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What dishes are improved by truffle oil?

AndieCat Nov 13, 2002 02:07 PM

I bought a bottle of white truffle oil at Trader Joe's but I don't know what to use it on. Any ideas? Thanks!!

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    sully RE: AndieCat Nov 13, 2002 02:21 PM

    Pour it on pasta right before serving.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sully
      Dale RE: sully Nov 13, 2002 03:04 PM

      Had a terrific primo at a restaurant in Bevagna last month. Scrambled eggs with a few drops of truffle oil just before serving. Have tried it at home with similar results. Keep the eggs on the loose order.

      1. re: Dale
        Dbird RE: Dale Nov 13, 2002 05:46 PM

        I've had truffle oil in restaurants with bits of black truffle the size of cracked pepper and it has been fantastic. Last weekend I bought a dreadful tiny bottle of porcini/truffle sauce with less flavor than I'd expect to extract by reducing button mushrooms. I put half in my mashed celery root and ate the rest with my finger and still could detect no truffle. Night before I'd ordered a $20 white truffle supplement on a scallop and chanterelle salad at a restaurant I respect-- and usually like-- a lot(ok it was Joe's, and he wasn't in the kitchen) and was disappointed that it was served pre-shaved, with little aroma. I guess you get what you pay for.

        My questions: are truffles and truffle oil, like wine and caviar, just too volitile to support universal recommendations? Which is to say, does one have to put in the time and money to become an expert to be assured of the transcendent experience, or is it possible to attain it while yet retaining the main portion of one's (I speak parochially here)income? Is there anything to be said for buying whole truffles and making the oil? how would one judge the quality and compatibility of the oil and the truffle for such treatment?

    2. f
      Fidelixi RE: AndieCat Nov 13, 2002 02:31 PM

      Try thin slices of fennel topped with oil and a squeeze of lemon juice, alternating with a layer of slices of parmesan. Make a few layers and add good salt and fresh pepper.

      You can do the same with fresh mushrooms (if you eat such things), or celery root. Radishes are good, too, esp. if they're on the mellower side.

      I mix the truffle oil with straight EV Olive Oil as I don't want the truffle taste to overwhelm.

      1. r
        rebeccal RE: AndieCat Nov 13, 2002 02:34 PM

        I like it on wild mushroom risotto, drizzled over just before serving.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rebeccal
          rednyellow RE: rebeccal Dec 13, 2008 09:22 AM

          I recently had a great mushroom soup at Obar in Weho, it was drizzled with truffle oil. The oil really added a great dimension bringing out the mushrooms earthy flavor also.

        2. e
          Eviter RE: AndieCat Nov 13, 2002 03:01 PM

          Is it the oil in the tall, thin, black bottle? If so (and you've never had truffle oil before), do yourself a favor and seek out a different brand. I recommend Gocce di Tartufo Bianco from Urbani. The TJ's brand is quite sub-standard and rather inferior. There is so little truffle essence in it that the amount of oil one has to use is absurd. I was so excited when I saw they were carrying both black and white truffle oil that I bought both ~ and threw them both away almost immediately.

          Sorry -- just my humble opinion.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Eviter
            TomSwift RE: Eviter Nov 13, 2002 03:11 PM

            Thanks for the heads-up. After reading the first post I was going to stop by TJs tonight for some, but you've saved me a trip. Thanks.

            1. re: Eviter
              Caitlin Wheeler RE: Eviter Nov 13, 2002 05:31 PM

              Really? I have the black truffle oil, and I think it's pretty pungent, and well-priced.

              1. re: Caitlin Wheeler
                TR RE: Caitlin Wheeler Nov 13, 2002 06:56 PM

                Me too Caitlin. Although I've yet to see the white in my TJ's, I will still try it when I find it.

                1. re: Caitlin Wheeler
                  Eviter RE: Caitlin Wheeler Nov 14, 2002 10:52 AM

                  I surmised that I got an old bottle because it also had the quality of being slightly rank (as opposed to pungent) but dismissed the idea of age as they had just been introduced to the store shelves. This was almost two years ago so perhaps the quality has improved since then.

