NATS Truffle Recipes

Most issues of the NATS newsletter, "The North American Truffler", have recipes; surf through them for some real gems.

Additionally, here are some links to a few of the many truffle recipe sites on the internet:
The Mycological Society of San Francisco
The Cottage Kitchen
Oregon White Truffles
The Truffle Zone

Truffle storage, ripening, and cooking: an overview

The compounds in truffles that give them their allure are aromatic and disappear with cooking. Therefore, most often truffles are shaved raw over hot foods just prior to serving. Truffles rarely have a strong odor at the moment of harvest, and generally develop their full aroma after a few days. After rinsing and drying, place truffles in a paper-towel lined, sealed tupperware container in the refrigerator. In about three days the truffle scent will become quite strong. The aromatics of truffles bind particularly well with fatty foods, such as butter, oils, eggs, cheese, and milk. Thus, it is important to keep them in a sealed container to prevent the truffle aroma from infusing into everything in your refrigerator. Truffle butter: good. Truffled milk: not so much.

Truffles are best used fresh. If you must store truffles, do not dry them. They will lose their aroma and flavor. They can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container packed in rice for a week or two. For long-term storage, keep them in a jar in the freezer. If you must use frozen truffles, slice them over food while still frozen as they get squishy when they thaw. Frozen truffles are quite passable over omelettes, pasta, etc., but should not be used to make truffled butter, oil, eggs, or cheese.

Truffled butter, oil, eggs, or cheese
Matt Trappe

Place cleaned and dried truffles in a paper-towel lined, sealed tupperware container in the refrigerator. For truffled butter, place sticks of butter in the tupperware with them (with wrapping loosened)... do the same with cheese (mild cheeses showcase the flavor best). Truffled butter and cheese will retain their flavor well if stored frozen in a ziplock bag. Raw or hardboiled eggs use the same process; the aroma penetrates the egg shell easily. Truffled raw eggs retain much of their truffle flavor through cooking. For truffled olive oil, use a larger tupperware container and place an open bowl of oil in it, with the truffles around the outside of the bowl. The key point with all of these methods is that the truffles never actually contact the food, only the aromatics are absorbed. If you add truffles directly to raw foods, they must be consumed within a few days or they will get funky.

Truffled Potato Salad
Matt Trappe

A great dish to bring to a potluck. Preparation begins a day (preferably two) before serving.

Dice about 2 lbs red potatoes, rinse off starch, boil about 10 minutes until they are cooked but not mushy. Drain and rinse in cold water until cooled. Drizzle lightly with oil (I like sesame oil but you can use olive, canola, or 10W-30). Finely grate about 15-20 Oregon white truffles over the potatoes, mixing them in periodically. Cover and refrigerate for 24-48 hours - this is a crucial step because the aroma of the truffles must infuse into the potatoes. Just prior to serving, mix in about a tablespoon of finely chopped raw onion, 2 or 3 squirts of dijon mustard, 1 or 2 blops of mayo or miracle whip, black pepper, and maybe some tahini dressing (Annie's Goddess or equivalent) if it's handy. Garnish with Lobaria and serve.

Truffled Brie
Matt Trappe

Another great dish to bring to a potluck (with crackers and a bottle of wine, of course). Again, preparation begins a day (preferably two) in advance.

Slice a wedge of brie in half parallel to the cutting surface so it opens up like an oyster, exposing the interior. Finely grate 5-10 Oregon white truffles on both sides, fold back together like a sandwich, wrap in saran plastic and store in the fridge for 24-48 hours before serving. Truffled brie should be eaten within a few days (usually not a problem!) or it will get funky.

Truffle Puffs
Frank Evans

This recipe came to me while my wife Karan and I were eating clam puffs at a restaurant on the Oregon Coast. I tried an experimental batch on some friends one Sunday afternoon and I have been pleased with it ever since. I have made a batch with a variety of truffles in different puffs, allowing comparison of the flavors.

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 piece of bread, toasted and crumbed
1 shallot, chopped fine
fresh scallions
fresh parsley
1 walnut sized truffle (various types), chopped fine
filo dough

Saute the shallots lightly in a little butter. Add in the scallions, the parsley and the truffles as you remove the saute from the heat. Mix this into the cream cheese and the bread crumbs and set aside as the filling for the pastry puffs.

Separate a sheet of filo dough (about 8 layers worth). Cut the sheet into three inch squares. Drop about a tablespoonful of the filling into the center of each square. Fold the corners in to the center to just cover the filling.

Bake in a very hot oven (475-525 degrees) to just brown the flake pastry and heat the filling (2-3 minutes).

Melanogaster Butter
Matt Trappe

An interesting spread for french bread.

Melt a stick of butter, shave (scrape?) in a few Melanogasters (perhaps 1-3, depending on their size), stir in and simmer briefly. Pour into a teacup and refrigerate overnight. To serve, pop solidified butter out of teacup upside down onto a plate using a spatula. The Melanogaster will have sunk to the bottom, and as served should form a dark layer on top of the butter dome. This spread has an intriguing earthy flavor best appreciated on a mild-flavored bread.