All I Want For Christmas Are Some BLACK TRUFFLES!!!!

Not turds. At least, I don't think they're turds.

Not turds. At least, I don't think they're turds.

By Ezra Klein

And I’ve got them. At another time in my life, the fact that my older brother had sent me what looked like two turds would probably mean he had sent me two turds. Happy holidays, bro. But we’re beyond that, now. Older, wiser, richer. Even so, when I opened the box from D’Artagnan, I wasn’t expecting to see truffles.

But I have to admit, IFAers. I’m intimidated. I’ve heard so much. I mean, truffles. And they’re so pricey. I don’t want to screw them up. I’ve not had performance anxiety like this since I was 16 (on that note: sorry Cindy. It really wasn’t you). So far, I’m thinking simple: Eric Ripert says his favorite recipe is “Slice one truffle. Put it on thickly buttered country bread. Warm gently in the oven, sprinkle with rock salt and cracked black pepper.” Okay. Will do. I’m also thinking fresh pasta from Vace deli, with some good butter and some slivers of truffle. Any other ideas? Any advice?

7 responses to “All I Want For Christmas Are Some BLACK TRUFFLES!!!!

  1. Truffled mashed potatoes. Truffle risotto (probably going light on the parmesan so you don’t kill the flavor). Basically, truffle + milk fat + starch = deliciousness.

  2. I was going to say forget the pasta and do risotto instead, but I see Ursula beat me to it.

  3. Ezra, this is where I come in. Trust me.

    http://3quarksdaily.blogs.com/3quarksdaily/2007/02/shrooming_in_la.html

    and,

    http://3quarksdaily.blogs.com/3quarksdaily/2007/11/your-personal-t.html

    The first thing you need to do is to find out how your truffles are classified — the D’Artagnan site is not helpful in that botanical way. Carlo Vittadini was a dyspeptic Italian who, almost 200 years ago in his Monographia Tuberacearum, sorted European truffles into about 60 morphologically distinct kinds . Of these, the most ravishing black truffle is T. Melanosporum vittadini. Many other black ones grow in Burgundy and Perigord, but this is the most coveted. If these are what you have, and they’re fresh, then you want to keep it really simple — as Ursula and samba00 have said. If these are not what you have, then truffling a chicken breast and making a Madeira sauce could be the best thing to do — and it’ll be super.

    Once you establish this, I’ll be happy to be more detailed about treatments. I’ll be watching this space for info about that.

  4. I can lend you my copy of the French Laundry Cookbook; it has a bunch of recipes that involve truffles.

  5. ARGH

    people who like bittman have no place going near a truffle. get a copy a larousse gastronomique and study up on some real cooking.

  6. Lucky, lucky! I would definitely try the black truffle ragout from the French Laundry cookbook (with or without the white truffle custard and chive chip it is paired with) if I were you.

  7. On general principle, get Larousse Gastronomique. It’s a go-to for any and all classic continental cooking.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s