If you’re a foodie who likes to keep track of food trends then you’re probably well aware that it’s currently truffle season in Australia. As Western Australia is home to a thriving truffle industry, I’m thrilled to have access to some top notch fungi. There’s nothing more glorious than taking home a wee truffle and basking in the amazing aroma.
I’ve unfortunately missed out on quite a few truffle related events in the last month as I’ve been pretty much pre-occupied with karate training and any spare time has been directed towards making felted hats for Blythe dolls. Since I have been watching what I eat in the lead up to my black belt grading, crafting has been a far more sensible outlet at the moment rather than cooking.
That’s not to say that I haven’t been mixing my passions of late. Earlier in June, I went over to Sydney for the national Blythe doll meet where I debuted my hats for sale (I did well!). Also, as I finally had enough notice, I booked myself into Tetsuya’s for a solo degustation dinner.
I don’t think I have sufficient words to describe how incredible the experience was, so I won’t. I can only urge people who may have the opportunity to dine there to discover the joy for themselves. There was not a single morsel that I didn’t enjoy and I was never once remotely disappointed or underwhelmed. I hope to cover my dining experience (along with some recipes from Tetsuya’s cookbook) in some blog posts later on this year.
One of many things I enjoyed at Tetsuya’s was the whipped truffle butter which was served with bread. I usually don’t bother with butter (or bread) but I couldn’t waste my ramekinful of the aromatic whip. I learnt later that it was a blend of freshly made butter, ricotta and Tetsuya’s signature Black Truffle Salsa, which I was kindly given a jar of :D
Since we have fresh truffles in abundance right now, I’ll save my jar of salsa for the off-season. I didn’t hesitate making some truffle salt and butter with my piece of black gold. I’m not one to be overly precious with truffles and I even wrote a post about just simply enjoying them even in the simplest of ways. One truffle may set you back about $25 but they do go a long way, especially if you make truffle salt (and butter).
To make truffle salt, it’s just a simple matter of getting two tablespoons of good quality rock salt (I used the pink salt from South Australia) and blitzing it in the Thermomix (or food processor) with a few shavings of black truffle.
For truffle butter, just process some cream in the Thermomix (as per the instructions in the Everyday Cookbook; 1-3 minutes on Speed 4, and drain) until you have a batch of fresh butter. Once rinsed (and preferably drained for a few hours as a lot of moisture will still come out of the butter), return the butter to the Thermomix and add one teaspoon of the truffle salt. If you like a pronounced truffle flavour and aroma, add a few drops of black truffle oil. The butter can be stored in the freezer in a airtight container, if not using all at once.
For the ultimate gourmet bar snack, I made some truffle buttered popcorn. I kept hearing about truffle popcorn making appearances at various foodie festivals but since I couldn’t get out to them, I decided to make my own at home. My kids have become partial to homemade popcorn which I must say is astoundingly elementary and cheap, so I don’t know why people buy them pre-popped and packaged for school lunchboxes :|
Anyway, I popped up a bowlful (1 tablespoon of popping corn in a small/medium Pyrex bowl with an appropriate cover with holes, and heat on High for 2 to 3 minutes) and added about a tablespoon of melted truffle butter while hot. For added extravagance, I sprinkled the popcorn with some fresh black truffle and shaved Parmesan for the added umami punch. Relatively low fat, high in fibre. What more could an upcoming black belt want? *crossing fingers*