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.
I ended up making a truffled risotto Milanese, following the recipe in How to Cook Everything, using vegetable stock along with tons of butter and Parmesan. I put in about half of the truffle, shaved and chopped, in with the last ladle of stock, as suggested above, and topped it with more shavings of raw truffle. It was great, but we were both surprised by how subtle it was. We were both expecting the truffle to be a huge punch of flavor, but the raw shavings had surprisingly little flavor; the risotto was wonderful, with an earthy richness that my husband described as mouth-filling, but the truffle flavor melded very much with the rice, parm, stock, etc., and did not outshine everything else. Oddly enough, the nearly room-temperature second serving, which sat around for fifteen minutes while we ate our first serving, was more flavorful than the first serving. Perhaps I ought to have put the cooked truffle in earlier, say halfway through the cooking rather than almost at the end, to let it soak in better.
Thanks to everybody for their suggestions!
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.
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: