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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happiest of Possible New Years!

With Christmas behind us and New Year's Eve upon us, what are my truffle-loving friends doing with their time?  Well, they're probably researching truffle recipes, of course, so I thought I'd help out.  Here's one I adapted today from The Dog Who Ate The Truffle.  Lentils are good New Year's Day fare but this will  be good for those cold nights in January and February after the holidays are a distant memory..

Pasta with Lentils and Truffles
The author suggested fresh home made tomato pasta but, myself, short-cut lover that I am, I probably would have to call on an Italian like my new chef friend, Dion,  for fresh home-made pasta like that.  I know that I have seen tomato and spinach pasta in local gourmet grocery stores.  Tonight, I just used the Angel Hair I had on hand.  You're on your own there. Here's what I did tonight and it was goooooooood!!!

1 lb. tiny lentils, preferably tan
6 cups cold water
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil plus extra for garnish
3-4 large garlic cloves, sliced
4 slices sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated and chopped fine
2 Tbsp. Black Truffle Butter

Rinse the lentils and put them into a large saucepan.  Add the 6 cups water.  Turn the heat on high and set the timer for 15 minutes -- you will taste for doneness at this point.  (Refer to the pkg. for cooking time, but taste for doneness early.  Most lentils cook within 30-35 minutes, usually less.)
When the lentils boil, immediately reduce the heat as needed to keep the lentils at a gentle simmer.  Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are just tender.  Stir in the kosher salt.
Meanwhile, heat the 1/3 cup oil, red pepper flakes and garlic in a small skillet over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes (do not brown the garlic).  Remove garlic.  When the lentils are done, stir the truffle butter into the oil, add the oil to the lentils.  Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender and flavorful, just a few minutes.

Allow about 2/3 cup of lentils and 2 oz. of pasta -- per serving.

Cook the pasta separately just until al dente.  Save 1 cup of the cooking liquid before draining the pasta.  Return the pasta to the pot after draining.  Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes, lentil mixture and stir to coat the pasta.  Add the reserved cooking liquid by the tablespoon as needed to moisten the pasta (but don't dilute the flavors by adding too much).  Sprinkle each serving with fresh grated Parmesan.  Slice black truffle all over top.  Adjust the salt to taste.   Let stand 30 seconds before serving.

Does this make your mouth water or What?!  The Smith Family enjoyed it immensely!

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We have set the date for the next Truffles Galore Dinner and it will be February 23. The location is one of my favorite places in Winston-Salem, Beta Verde.  Margaret and Salem Norfleet Neff will host the fundraising dinner and Chef, Susi Gott Seguret, Seasonal School of Culinary Arts will be here to help with the planning and execution.  We have a lot of work to do to get our plans in place but the team is coming together.  It will be a night to remember!  Proceeds will benefit the Cobblestone Market, (501c3) and the Stokes County, NC BackPack Program of Second Harvest Foodbank of Northwest North Carolina.  More information will be coming your way as we gather food donations and volunteers for the evening.  It's not too early to make your reservations.  We will only be able to take 50 reservations and, yes, they are already coming in even though the price hasn't been set yet.  It will be a slightly different event this year and there may be different levels of participation available ranging from $50-$100 per person.  You definitely want to be on the mailing list.  Send me an email to hold your spot(s) as soon as you check your calendar!

This has been a very busy season for us so far and we thank you each and every one for your orders and your support in every way!  May 2013 be the best year yet for us all as we continue to believe that
The Best is Yet to Come!!

Think Truffles!

Jane










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