black COD black TRUFFLE in crispy rice paper

Wild-Caught Fresh Black Cod
Stuffed with Fresh Black Winter Truffle
Crispy Rice Paper Wrapper
Truffle Oil/Truffle Flecks

This is special. An elegantly dressed all-green salad and a big, yeasty Champagne were its only accompaniments. The heady truffle with its unforgettable aromas, greatly affecting the mind and the senses, is purported to have aphrodisiac qualities. Would you consider serving fish sticks on Valentine’s Day?

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“Truffle Heaven” Crostini

“Truffle Heaven” Crostini
Fresh French Black Winter Truffle, Italian Truffle Cheese, Truffle Oil
with Shiitake and Frisée

A framed description of our “black diamond” is placed on the buffet.

This one ounce beauty is from Gourmet Attitude, importer of fresh truffles and fine truffle products in New York City. It is a good year for truffles, ours hails from the Village of Grignan in the South of France. The subterranean treasure was located by three female yellow Labrador retrievers with a family in its fourth generation of truffle hunting. I was told that dogs are preferred over pigs to hunt  truffles nowadays, for one reason, it’s difficult to get a pig in and out of the car! Also, apparently the pig’s love for truffles is as ardent as ours, so she simply cannot stop herself from eating the $85/oz. delicacy. Dogs are much more obedient!

The black winter truffle is available December through March. This Fresh Black Winter Truffle (Tuber Melanosporum Vittadini) has in intense perfume with a bouquet of wet forest, humus, chocolate, and a hint of hazelnut. Our guests are surely in for a treat!

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The Chanterelles

Heart Healthy Chanterelle Scramble with White Truffle Oil

Cantharellus formosus, the Pacific golden chanterelle, from Oregon
gorgeous golden-orange color
a distinctly fruity aroma
a mild peppery flavor
funnel shaped with ridges instead of gills

  • Sauté finely chopped onion in olive oil.
  • Add cleaned sliced chanterelles, sea salt & fresh ground pepper, and sauté until lightly cooked all the way through.
  • Add minced garlic, cook for about a minute more.
  • Add a splash of dry white wine.
  • After the wine has completely evaporated, add egg beaters or beaten fresh egg whites.
  • When the eggs are barely cooked through, transfer scramble to a plate.
  • Lightly drizzle with White Truffle Oil and a bit more sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

The Chanterelles

When we were fourteen years old, my girlfriends and I formed a little song & dance group. We called ourselves The Chanterelles. After school and all summer long we would just practice in Wendy’s basement, for no particular performance.

We were so into Motown.

Knew every word to every Supremes song, my baby love! Went crazy seeing The Temptations in concert at the (long gone) Mill Run Theater-in-the-Round in Niles, Illinois. I was in love with Melvin Franklin, the bass singer with the Temptations. His signature line “and the band played on…” delivered in his deep deep sexy voice sent my fourteen-year-old self into fits.

(that’s Melvin on the far left)

Our Favorite Double Album:  Diana Ross & The Supremes Greatest Hits

Our Favorite Song to Sing Along:  Ball of Confusion by The Temptations

Our Favorite Dance Routine to:  I Want You Back by The Jackson 5

(artist shots borrowed from wikipedia here and here)

It wasn’t until almost a decade later that I found out that we had named our group after a fungus.

Project Food Blog
Voting for the current challenge ends at 6 PM Pacific Time, Thursday October 21st.
If you are a fan of my latest entryAsian Pizzette, it’s not too late to vote here!

Pom Prosecco & Popcorn

Pom Prosecco
Popcorn with Truffle Oil

Pop regular popcorn in canola or peanut oil in a heavy, covered pot. Ratio: 3 T. oil to 1/2 c. popcorn kernels. Add fine sea salt then drizzle the warm popcorn with truffle oil. Extraordinary!
I don’t make popcorn very often, and in recent years, when I did, it was in the microwave. I am so glad to have rediscovered the old-fashioned way to make popcorn. I want to thank my blogger friend Thatgirl for the suggestion. Simple and really really good.

Great start to a cocktail party!
A Pom Prosecco was a great complement to our Miso Glazed Swordfish luncheon too. This is a mighty tasty cocktail, and food-friendly. Simply pour a few ounces cold pomegranate juice into a flute and add cold Prosecco, a dry Italian sparkling wine. Personally, I am not a huge fan of adding juice to Champagne, but Prosecco is different. The method used to produce Prosecco is much less costly than Champagne, yet still produces a high quality dry sparkling wine, which is meant to be consumed young.
And POM Wonderful is a perfect addition because it is not too sweet, gives the Prosecco that awesome pink color and depth of flavor, and you can take an inexpensive bottle of this bubbly and have a really nice fresh, crisp, refreshing drink. I purchased this bottle of Prosecco at Trader Joe’s for $5.99 US.
Thanks to the folks at POM Wonderful for the gift of the delicious anti-oxidant juice! I highly recommend a visit to the POM website to check out the pomegranate recipes and beautiful food photos too. I definitely look forward to using this juice in future recipes.
Browsing through my photo library recently and noticed a recurring theme, Glassware. Thought it might be fun to compile some of the photos here:
Glassware

  1. Alex, Las Vegas
  2. La Mar, San Francisco
  3. Cline Cellars, Sonoma, California
  4. Guy Savoy, Las Vegas
  5. Per Se, New York City
  6. Gramercy Tavern, New York City
  7. Cline Cellars, Sonoma, California
  8. La Mar, San Francisco
  9. Per Se, New York City

Cheers!

