or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › New to Truffles......Help please.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

New to Truffles......Help please.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone.

 

I am new to this forum and if I have posted in the wrong area please let me know.

 

I am a basic/moderate home cook but looking to advance and use new fresh ideas. Recently whilst on a certain web auction site I came across Preserved Black Summer Truffles. I have done some research and know these are the cheaper less fragrant of the truffle family but to use on easy dishes like scrambled eggs and pasta dishes I thought it might be a good (less expensive) way to finding out about the little fungi.

 

I received the jars which have a little salted water in them (for preserving I think) and am unsure what to do now. I have cut through one of the truffles and it does not look at like I was expecting. More jelly like than vained! Do I have to dry them out first?

 

I have now decided to try drying the remaining truffles and see how they look later but have read that the flavour doesn't last long. I now have them in a sealed bag wrapped in kitchen towel.

 

I have watched lots of tv chefs using truffles and am really interested in trying them out but I am fully aware they are using fresh (very expensive) variety, my budget doesn't stretch to this so any help experiencing the ones I have would be greatly received.

 

Kind regards,

 

Bill

 

(note to the moderator, if i have posted incorrectly please move, redirect me or remove) 

post #2 of 7

Do NOT DRY them out. 

 

If you already, have:  DON'T PANIC.

 

If they're too soft right out of the jar for you to make very thin slices.  Chop them into fine mince and sprinkle them onto whatver you like.  Even "preserved" truffles can be powerful. 

 

Start easy, you can always add more.  Scrambled egss or a baked potato with sour cream are both very good dishes for you to try your truffles out on to get a feel for what you bought.

 

It's usually best not to cook truffles or only to cook them very briefly.  It just kills me to say this, but if you want to cook them, try not to get to fanciful at first.  Stick with proven recipes. 

 

The brine they were packed in has become "truffle water," and is a  seasoning in itself.  The longer the truflles are held, the more they will give up to the water.  Yours might be mild now, but it's too valuable to throw out.  Hold on to it and add it anything which "it can't hurt."  For instance, a hint of truffle in barbeque sauce can do some wonderful things.  

 

If you've dried some out -- you've lost quite a bit of flavor to the atmosphere and the drip plate in the dehydration process.  Still good -- use them anyway. 

 

BDL

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks BDL for your advice and I am glad I can still use them, I will try what you say and get back on the results.

 

I have purchased four jars anyway so only dried the contents of one out. I have the truffle water saved and will use that too. 

 

Thanks once again and if there are any recipe websites you can recommend I would be grateful.

 

Kind regards,

 

Bill

post #4 of 7

I think truffle is one of those things that you have to learn to identify before you can use it effectively. I never really "got" it: I'd eat a truffled pate or something, and think, "okay, what's supposed to be so great about this?" Then I was in Tuscany one March, and apparently truffles were in season, and at a little restaurant in Siena I had a truffled pasta dish. I don't remember anything about it -- sauce, pasta shape, etc. -- except that it arrived looking like it was covered in black shingles: there must have been half a truffle shaved on top. Eating that, I finally "got" it, because suddenly I could really pick out what truffle flavor actually is, identify it against the background. And now I actually do taste the difference between truffled pate and non-truffled, although usually store-bought truffled pate has so little that it's trivial and not worth the price.

 

My point is, I think you should use that truffle you dried -- the WHOLE THING -- in one go, in a simple, very clean dish. Try it with scrambled eggs, or a quite simple baked potato -- just sour cream and butter, no chives, cheese, paprika, or anything -- or a very simple pasta with excellent olive oil or butter and nothing else. You want the dominant flavor to be the truffles, and everything else just to be warm and moist to bring out the maximal fragrance. With the eggs especially, you could use the truffle juice, just by mixing it with the raw eggs before you scramble them. Once you've done this kind of thing, you'll have a good idea what you've got in those unopened jars.

 

Enjoy!

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisLehrer View Post

 

My point is, I think you should use that truffle you dried -- the WHOLE THING -- in one go, in a simple, very clean dish. Try it with scrambled eggs, or a quite simple baked potato -- just sour cream and butter, no chives, cheese, paprika, or anything -- or a very simple pasta with excellent olive oil or butter and nothing else. You want the dominant flavor to be the truffles, and everything else just to be warm and moist to bring out the maximal fragrance. With the eggs especially, you could use the truffle juice, just by mixing it with the raw eggs before you scramble them. Once you've done this kind of thing, you'll have a good idea what you've got in those unopened jars.

 

Enjoy!

