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Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Truffle Season

After Thanksgiving is past and all the turkey leftovers are gone, I start thinking seriously about hunting for truffles (and, don't we all?)  So, the day after Thanksgiving, Friday and I went out for a little hunt.  He didn't find anything ripe enough for harvest yet but, he was verrrry interested in quite a few locations.  Next, I will take Dazy out and let her give her nose a little workout.  I promise -- just as soon as I turn up the first one -- I'll be on the blog-o-type to let you all know what we find.  Sign up to follow the blog on the right side of this page or get on our email list via the link at the website.

Soon now we will choose a date and place for our annual fundraiser dinner so please stay tuned. 

Just to give myself a break in between orchard work and truffle product making,  I thought I'd share a recipe from a book I recently enjoyed written by Suzanne Carreriro.  She spent a lot of time in Umbria, Italy and shared several recipes with truffles among her experiences.  I hope you enoy this one.

Crostini with Mushroom-Truffle Pâté
(Crostini con funghi e tartufi

1 baguette (not sourdough), cut into ¼ inch thick slices
3 Tbsp. plus 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, peeled, and halved
1 pound mushrooms, quartered or sliced
1 tsp. plus ¼ tsp. kosher salt (important: kosher salt has about half the sodium of other salt. Use all salt with caution starting with half the amount recommended) (taken from the book mentioned below)
Freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup packed Italian parsley
1-2 ounces fresh summer black truffles* (Use more if your budget allows)
Note:  To substitute dehydrated summer truffles* for fresh truffles, use a 10 gram jar, which equals about 1 oz. of rehydrated truffles (soaked in warm water for 1 hour to rehydrate). After soaking and draining, the truffles are ready to use as you would use fresh, sliced truffles (save the soaking water, use 1-2 tsp. in step 4 if the spread is too dry).  To use jarred truffle sauce or truffle oil** (do a taste test, as some oils taste bad) instead of fresh truffles, make Mushroom Pâté and add truffle oil or truffle sauce*** at the end to taste.

  1.  If you are toasting the bread, preheat the oven to 350.  Arrange the bread slices side by side on a large baking sheet; bake until lightly toasted, 10-12 minutes.  Set aside. (If you prefer not to toast the bread (as do cooks in Umbria) , set it aside until step 5)
  2. In a skillet large enough to hold all of the mushrooms, heat 3 Tbsp. of the oil with 4 halves of garlic over medium-low heat for about 30 seconds.  Add the mushrooms, the 1 tsp. kosher salt, and a dash of pepper; sauté 1 minute, tossing to coat the mushrooms wit the oil.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Uncover and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid evaporates and the mushrooms are lightly browned, about 8 minutes.  Stir in the parsley and cook ½ minute; remove from the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, gently scrub the fresh truffles with a vegetable brush under running water to remove dirt.  Grate or thinly slice the truffles.  Heat the remaining Tbsp. of oil with the remaining 2 garlic halves in a small pan over low heat for 1-2 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat; stir in the truffles and remaining ¼ tsp. kosher salt.  Let stand 10 minutes, discard the garlic.
  4. Put the truffle oil mixture and mushrooms into a food processor; process, scraping the sides with a rubber spatula as needed, until very finely minced, almost puréed.  If necessary, add a tsp. of water or additional oil to moisten the spread.  Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Just before serving, spread the warm or chilled pâté on bread or toast.  Serve open-faced on a platter.

Yield: About 1 ½ cups (enough to top 35-40 baguette slices)
*My personal preference is to use the black winter truffle
**ALL truffle oil (unless you or someone you know made it in your own kitchen) is flavored. Beware
***The only truffle sauces I have been able to find on the market are made much the same way as this recipe suggests, with mostly mushrooms and a little truffle added.

Taken from page 318
The Dog Who Ate the Truffle by Suzanne Carreiro

You should read this book if you are a travel and/or food enthusiast.  She writes in a very informative style and includes lots of wonderful recipes (more of which you will find on these pages soon.)

The Dog Who Ate the Truffle: A Memoir of Stories and Recipes from Umbria

As you move toward holiday gatherings and plan the treats for your friends and guests, please think of us.  We are working really hard to provide a local alternative to imported truffle goodies and are very proud of what we have accomplished so far.  Whatever you buy for whoever you shop for (including yourself)
Think Truffles!!

Truffle Presents for All


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