Black summer truffles (photo: Robyn Skwarczek)
When planning the menu for Trufflepalooza 2010, my recent 13-course truffle orgy, several condiments from my friends at Sabatino Tartufi figured prominently. I have these items in my pantry all the time, not just during truffle season:
- Sabatino truffle sea salt - a sprinkle on top of these radish tartines or fresh ricotta crostini provides the perfect finish
- Sabatino truffle oil - makes a killer vinaigrette, gives a boost to truffled egg salad
- Sabatino truffle honey - I drizzle it on cheese, and thanks to the suggestion from the lovely Suzanne of You Can't Eat What?, I also now know that it's delicious on steak
More reasons to make your own truffle butter: I like the delicate flavor of homemade butter. And I like the look on people's faces when I tell them I made my own butter. Which, by the way, is so easy you're going to laugh. Get out your food processor and you're ready to go.
Radish truffle butter tartines (photo: Lentil Breakdown)
What to do with truffle butter? I spread it on slices of baguette (toasted or not) and top it with paper-thin radishes and a sprinkle of truffle salt (see: Tartines with radishes and truffle butter). At the inaugural Trufflepalooza in 2009, I sauteed chunks of filet mignon and then tossed them in truffle butter.
Open-faced filet mignon sandwiches with truffle butter (photo: Lentil Breakdown)
This year, to change things up, we grilled the filet mignon, cut it thinly, and draped slices of meat over truffle-buttered-baguette, then topped with grated fresh truffle and a dusting of truffle salt. This dish elicited the best quote of Trufflepalooza 2010, from a friend who shall remain nameless until she tells me it's okay to identify her: "If you'd seen me when I tasted that, you would have seen my 'O' face." I repeated this to my mother and it took a full five minutes and some very specific prompting for her to understand. I'm assuming everyone else gets it.
Of course, homemade truffle butter is at its finest atop a good piece of bread, all alone, preferably in a dark room (candlelight, even), with a good glass of wine nearby. Remember to inhale deeply.
How to make truffle butter
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1 tsp white or black truffle oil
- 1/4 tsp truffle salt, or to taste
- 1 fresh black summer truffle (you won't need the whole thing)
Pour the cream into the bowl of a food processor. Turn on the processor. Go do something else for a few minutes while the machine does its thing.
When you hear the noise change and things sound a bit sloshy, go back and look. You'll know when it's done - the butter solids will have separated from the buttermilk and will be clumped together. Stop the processor. You'll probably see one big clump of butter, and then some smaller clumps drifting in the liquid.
Lift out the butter solids with your hand and squeeze a little to get some of the liquid out. Put the butter in the colander. Fish out the little bits of butter and add those to the colander. I don't save the liquid unless my father-in-law is around - he likes to drink it.
Knead the butter a little in the colander to get some more of the liquid out. Then let the butter drain for about 30 minutes. Put a paper towel on top and press down to get the remaining liquid out. The butter will still be quite soft, which is good. Turn it into a mixing bowl.
Add the truffle oil, truffle salt, and grated truffle to the fresh butter and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until it's combined thoroughly. Taste and add more salt if you like your butter salty. Refrigerate the butter in a container lined with paper towels or more coffee filters. It will keep in the refrigerator about a week, and in the freezer as long as you might possibly be able to resist it (in our case, about six months).