Truffle oil. This is what began my love affair with a strange, outrageously expensive little ‘fruit’ of the forest. Some say the fragrance of the infused oil is simply chemical, but I don’t care. It was the first time my partner Rob and I appreciated why the truffle has been adored for thousands of years.
For Rob’s recent Coronation Day birthday I decided to buy him the real thing…well as close to it as I could find in our Blue Mountains village of Blackheath. I came home with a small bottle of slices in oil plus two whole truffles preserved in brine.
We hade some well aged fillet steak, so I decided to make truffle infused butter to cook the meat in, with an additional dollop on top when it was served.
Though I say so myself, it was a joy. The drinks are cherry brandy and vodka cocktails called Naughty Charles. 😍
Here are the whole truffles preserved in brine.
And here is roast chicken enhanced by our magical ingredient.
My next experiment was to make one of the most popular truffle dishes of all; scrambled eggs using a dollop of infused butter and topping the finished dish with slivers of the fungi. Oh my word, it was heavenly. Rob is beginning to look upon me as an (elderly) Domestic Goddess. 😎
We eat a lot of broccolini at our place. This it is as a side dish; a mixture of truffle butter, honey mustard and Camembert cheese. It accompanied good old beef stew and dumplings. In retrospect, Parmesan cheese may have been easier to incorporate.
I scraped the last of the infused butter off the wax paper and used it in sweet potato and carrot mash Sooo good.
Even better is the white fleshed sweet potato that to me tastes like chestnut. It was worthy of grated, whole truffle.
Any left over infused butter goes well with savoury biscuits.
Well, I think I might now be ready to risk parting with a lot of money to try a fresh truffle. Rob and I would love to go to Perigord in France to experience this, but I suspect our overseas travelling days might be over. The next best thing would be to try one grown in Tasmania, where we were both born and raised.
I have a keepsake from the truffle experiment; the little round bottle that held the whole truffles makes a sweet window sill vase. I’m using it for autumn camellias.
I wonder whether a sulphur crested cockatoo could be trained as a truffle hunter?
For information on Tasmanian truffles, CLICK HERE.