    

    I would agree with this.  I know everyone sats...go lightly, but when truffles are shaved on top of dish I can't ever remember thinking there were too many truffles on the plate.  They're powerful, but speaking only for myself, I don't believe you can have too many truffles if you're just using them shaven on top of a finished dish.  Now, if you're going to "work" them into a warm dish (such as potatoes) I would be careful not too overload the potatoes with truffles (although truffled potatoes are wonderful!).  You can also shave some truffles into a soup bowl serving it at the table with the person seated.  The pour the HOT broth onto an upside down ladle so it cascades into the bowl.  When the hot cascading soup hits the truffles it creates a fragrance so wonderful words don't do it justice.  

 

   But, all of the good experiences that I've had with truffles has been with fresh truffles.  I've bought the jarred preserved truffles one time and was largely underwhelmed, they aren't cheap either.  I haven't bought them since.  I know that truffle oil gets a bad rap.  It's some chemical concoction that many times uses no real truffles.  But, it can enhance much of what preserved truffles lack.  You certainly don't want to overuse it...but a little can go a long way/  Plus, you may be able to find truffle oil fairly cheap at some ethnic grocery stores.  I know that I've got an Italian grocery store that sells it for a very fair price.

 

    Compound butter, loaded atop a platter of crostini, plain, lightly folded in delicately scrambled eggs, atop a poached egg, in the bottom of a hot steamy bowl of broth, potatoes, loaded on top of a simple pasta dish...Mmmmmmmmmmm.

 

   have fun!

 dan
 


Edited by gonefishin - 10/3/10 at 5:00pm
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you all very much, some great idea's coming out of my enquiry.

 

Yesterday (before posting) I wasn't brave enough to try it on my scrambled eggs how every, after your comments I decided to use the truffles. My sister-in-law made some soup from a previous meal. I was glad to see this as it was a basic soup and one I was sure to detect a difference should I go for it and put some truffle slices. Well, the fact is I put a fair amount into a bowl an none into another. The taste test was set......

 

My sister-in-law cooks a great deal in her household and I would say she is a decent basic/advanced cook. She knows how to follow instruction, what ingredients to use, how to taste before seasoning etc I though she should go first, then my wife and finally me. We all came up with the same result that we could taste something, a difference, a change in the basic soup/broth. None of us could say what is was, what the difference was. I think the word "earthy" came out several times and now I am further interested.

 

I am going to use the rest of the dried truffles today but in a more bold way, I have three more of them and ok they are only small, intend using them all.Can anyone suggest a suitable dish including real nice fillet steak?

 

I like my fillet med/rare as do my family, this is very good fillet and cost so I want to do it justice. I want to serve warming plate of beef and like a roast I guess with vegetables and a jus/gravy. Any input for this would be grate incorporating the remaining truf's for the ju's perhaps, on top of the fillets? 

 

I look forward to any replys with anticipation,

 

Cheers all

 

Bill

 

 

post #7 of 7

You're talking about something akin to tournedos Rossini, supposedly invented by the great Escoffier in honor of the composer.

 

The full-on Escoffier version calls for a rare tournedos (largish filet mignon, i.e. tenderloin steak), well seasoned, sitting on top of a crouton (a thinnish round of good bread, crusts cut off, toasted). Top this with a slice of seared foie gras, then several slices of truffle. Sauce with a Madeira demi-glace (deglaze the steak pan with Madeira, add some finely-minced shallots, cook until almost syrupy, add about 1/3 cup of demi-glace, bring to a strong simmer, swirl in 2 Tb of butter until fully incorporated, pour through a fine strainer over the top).

 

You could do a saner and much cheaper version easily enough. Make some beef stock, strain and defat, and then reduce it by about 3/4 and keep it simmering gently. Sear well-seasoned thick steaks in a pan, then while they're resting, deglaze the pan with Madeira. Add some minced shallots or onion, cook on high heat until the liquid is syrupy, and pour in the reduced stock. Bring to a simmer, correct seasoning, then toss in 1-2 Tb of butter per serving and swirl the pan gently until it's completely incorporated into the sauce. Put slices of the truffles on top of the steaks and pour the sauce over the top. The crouton on the bottom is optional but easy. Foie gras is easy too, but it's also very expensive.

 

One step down from this, just deglaze the pan with a fat red wine (Rhone, Burgundy, etc.) and cook reasonably fast until the steaks are rested. Put on your truffles, swirl the butter into the sauce, and pour or strain the sauce over the top.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › New to Truffles......Help please.