                  Besides Urbani, a company I greatly admire is Delizia. Their black truffle oil is better than Urbani's white...

              2. d
                dude RE: AndieCat Nov 13, 2002 03:02 PM

                Mashed Potatoes!!! Or mashed celery root, parsnip, or more than one in combination....

                I actually love it poured over cooked (I use frozen) green peas as well.

                2 Replies
                1. re: dude
                  EP RE: dude Nov 13, 2002 04:04 PM

                  Second that motion. Made a parsnip/celery root soup last night using a chicken stock base. Finished the bowls w/ some heavy cream and truffle oil.

                  1. re: dude
                    flourgirl RE: dude Dec 18, 2008 04:37 AM

                    I made some pureed cauliflower drizzled with white truffle oil the other night. Yum.

                  2. g
                    GG Mora RE: AndieCat Nov 13, 2002 03:03 PM

                    Scrambled eggs.

                    1. c
                      Celeste RE: AndieCat Nov 13, 2002 03:52 PM

                      They have a whole article on white truffles and dishes to eat them with, including a sidebar article on white truffle oil and which are best in the SF Chronicle food section today.

                      Good timing!

                      Link: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

                      1. y
                        yumyum RE: AndieCat Nov 13, 2002 07:32 PM

                        What dishes aren't?

                        To paraphrase a fellow chowhound, you could put that stuff on a cigarette butt and it would be delicious.

                        My favorite preparation is fresh tagliatelle, butter, parmesean and white truffle oil.

                        I understand if you put a whole truffle (tres cher) into a bowl with fresh uncracked eggs, they will presume the flavor for the scrambling.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: yumyum
                          Janet RE: yumyum Nov 14, 2002 07:24 AM

                          Mashed potatoes!

                        2. s
                          Sarah RE: AndieCat Nov 14, 2002 11:32 AM

                          When I was in Rome I had warm carpaccio, meaning very thinly sliced steak flash-seared on one side drizzled with truffle oil, plus a hint of garlic and parsley. Amazing. I can't imagine what truffle oil can't improve.

                          1. j
                            JudiAU RE: AndieCat Nov 14, 2002 11:49 AM

                            Many. But use it carefully and don't overuse it.

                            I make a wonderful salad with thinly sliced fennel, Belgian endive, parsley, celery leaves, parmesan, dressed with lemon, olive oil, and truffle oil. Lovely.

                            1. p
                              penguinboy RE: AndieCat Nov 14, 2002 05:02 PM

                              Truffle Oil turns cream of mushroom soup into a religious experience (a positive one).

                              1. c
                                coelho RE: AndieCat Feb 16, 2008 01:47 PM

                                Buy an atomizer/sprayer.... Fill it with truffle oil... Make Blegian frites... Spray oil on the frites at the table.

                                Mix with butter.... spread on a baguette for breakfast

                                Super luxury? Braised short ribs over creamy, truffle-oil-drizzled polenta with a wonderful Amarone. She'll do anything you want aftrer that meal. ;)


                                1. puppymomma RE: AndieCat Feb 18, 2008 07:59 AM

                                  My first experience was a bottle of TJ's black truffle oil. I bake oven fries and dip them in the oil instead of ketchup. Yum! I tried to toss them in it before baking, but the truffle flavor completely disappeared.

                                  A couple of weeks ago I bouth some Nappa Valley Harvest white truffle oil in a spritzer bottle. I used it once when I made sweet potato baked fries and I felt that the black truffle oil would be too pungent. Well, the spritzer didn't work, so I dipped. And it was totally delicious.

                                  I can't wait to try the egg suggestion. I'll have to do it later today.

                                  1. a
                                    anzu RE: AndieCat Feb 20, 2008 08:33 AM

                                    It goes really well with cauliflower soup. The creamy mildness of the cauliflower and the strong burst of flavor from the truffle oil balance out quite well. I think based on the posts here (someone mentioned potatoes; another person mentioned root veggies), anything starchy will probably go well with it. But you only need a few drops, really.

                                    1. heathermb RE: AndieCat Feb 20, 2008 08:39 AM

                                      Agree with the recs for mashed potatoes, risotto, and scrambled eggs. Would add macaroni and cheese (homemade) as well..drizzle on just before serving.

