Sunday, March 14, 2010
Shortly after I came back from New York, I received a package from Marx Foods. It contained a small bottle of white truffle oil and a jar of truffle salt.
Marx Foods carry a variety of gourmet food items online and the Szechuan Buttons I received back in December were from them, too .If your recipes call for fancy ingredients that you can’t find in local grocery stores, most likely they’ll be able to help you.
This particular black truffle salt comes from Emilia Romagna (Italy). The truffles are quick-dehydrated, rather than dried, to better preserve their flavor and release it upon rehydrating on your palate.
This truffle oil also comes from Italy and they are all natural or non-chemical, apparently a rare kind.
Now, I don’t do much fancy cooking at home -- least of all, truffle anything. I flipped through The French Laundry Cookbook, which I mostly enjoy for its photos. Sure there is a whole section dedicated to truffles, but it was for the real stuff… Duh!
So I asked Zenchef (the expert) what to do with it and he kindly responded with a couple of suggestions – 1) root vegetable fries, 2) nice salad with scallops. (But he also said he likes to work with the real stuff.)
Both sounded really good. In fact, I wanted to make both; however, there is one thing that I avoid as much as possible -- deep-frying anything in my small apartment. So I chose the latter.
As he suggested, I sprinkled fresh scallops with pinch of truffle salt, seared both sides with a little bit of olive oil, topped the salad with a few slices of fennel, some artichokes and sautéed Chanterelle mushrooms. For the finish, drizzled truffle oil and seasoned with another sprinkle of truffle salt and cracked peppers. I thought the artichoke added enough tanginess to the salad, I didn’t need additional vinegar (also I was worried that vinegar might overpower the flavor and suppress the truffle reminiscence), but two drops of fresh lemon juice might have been good, too.
Thanks to Marx Foods for the great products and thank you Zenchef for such an inspiring idea! My lunch was delicious!