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Truffle Salt Risotto

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    Posted: 21 May 2012 at 02:46


I was never very good at physics, in fact I was shocking (no pun intended). Even if I memorised the rhymes till I turned blue in the face, when it came down to a test or making something work I didn't know my positives from my negatives and failed every time. On the other hand, when it came to chemistry I was "Queen of the Lab", I loved the way things worked and how 1+1 did not always =2. Unfortunately at my school we just had "science" as a subject and so, although my chemistry scores were FANTASTIC, my physics scores were so flat I had to drop "science" as a subject.


I had to find another subject, still in the "sciences" faculty which would let me continue my love for chemistry without having to face those dreaded physics lessons ever again. I chose "home economics" and I guess that is where my love for cooking began. I saw the chemistry in it straight away, so while for many of my classmates it was just a "science" subject to add onto their qualification at the end of their high school career, for me it was just like being in a lab, different tools, different chemicals but still reactions that created something beyond what you would have imagined when everything started.


In those 1 and 3/4 years that I was in Mrs Roy's class I had flops and successes, learned how to make choux pastry and that souffles were not as scary as pop culture made them out to be. This was the first time I had made risotto. One of the most incredible reactions in the kitchen. Without an ounce of dairy, one of the creamiest dishes in creation forms right in front of you and the flavour options...endless. However, that was also the last time I had the chance to do that experiment, not for lack of trying. Sad but true.

If you were not able to take a home economics class in high school, but would love to learn to cook, you may want to find out more information on online cooking schools.



A long while back @SagraFoods gave me a beautiful jar of gold flecked truffle salt. I was ready to use it the minute it was delivered, but living at my mom's house, I had to wait...patiently. It wasn't easy. Every time I opened the store cupboard, the rich, earthy aroma of the truffle salt tickled my nose, drawing me closer. I had to resist until my very own lab...kitchen...was ready. As promised though, the first people to try a dish with this salt would be my family.


I looked for a recipe that would really make the salt shine, but still had some skill involved and it dawned on me, risotto would be the perfect platform for just that. Ready to go I told my family exactly what they were having for dinner and I was so excited, until the very day the magic was meant to happen, when I realised I hadn't made this dish in 10 years. Excitement turned to nerves and I lost my confidence, I even admitted to @polkadotcupcake how scared I was. Even so, I went ahead and I didn't regret it for a moment. Their were no fireworks, explosions or fizzing and popping, just the slow, steady, rich, alchemy that I remembered from my schooldays.


Truffle Salt Risotto 

what you need:

1-1.5l vegetable stock

1 tbs dried or crushed garlic

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 cup finely chopped celery

olive oil

knob of butter

400g Arborio rice

1 tbs lemon rind

2 tbs truffle salt

grated Parmesan


Optional: Most recipes include a glass of white wine. My mother really doesn't like food cooked with wine so I omitted it.


What to do:

Heat up the stock and keep it warm. Put the garlic in with the stock. In the meantime heat up oil and butter and fry up the onion and celery until translucent. Add the rice and make sure it is well coated with the oil butter mixture and let it cook for a few seconds (at this point if you are using it, add the wine and cook until the rice absorbs it). At this point start adding the stock, 1 cup at a time into the rice, stirring gently until each cup is absorbed (if you find that you are running out of stock before you rice is ready, add a bit more boiling water to the stock). When the rice is ready (should be soft and creamy but not mushy) add the lemon zest and stir until well incorporated. Take off the heat and add the truffle salt, stirring well. Season to taste. Serve with the Parmesan on the table.

Check out some more recipes and reviews - www.addtotaste.co.za
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2012 at 09:27
looks delicious! i've never had anything with truffle as part of the flavour profile and am looking forward to the experience someday. your risotto looks  fantastic and reminds me that i need to try my hand at making some soon!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2012 at 11:07
Firstly, welcome to the Forum.
 
 
Add to Taste,
 
Bienvenido = Welcome to The Forum.
 
I am writing to let you know that your risotto with truffle salt, is quite common in both Piemonte, Italia and Zürich, Switzerland.
 
