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Dec 23, 2008 10:46 AM

What should I do with this black truffle?

For the last year, my husband has asked me about once a month what truffles taste like (I don't know), if they're available in any kosher New York restaurants (not as far as I know), if we went to Paris, could we order them in a kosher restaurant (I have no idea), etc. So for Chanuka, I've bought him a one-ounce black truffle. (I wanted a white one, but couldn't bring myself to spend the $230/ounce that Buon Italia, recommended elsewhere on Chowhound for truffle-buying, was charging for them.) I don't think it's occurred to him that we don't have to go to a restaurant to eat truffle, so I hope he'll be pleasantly surprised.

So now, what do I do with it? Other threads seem to recommend mostly shaving them over pasta with brown butter and parmesan, or on scrambled eggs. Is this still true of the black ones, or are those best with white truffles? Should I make a truffle risotto, and if so, should I make it meat (with fabulous homemade chicken stock, but no cheese), or dairy (with so-so, rather brown, homemade vegetable stock, but excellent Parmesan)? Any other dishes that might be better? And what should I serve to go with my truffly centerpiece? We keep kosher, so the meal needs to be either meat OR dairy, and avoid pork and shellfish.

Also, how much of it should I be using? One ounce seems like a bit much for a condiment for one meal for two people, but I have no sense of how much I should be able to get out of it.

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  1. First off, CHERISH that truffle; don't just go using it on any old thing.

    You could make a truffle butter. Or, as you said, shaved over homemade pasta; or in s risotto (I'd make it dairy, given your restrictions).

    1. I don't have a lot of truffle experience but my favorite dish was gnocchi in a brown butter sauce with the truffle shaved on top. I have also had a truffled macaroni and cheese a couple of times that was to die for.

      I would think that your truffle will go further than one meal, but I could be wrong. If I was you, I would invite some friends over to enjoy something with you. I would also stick to something fairly simple (like the mac and cheese) so you can really highlight the truffle itself.

      here is a recipe that sounds great, but it does use more than 1 oz, I am surprised:

      1. If I make a truffle risotto, am I cooking the truffle with the rice, or shaving it over the top? Or both?

        1 Reply
        1. re: GilaB

          I would store the truffle nestled in the rice for a couple of days before I cooked the risotto so that it perfumes the rice. Then shave on top at service.

        2. I've only ever cooked with a black truffle at home once, and it was magic. I made a fettucine carbonara. To incorporate the truffle I let it sit with the four eggs for the carbonara in a sealed glass jar overnight to infuse through the shells, then grated half of it through the egg / romano cheese mixture, proceeded as normal for the carbonara and grated the rest over the finished dish. It still stands out as one of the finest meals I've ever made.

          My only note would be not to form too many expectations around how it will taste, the reason truffle is so, rightfully, prized is because it has a unique flavour. It tastes extraordinary, but not necassarily delicious, I find the tase quite odd, and the mouth effect bordering on the bizarre.

          Best of luck with your dish.

          1. Definitely homemade, hand rolled and cut fettucine or pappardelle (best quality organic farm eggs, use more yolks for extra richness), lightly buttered with best quality unsalted butter, freshly grated parm reggiano. Shave truffles.