                                      1. t
                                        tinymango RE: AndieCat Feb 20, 2008 06:45 PM

                                        artichoke bread pudding with a little green salad on the side.


                                        1. azhotdish RE: AndieCat Feb 24, 2008 03:19 PM

                                          lobster mac-n-cheese - just awesome.

                                          1. Stevie Casino RE: AndieCat Dec 12, 2008 04:21 PM

                                            Sacrilege...turkey hot dogs and tater tots!

                                            Which means pretty much anything can be improved with truffle oil...just remember it's fairly subtle, and can be overpowered by many spices and condiments.

                                            1. c
                                              chocolateman RE: AndieCat Dec 13, 2008 02:06 AM

                                              You know that truffle oil is not usually made with truffles but with is olive oil with one of the chemical that gives truffles it's magic.

                                              In most of the restaurants that I worked in, we were not allowed to use truffle oil in the kitchen.

                                              That said, it does enhance the flavor of food, as truffle would but I would be careful in spending gobs of cash on it.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: chocolateman
                                                RicRios RE: chocolateman Dec 18, 2008 08:40 AM

                                                "truffle oil is not usually made with truffles "

                                                More precisely, it's made with bismethyltiomethane, a by-product of petrol distillation.
                                                Which unfortunately is also cancerigenous, to boot.


                                                1. re: RicRios
                                                  njchowgal RE: RicRios Dec 19, 2008 04:36 AM

                                                  is this also true about truffle salt? i can see the truffles in the salt bottle, but is there also chemicals in there?

                                                  1. re: njchowgal
                                                    RicRios RE: njchowgal Dec 19, 2008 09:15 AM

                                                    Well, not necessarily bismethyltiomethane.
                                                    As alwayscooking correctly points out down below, sometimes they use 2,4-dithiapentane.
                                                    Or a slew of other (chemical) byproducts of petroleum distillation.
                                                    But unfortunately, nothing natural in there.
                                                    It is true that "truffle pieces" ( or whatever substance it is, see my other post below ) are used, but that is only for the looks. Same as the truffle piece you see sometimes floating in the truffle oil bottles. No effect whatsoever on the flavor or taste.
                                                    Unfortunately, the truffle industry is ( and has always been ) rife with fraud. Packaged products are all fake in one way or another. Some (most) claim not to be, though. Even the fresh truffle business is not immune, oftentimes low quality truffles being shipped mixed with the real ones ( as in: tuber oligospermum mixed together with tuber magnatum, and infinite other variations on the same theme ).
                                                    This has become more and more prevalent in the last two or three years, when prices shot thru the roof, with fresh tuber magnatums (a.k.a. "Alba") wholesaling for anywhere between 2000 & 5000 Euro/Kilo, melanosporums ( a.k.a. "Perigord")
                                                    btw 1000 & 2500, etc etc. To make things even worst, the entire truffle market in Europe is pretty much unregulated, transactions are dealt on a cash only basis, a real big big mess.
                                                    Only breaktrough appeared recently on the scientific front, with the development of DNA "biomarkers" for truffle species identification. But that is a long way away from having any direct effect on the markets.

                                              2. c
                                                CeeBee RE: AndieCat Dec 13, 2008 04:27 AM

                                                I went to a brick oven pizza place once that offered a flatbread with truffle oil as an app. It was delicious.

                                                1. c
                                                  ChefDell RE: AndieCat Dec 13, 2008 07:02 AM

                                                  Toss french fries with parmesan and truffle oil...fantastic!

                                                  1. The Professor RE: AndieCat Dec 13, 2008 07:15 AM

                                                    ...it is incredible on plain pizza!

                                                    1. j
                                                      JMJD RE: AndieCat Dec 14, 2008 06:16 PM

                                                      I can't stop thinking about a panini I had 2 weeks ago that was prosciutto, fontina and truffle oil. Was thinking of purchasing some truffle oil to replicate at home -- I might have to check out TJ's next time I am there. (Fun tip: I use my grill pan as a panini press. I use a full tea kettle as a weight for the top with a piece of foil between the kettle and the sandwich.)

