“We All Scream for Truffles”–Paul Ebeling
The black summer truffle (Tuber aestivum) is lighter in color and more delicate in flavor than the robust black winter truffle (Tuber melanosporum) or the intense Burgundy truffle (Tuber uncinatum). In season from April to September, this truffle is as difficult to find and as weather dependent as the others.
Truffle peelings are actually true, whole slices of summer truffles, not chips and broken pieces. Fresh summer truffles from the Perigord region of France are thinly sliced and gently steamed, then preserved in truffle juice with French sea salt and nothing else. Many chefs use truffle peelings as a garnish to dishes containing truffle flavored oil or truffle butter, which amplifies the earthy flavor.
Since summer truffles are lighter than winter truffles, with a slightly crunchy texture and a nutty, almost floral flavor, they will benefit from the enhancement of other truffle products. Do not expect them to pack the same truffle punch that the fresh product does.
- Truffle Peelings Haute Comfort … Since truffles pair so well with creamy sauces and cheese, this over-the-top truffle mac ‘n’ cheese recipe is the next logical step.
- Soups, Stocks, Sauces … In places where you would never consider using a fresh truffle, the preserved peelings work well. They will flavor creamy soups, infuse stocks and amp up sauces. Use them for texture and appearance, and finish the dish with a drizzle of black truffle flavored oil.
- Gascon Grits … Classic grits whipped with creamy truffle butter, then studded with truffle peelings and diced heritage ham is Ariane’s take on a Gascon dish called escaoutoun.
- Potato, Potah-toe … However you say it, potatoes and truffles make a nice match. For a side dish, you cannot beat this potato and celery root mash packed with truffle flavor. While truffle butter is the main attraction, you may dress this dish with truffle peelings for visual impact.
- Wellington Made Easy … A classic dish that may go back to the days of Napoleon, Beef Wellington consists of a beef tenderloin smothered in truffles and mousse of foie gras which is swaddled in puff pastry and then baked.
- The Inevitable Pasta … Toss pasta with truffle peelings and their juice and then finish with a cream sauce. Or try pairing truffle peelings with foie gras in for an extravagant and addictive pasta dish.
- Spread ‘Em … Truffle peelings whizzed into an aioli will make a fine spread for sandwiches of all kinds.
- Egg Excellence … Fold truffle peelings into the egg mixture for savory and memorable omelets, frittatas and quiches. Be sure to drain the peelings first so as not to add too much moisture into the eggs.
- Fungus Among Us … Why not combine truffles with mushrooms? The concentrated full flavor of the porcini mushroom in our porcini powder complements truffle peelings well in this incredible butter. Spread it on toasted baguette slices for parties (and snacks). And speaking of parties, our Tarbais bean dip with truffles is a favorite for serving with crudités.
- Truffle peelings even make the dessert menu with our adaptation of a vanilla-truffle ice cream recipe.
Have a healthy, prosperous weekend, Keep the Faith!