I’ve enjoyed the last few truffle-filled days…..inhaling their earthy aroma as I researched ways to store and preserve them. To my dismay, I discovered that their shelf life is very short…..less than one week from the time they’re harvested….and that although freezing increases their life span, it minimizes their pungent aroma. So I came to the only logical conclusion.…..we must use these delicacies now! These beauties won’t be imprisoned in the freezing cold only to be brought out for miserly offerings throughout the year…..oh no, they’ll be greedily, lustily and heartily consumed over the next three days.
But, how to best intensify their aroma and unique flavor? They must be paired with mild foods that willingly allow themselves to be infused with the truffle’s essence and they must be cooked precisely….. cooking brings out the truffle’s mysterious flavor but a temperature too high will destroy it’s aromatic pungency. It’s like walking a tightrope……you must carefully balance and make no mistakes.
I was on a quest as I scrolled through recipe after recipe hunting for the perfect way to prepare these treasures. After much agonizing and second-guessing, I finally decided on the menus for our next three repasts.
This was pure ecstasy! The light cooking, butter and cream all worked together to bring out the earthy flavor of the truffles. The eggs, so fresh there were still feathers on the shells, added their own distinct flavor but allowed the truffles to take center stage. We were in truffle heaven as we savored each delectable bite.
This dish was a disappointment. The truffle didn’t perfume the fettuccini as much as we would have liked and the garlic competed with the truffle…..with neither coming out the winner. A cream sauce would have better enveloped the truffle’s essence.
Delicious! The butter had three days to surrender to the truffle and it was time well spent. The steak and the green beans were mildly flavored by the truffle butter but the truffle flavor was bursting on the soft, creamy potato. Due to our judicious use of this savory butter, we’ll be enjoying this dish again…..and again.
Though their scent still lingers in the refrigerator, the truffles are now gone. They were well-worth their 55 euro price (quite a bargain, actually, compared to the prices we’ve paid at restaurants and through mail-order catalogs). They’ve given us an education and three great meals…..well, ok, two great meals. Truffle season is nearing an end…..but the memory of these meals will stay with us for a while…..hopefully ’til next season.
Hmmmm……I wonder if we could train Felix to be a truffle-hunter.