The truffle is a delicate, sublime ingredient, and any enterprise that involves this delicacy should be entered with the outmost of preparation and thought. So how do you prepare truffles? Much care should go into examining the kind of gourmet truffle in your possession to determine how best to use it. Things to consider: is it summer, winter, black, or white? What is the presentation? Preparing dishes À LA PÉRIGOURDINE is nothing less of an art.
Truffles tend to infuse their odor and flavor to everything around them, which is why they work perfectly with ingredients that are submissive and agreeable to let the truffle take center stage.
- The Truffle Is King: The noble truffle is king, and other ingredients should bow to him. Never try to overthrow him with other foods with strong flavors and overwhelming aromas, as the truffle flavor will be lost - a horrible waste.
- Fat is good! Fats work perfectly with truffles, and help bring the full flavor out, which is why truffles are usually paired with fatty foods like foie gras, butter, cheese, cream, and oils. Whichever kind of truffle you’re using, this rule works.
- Holy Trinity: Pasta, rice, potatoes.
Bland foods are brilliant to bring out the delicious flavor
of the truffle.
- Shave, Sliver, and Slice: You always want to maximize the truffle flavor, using the least amount of the ingredient as possible. So always slice into paper-thin wedges or strips, and let them work their magic. Use a truffle shaver (similar to a cheese grater) when shaving truffles. As for quantity, typically use 8-10 grams of truffle per person.
- Save the Peel! If the recipe asks for a peeled truffle, save the peel to use for other recipes, or sauces.
Punch Up The Preserved. If you have eaten or cooked with Fresh Truffles before, don’t expect to get the same flavor out of Preserved Truffles. Although aromatically exceptional in their own right, we do recommend enhancing the flavor of preserved truffles with a Truffle Oil or Concentrato or a Truffle Paste, to truly bring back the fresh truffle flavor.
Always should be used the same day, or within 3 days of purchase.
Have a long shelf life, but after opening consume within a week.
Cooking with Winter Black Truffles
This famed truffle is the prize ingredient of chefs everywhere from five star restaurants to sophisticated kitchens. While you will find many connoisseurs have different opinions on the preparation of Winter Black truffles, there are some universally respected precepts:
- Winter Black Truffles are best if used when cooking a dish, as their aroma and flavor are long-lasting, and will seep into your preparation.
- The French adore their Perigord Diamond when used in scrambled eggs and an omelet, as eggs easily assimilate the subtle earthy flavor of black truffles. This is also a very easy way of using black truffles, since it leaves almost no room for error. Plus, if you’re using preserved truffles, you can also use the truffle juice in the egg mixture, for even more of that yummy truffle flavor.
- Pasta, cuore! Indeed, shave, slice thinly, or grate over a hearty creamy pasta sauce, and prepare to reach heaven in one bite.
- Most tubers and vegetables with clean, fresh flavors contrast nicely with the intensely pungent essence of truffles, especially celery root, leeks.
Cooking with Winter White Truffles
- Because they are so aromatic and pungent, but their aroma tends to fade relatively quickly, White Truffles (especially the winter variety) should NEVER be cooked.
- Keep it simple: Clean, slice or shave over some cooked risotto or pasta and you’re done.
- They should never be mixed with any ingredient high in acidity, which would cause the flavor of the truffle to subside.
- Let the truffle work its magic, and always add towards the end of the preparation.
- Want to be super ingenious (ok, so we stole this from Wolfgang Puck)? Top a deluxe cheese pizza!
Cooking with Summer Black Truffles
- Since summer black truffles are the less expensive of the bunch, you can be more creative. Basically follow the instructions for winter black truffles, but feel free to experiment with different truffle recipes and ingredients, always remembering the flavor will be much more subtle than the winter variety, so it won't be as spectacular.
Cooking with Summer White Truffles
- Use the same way you would use a winter white truffle, don't expect the same pungent aroma. So in this case, you can choose to cook them and experiment more.