I have made a risotto very similar and shall try your variation too.
 
The main difference between our recipes, is I prefer Pecorino Sardo, ewe aged grated cheese verses Reggiano Parmesano.
 
Truly lovely fotos too. Smile 
 
Thanks for posting.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2012 at 16:29
Interesting, Margi. I'd have thought the flavor profiles of pecorino and truffle would conflict with each other.
 
I've never even seen truffle salt. Have to do a search, as it sounds interesting. I do use truffle oil for some dishes, though---such as Eric Ripart's "French" fried portobello mushrooms with truffled aioli.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Addtotaste Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2012 at 01:12
There is a lady at one of the markets here that does mushroom skewers with all sorts of wild mushrooms on them. She brushes them with her own special seasoning and then a mixture of truffle, olive and canola oil
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChrisFlanders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2012 at 05:42

See, this forum always learns something. I had no idea a truffle-salt even existed. I do know that truffle fanatics preserve their black winter truffles in (uncooked) risotto rice, in an airtight glass container, you know the ones with a glass lid, the red rubberband and the metal muzzle, we call them Weck pots. Many times there will be raw eggs added too, chicken or quale. Both the rice and the eggs pick up the aroma of the fresh truffles! They make a fantastic risotto and omelette.

One of the weirdest experiments I saw, when one of our Belgian ex-El Bulli chefs revisited Ferran Adriá before closing his restaurant, is that Adriá had put an insane amount of caviar in a wooden box, together with black truffles. Seems the caviar had taken all the truffle flavour. How deliciously decadent does that sound?

Friends of mine buy a few black truffles every year and make a "simple" truffle butter; they cut the truffles in the tiniest bits and mix it with the best farm butter they can have their hands on. The whole sausage of butter goes in the fridge, then it's cut in thin slices, bagged side by side and put in the freezer, ready for use on pasta, risotto, meat...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2012 at 07:59
How deliciously decadent does that sound?
 
Actually, to me it sounds like another entry in the modern trend among high-end chefs to use truffles on everything, just because they can. I've never understood this fascination with shaving truffles on, or blending them into, other posh foods. I mean, realistically, is there any culinary point to it.
 
The fact is, the flavor profile of truffles has such reach that it should be used, IMO, in small amounts. Just enough to provide a hint of their earthy goodness.
 
Your example is typical, Chris. We take one posh food, both expensive and in demand among epicures (although in this case, don't include me---I don't care for salted fish eggs), and add another posh food whose flavor and aromoa is so overpowering that it changes the taste of the first one.
 
Another example is pate de fois gras with truffles. Can anyone tell me what makes that so special? It's another case where posh foods are combined for no other reason than the chef can afford to do so---or has an audience that can afford the price of such a dish, and whose taste buds are based more on fashion than on flavor.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2012 at 10:15
H.F.
 
Firstly, there are uncountable flavoured salts and sugars for that matter in gourmet shops, upscale supermkts too all over the major cities and villages Italia, Switzerland and  in Spain too.  
 
White or Black Truffle ( different item )  is just one of them.
 
Yes, Truffle Oil is lovely for Risotto or Fettuccini.  
 
Piemonte is White Truffle Country as is Valle Di Aoste ... ( on border of Switzerland )
 
I am unsure which color truffle, ADD TO TASTE is using, however, depending on region. Both are lovely, though of course, the white is extraordinaire. 
 
Due to the upscale price, the market innovators, had begun using the broken pieces, as it is fragile,  as a Condiment, not to waste the product.
 
Ferrán Adriá´s brother Albert produces a line of such items and has a wholesaler and retail establishment. It is not called El Bulli.
 
Pecorino Sardo: there are young, semi cured and aged ... In a dish of this nature I employ a three month old Sardo Pecorino which is not very over powering however, has a nutty smoky hint subtley.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Addtotaste Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2012 at 00:56
Good question. I will check the jar when I get home today to see which truffle they use
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChrisFlanders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2012 at 06:54
Originally posted by HistoricFoodie HistoricFoodie wrote:

... The fact is, the flavor profile of truffles has such reach that it should be used, IMO, in small amounts. Just enough to provide a hint of their earthy goodness.
 