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: JMJD
                                                        Cheese Boy RE: JMJD Dec 17, 2008 05:51 PM

                                                        Seconded. Fontina, roasted cremini mushrooms, truffle oil, and shaved Reggiano are four ingredients that TOGETHER are transcendent on any pizza. Add your favorite fresh herb (finely chopped) just for a dusting of color, and let the party begin.

                                                      2. g
                                                        GenieinTX RE: AndieCat Dec 18, 2008 07:38 AM

                                                        I have heard that if you put it on popcorn, you'll never use butter again. I haven't tried that yet, but last week I made some cheesy risotto and dressed it with the oil. It was yummy!

                                                        1. alwayscooking RE: AndieCat Dec 18, 2008 08:26 AM

                                                          Truffle oil hasn't tasted the same since Iearned that I was eating 2,4-dithiapentane - a chemical subsitute for the flavor of truffles. Read the NYTimes article and wonder at the cost of the dishes served at restaurants and of that little bottle.



                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: alwayscooking
                                                            RicRios RE: alwayscooking Dec 18, 2008 09:03 AM

                                                            As one truffle oil producer from Molise told me once: "you can have good or low quality truffle oil. It all depends on the quality of the olive oil you use, and the quality of the chemicals you add". Funny what Sabatino, Urbani and others say about their product, and the "secrecy" involved. A couple weeks ago I visited the Urbani headquarters in Anatolia di Narco, province of Perugia (Umbria), Italy. They were mixing the vials of essence into the oil. Nothing secret, mind you. I even stuck my finger in a big pail where they mix the substance that goes into the truffle pastes, tartufata sauces and so on. I was expecting a delicious fingerlicking experience. Guess what? The paste is totally tasteless and odorless. That is, if you catch it prior to the magical flavor additives.

                                                            1. re: RicRios
                                                              1sweetpea RE: RicRios Dec 18, 2008 12:51 PM

                                                              I agree with many of the posters thus far, but would loike to add a couple of dishes that really pop with the addition of truffle oil. I use it on simple baby arugula salads -- balances the bitterness of the greens beautifully. I've drizzled it on cheese-less pizzas to replace the rich mouth feel lost due to the lack of cheese. I even added it to a Middle Eastern dish of lentils and spinach. It was fabulous. I'm a huge fan of using truffle oil to perk up a dish made with simple field mushrooms. I can't wait to try a simple pasta dish coated in white truffle shavings. Until then, I'll savour my truffle-scented oil (contains a mere speck of black truffle).

                                                          2. njchowgal RE: AndieCat Dec 18, 2008 03:53 PM

                                                            I really enjoy truffle salt on home-popped popcorn. Perhaps you could spritz some on in place of or in addition to butter?

                                                            1. davmar77 RE: AndieCat Dec 18, 2008 04:50 PM

                                                              white truffle oil is lighter tasting than black so also keep that in mind.for either,a little goes a long way.our favorite use is this amazing bread.pretty easy prep and it always goes over well.


                                                              1. Chinon00 RE: AndieCat Dec 18, 2008 05:39 PM

                                                                I've had good experiences using truffle oil with:
                                                                Potato Salad
                                                                Scrambled Eggs
                                                                Poached Egg
                                                                Mac & Cheese

                                                                1. Veggo RE: AndieCat Dec 20, 2008 01:15 PM

                                                                  Bern's (Tampa, the Peter Luger of Florida) most popular side order is mac & cheese, with fontina, asiago, and truffle oil. $17 and worth it for a large portion easily shared by 3 or 4. Aside from the largest wine cellar in America, they have a "cave" for the cheeses. Where they store the truffle oil, I don't know. Maybe one of those salt caverns in Louisiana, near the national strategic petroleum reserve.

                                                                  1. s
                                                                    SFDude RE: AndieCat Dec 22, 2008 09:46 PM

                                                                    In addition to french fries (that others have mentioned), it is great with asparagus. Roast the asparagus at high heat (450) coated with olive oil, salt and pepper. When done, remove the asparagus from the oven and toss with the truffle oil and some grated parmesan. Very yummy.

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