Beet Soup with Truffle Oil

Beet Soup
White Truffle Oil
Crème Fraîche

Cover the beets with water. Bring to boil then simmer until very tender. When beets are cool enough to handle; trim, peel and slice.

Strain the beet cooking liquid through a coffee filter, reserve.

While the beets cook, bring stock to a boil in a large soup pot. Add carrot, cabbage, onion, garlic, tomato, bay leaves. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Approximate Quantities:
  • 4 or 5 beets
  • 1 chopped head cabbage
  • 1 sliced medium onion
  • 4 sliced carrots
  • 7 crushed garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch dill
  • 1 large can seeded peeled tomatoes
  • 8 c. stock ((beef or vegetable)
  • sugar, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste
  • truffle oil and crème fraîche for garnish

After about 30 minutes, add sliced beets, beet liquid, and a bunch of dill. And red wine vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for another 15 minutes. Remove bay. Purée with an immersion blender. Adjust seasonings.

Serve hot or cold. Drizzle crème fraîche, white truffle oil, dill sprig garnish. In the last post, I was pondering the value of “optional” ingredients. The truffle oil here is not optional. It is what makes this soup special!
One of the best wine pairings I can remember was enjoyed at Chef Nancy Oakes’ Boulevard in San Francisco where Chioggia beets (Italian heirloom variety) were paired with a fruity flavorful red wine from Brouilly. Definitely try this soup with a Brouilly if you can find one, if not, try a more readily available Beaujolais.

Delightful Color, Cheery Garnish
Highly Nutritious
Delicious Deep Earthy Flavors

Chestnut and Mushroom Soup

Chestnut and Mushroom Soup
Truffle Oil and Tamari Drizzle
Yep, we’re in the kitchen today. First dish we completed for tomorrow’s Big Feast is the soup. This is Clotilde Dusoulier’s recipe from her Chocolate & Zucchini Cookbook. Bravo Clotilde! For the past several years I’ve made a Cauliflower Soup with a Vanilla Chestnut Cream Swirl. Thought we’d try something different this time. An excellent soup for Thanksgiving, Chestnut and Mushroom Soup is elegant and unique yet not too much work, as we have lots of other dishes to prep today. The compelling ingredients include chestnut, mushroom, leek, shallot, garlic and Cognac with a vegetable stock. There is no cream, but this vegetarian soup has a wonderful creaminess as well as a lovely Fall earthiness. I added a drizzle of truffle oil and tamari to give it an even deeper umami flavor.

Here’s the Menu for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving meal:

  • Cheese Platter with Accompaniments
  • Barbecued Oysters
  • Chestnut & Mushroom Soup
  • Traditional Turkey & Traditional Gravy
  • Foie Gravy
  • Pat’s Popovers
  • Linda’s Mashed Potatoes
  • Linda’s Creamed Corn
  • Wild Mushroom, Leek, & Sage Dressing
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Glaze
  • Sweet Potato Gratin
  • Cranberry Relish
  • Assorted Homebaked Pies with Ice Cream & Whipped Cream

OK, back to the kitchen. Wishing you all a Glorious Holiday!

Grilled Swordfish, Lentils with Truffle Oil

Grilled Fresh Swordfish
Steamed Lentils, Tossed with Herbs and Truffle Oil
Grilled Tomato

Simple, Yet Sublime
  • Fresh swordfish, grilled over medium high heat, still perfectly moist, with olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Warm steamed lentils, seasoned and gently tossed with white truffle oil and freshly sniped basil, dill, and parsley
  • Grilled heirloom tomatoes
I am submitting this dish to The Well-Seasoned Cook’s monthly Legume Love Affair Event hosted this month by Lucy of Nourish Me blog. I also want to thank Marie, the Proud Italian Cook, for the idea to grill tomatoes which added another layer of flavor.
Tomorrow, the Sun will be directly over the equator, at 11:44:18 A.M. EDT, to be precise. Happy Autumn! We’ll be looking forward to Thanksgiving here, and to cooking all the wonderful fall dishes. Also wishing my blogger friends in the Southern Hemisphere a Happy Springtime as well!