truffles in France, as fresh eggs are readily available and absorb the flavor of truffles well. If you can’t get black truffles, you can sub in truffle butter to cook the omelet in. Either way, melt the butter in a small, nonstick pan over medium heat. While it’s melting, whisk the eggs together in a bowl. You can add a little cream if you like, or a splash of the brine from the truffles if using preserved ones. Pour the whisked egg mixture into the pan and cook over medium heat, jiggling the pan to distribute the egg. Slice the truffle with a very sharp knife or a fine mandolin. When the egg sets up nicely, add the truffles and gruyere cheese. Fold over and serve with a sprinkling of chives. Serve with warmed croissants!
Truffle Mashed Potatoes
- 2 pounds russet potatoes, skinned and chopped
- 1 tsp salt, or more, to taste
- 1 oz finely chopped black truffles
- 2 tsp pepper
- 5 tbsp butter
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
Place the potatoes into a pot. Cover with water and bring the water to a boil. Boil for 10-20 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain off the water from the pot. In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and add truffles, salt, and pepper, and saute just for a bit until the butter comes back to heat and begins to bubble a little, then add the cream. Once the mixture is hot, pour it into the potatoes and use a wire whisk or potato masher to mash the potatoes and mix together the sauce and potatoes. You may also want to use a ricer to mash the potatoes for smoother mashing. Serve hot, and garnish with a pat of truffle butter!
Originally posted 2017-04-11 08:07:05.