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One small truffle is all that these dishes ask.

Truffles, mostly the black variety and some white, are available canned in fine foods markets throughout the West. But now and through December, a few of those markets have (or can quickly get) fresh truffles from France and Italy.

Fresh or canned, truffles, are too costly to use in recipes that don't maximize their uniquely aromatic quality and curiously delicate taste--as these do, with just one small truffle, about 1/2 ounce. Or use more, if you want to splurge.

Because you can buy fresh truffles one at a time, they may prove less expensive than canned. They should feel firm and not look shriveled. A black one looks like a lump of coal, a white like a brown potato. Fresh truffles should last about 7 days; if you aren't going to use your truffle right away, keep it in a large, tightly closed jar filled with eggs and rice. These foods will absorb the truffle flavor and give you extra taste mileage from investment; use the eggs in omelets, the rice for pilaf. Many people consider white truffles from Italy choice, and these are most expensive--$300 to $400 a pound fresh. Fresh black truffles are only slightly less dear, $200 to $300 a pound. These numbers are less shocking when you realize that a 1/2-ounce truffle costs about $10.

Canned truffles, less fragrant than fresh ones, come in units as small as about 1/2 ounce. Expect to pay $25 and up for an ounce. Canned trimings are a good value, if you plan to cut the truffles up anyway.

If you don't have a source for fresh truffles, write to Truffle Editor, Sunset Magazine, Menlo Park, Calif. 94025. Corn Risotto

Serve as a first course, or with sauteed or roasted veal or chicken.

Melt 6 tablespoons butter or margarine in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan. Add 1 large onion, finely chopped. Stir often over high heat until onion is slightly browned.

Add 4 cups corn (2 packages frozen, 10-oz. size; or cut from about 6 ears) and 1 cup whipping cream. Stir on high heat until most of the liquid has boiled away; remove from heat.

Finely sliver 1 small (at least 1/2 oz.) fresh or canned black or white truffle. Stir 1/4 of the slivers (and liquid from canned truffles) into corn; set aside remainder.

Pour corn into a shallow 1-1/2-quart baking dish. Scatter 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded fontina cheese over corn. Bake, uncovered, in a 400[deg.] oven until chesse melts and browns slightly, about 10 minutes. sprinkle remaining truffles over cheese. Makes 7 or 8 servings. Fresh Fennel and Truffle Salad

Serve as a first course.

Trim stems, any bruised spots, and feathery leaves from 1 large head (about 1 lb.) fennel; save leaves and discard trimmings. Cut fennel into thin slivers.

Shred 1 cup (4 oz.) fontina cheese and mix with fennel, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 6 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon equally onto salad plates. Garnish with fennel leaves. Thinly sliver 1 small (at least 1/2 oz.) fresh or canned black or white truffle and scatter equally over the salads. Mix to eat. Makes 4 to 6 servings. Truffle Cannelloni with Three Cheese

Offer as a first course or a main dish.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter or margarine in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan and add 1 large onion, finely chopped. Cook, stirring, over high heat until onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

With a mixer, beat 2 large packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese until smooth, then beat in 1 cup (5 oz.) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded fontina chesse, 1/4 cup whipping cream, onion, and butter until well blended.

Thinly sliver 1 small (at least 1/2 oz.) fresh or canned black or white truffle (if using canned truffle, blend liquid into cheese mixture).

Separate 6 egg roll skins. Spoon about 2/3 cup cheese mixture in a band at one side of each skin. Sprinkle a few truffle slivers over cheese on each egg roll; reserve about 1/4 of the truffles for garnish. Roll skin to enclose filling. Place rolls, seams down, side by side in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish Cut rolls in half crosswise so they will be easier to serve. Sprinkle 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded fontina cheese evenly over rolls, covering skins. If prepared ahead, cover and chill up to overnight.

Bake, uncovered, in a 475[deg.] oven until cheese begins to brown at edges, about 10 minutes. Scatter reserved truffles on cheese and serve. Makes 12 first courses or 6 entrees.
COPYRIGHT 1984 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Nov 1, 1984
Words:780
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