I do believe that an occasional modest tasting of real truffle is a must for foodies. The emphasis is on "real".  I also tasted all kinds of black and white truffle oils and I can say that truffle oil is simply junk. In most cases (I was planning to write 99,99% of the cases) it's made with artificial flavouring. It's like smelling a much too strong perfume that overtakes all other aromas in the worst possible way. Those oils makes many people think that real truffle isn't even worth considering using it. However, a simple open omelette with truffle shavings is so incredible. Poultry, like a good chicken served with a sauce with real truffle in it, how minimal or maximal the addition of truffle may be, is delicious and never overpowering. Use truffle oil instead and you have a totally different tale!
I need to add that the experiment I mentioned by Ferran Adriá is typically El Bulli. Maybe we can agree that this is nothing more than fooling around with food, just like Adriá used to do. They started to call his weird experiments molecular gastronomy to give it a more acceptable aspect. But look what's happening to molecular gastronomy; it's as good as dead.
Still, I'm very curious about that truffle salt! It's unknown to me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2012 at 09:02
i have no experience with truffles, so i can't speak to them specifically - having said that, addtotastes's risotto looks heavenly, and i think that it had to be a great way to do just what she wanted to do: create a dish that would highlight the truffle salt.
 
referencing the "excesses" of truffle use, i'd be willing to bet that throughout culinary history, such things have happened with a variety of foods, and will continue to do so long into the future with foods we cannot even imagine right now. it's a thing that will always happen as people tend to push the envelope in the culinary world.
 
this is an interesting topic, that certainly deserves some bantering around, but the discussion on the merits and/or uses of truffles (and other "elite" foods) would probably be best on another thread, so as not to distract from addtotaste's outstanding creation!Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2012 at 09:15
Add to Taste,
 
Thanks so much. Do you have a Designation of Origin for the Truffle Salt ? In other words, which Region is it from ?
 
Thanks. Ciao.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2012 at 11:33

guys -

 
running forward with some good discussion above, here's a link to a topic on truffle trends:
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Addtotaste Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2012 at 02:53
here is a close up of the Jar lid
All the info is here:
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChrisFlanders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2012 at 05:15
Next to a surprising hint of gold, at least there's genuine truffle in it, unlike in many so called truffle oils. I see they use tuber aestivum which is black summertruffle. I noticed also there's a website mentioned on the package, maybe they sell online? Thanks for the info Hila. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2012 at 10:41
Add to Taste,
 
Grazie ... thank you so much for photographing the jar and labelling. Truly appreciate this.
 
D.O.C. San Miniato, Piemonte, Italia :  I know the product and it is quite eloquent. We have some  in the Madrid Capital Pantry Closet. We always stock up when we go to our condo over in Puglia.
 
There are several competitive products I have tried too.  
 
We have dear friends who live close to  this DOC and know the owners personally and they are also in the business. They predominately sell to restaurateurs in Switzerland.
 
I have had this truffle salt and it is quite amazing ... just a tasting says something quite special to your palate !  
 
Thanks again. Grazie,
Ciao,
Margi. Cintrano.   
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Addtotaste Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 2012 at 00:26
My pleasure. A photo was easier the typing everything out :)

There is a fine food importer here called Sagra Foods.  They ran a competition and this was the prize :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 June 2012 at 07:42
Buonasera, Add to Taste.
 
Tried your truffle salt risotto for lunch and it was lovely.
 
Thanks for posting the recipe.
 
Ciao. Have nice wkend.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Sepeptember 2012 at 08:09
Add to Taste,
 
My younger daughter had given us a gift when visiting and they were all types of salts including the one you have recommended and another truffle salt called:  trüffelstücke - Werner Housemann.  www.werner-housemann.com  
 
Also, a group of colored sugars; a paprika, a chocolate and several others ... Interesting to play with for appetisers and close knit friends or family.
 
Kind regards.
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