How to Use Fresh Truffles

Sarah Mickey All Recipes, Culinary Tips & Techniques, Fresh & Frozen Truffle Recipes 3 Comments

HOW TO USE FRESH TRUFFLES

Fresh truffles are one of the world’s finest gastronomic delights but are rare enough that many people aren’t sure exactly how to prepare them.

COOKING WITH FRESH TRUFFLES

As ancient as humans’ love of truffles is, there is still ongoing debate as to the best way to use them. Fresh truffles are heat sensitive. While warmth unlocks the truffle’s aroma and flavor, high heat can minimize it, so truffles should be used as a finishing ingredient for best flavor and aroma.

That said, there is a classic European tradition of roasting meats and poultry with black Perigord truffles (usually sliced and slid into slits cut into the meat or placed under poultry skin).

Though these black winter truffles can be used as an ingredient, white truffles are more delicate. Many modern truffle lovers feel that white Alba truffles should never be more than very lightly cooked. Shaved these highly prized truffles over food after it has been completely cooked, allowing its residual heat to warm the truffles.

Italian summer black truffles are another exception to this little or no-cooking rule. They often need to be very lightly cooked to awaken their full flavor and aroma. Slice them, then gently sauté them, or heat them in oil, then add them to your food.

If you are using products such as truffle oils, truffle salt, or truffle butter, adding them just before serving is best.

SLICING FRESH TRUFFLES

While you certainly can use a sharp knife to thinly slice your truffles, it will be easier (and considerably faster) to use a truffle slicer. Given the significant cost of the raw ingredient, investing in this tool is a smart idea. Truffle slicers are small hand-held mandolines that use a razor-sharp adjustable blade to cut ultra-thin truffle shavings at a consistent thickness.

Using a truffle slicer is easy. Simply turn the dial to your approximate desired thickness and draw the truffle across the blade. Check the shaving and adjust the dial again until you get exactly the thickness you’re looking for.

Once you’ve found the right setting, go crazy shaving your fresh truffles over pasta, risotto (truffle risotto recipe), polenta, egg dishes and even poultry & meats.

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