Truffles that are too small, soft, or damaged (you’d be surprised at what over-eager pups can do) end up in some sort of truffle preparation or product, mainly truffle oil, truffle butter, truffle paste, and truffle vinegar.
These products are your best option when on a budget, but don’t expect to get the full truffle experience. The flavor and aroma is very subtle, and it will get lost if you use very potent ingredients.
Basically can be used in any recipe that calls for butter, just replace for equal amounts of truffle butter. Brush over meats before serving. Or spread over warm crunchy toast; trust me, its divine.
Truffle oil is really olive oil soaked with truffles. Best if used within four weeks of opening, since the truffle aroma tends to dissipate quite quickly. Use a few teaspoons, and brush over grilled meats, chicken, or fish, or use to season a salad. Replace in any recipe that calls for oil, but always try to avoid using high temperatures, as it will change and evaporate the truffle scent.
Use to season salads, prepare vinaigrettes and sauces, brush on grilled meats, deglazing, and replace in any recipe that calls for vinegar (note: most truffle vinegars are prepared based on a Balsamic or wine vinegars).
You can buy these separately, if you want to just add subtle truffle elegance to your dishes. They make a very dramatic garnish, and they are usually Black Winter Truffle peelings. Also use them in soups, sauces, and broths (I’m not quite sure if you should strain it first).
This will last about a week once opened. It comes in a tube, which has a shelf life of 1 year or so. Squeeze out to prepare creamy risottos, polentas, and pasta sauces. Many chefs pair it with game meats that have been roasted (use towards the end of the preparation.