Holiday Fare: Pan-Seared Sea Scallops with a Champagne Truffle Cream

Pan-Seared Sea Scallops with a Champagne Truffle Cream

Pan-Seared Sea Scallops with a Champagne Truffle Cream
Wilted Butter Lettuce and Generous Shaving of Pink-Veined Italian White Truffle

ITALIAN WHITE TRUFFLE

White truffles are very perishable and very delicate with an intense perfume reminiscent of earth, garlic, shallot and grana cheese. This gem arrived just a few days before our holiday party from my friends at Gourmet Attitude in NYC.

I wrapped the truffle in a paper towel and refrigerated it, in a large glass jar with fresh eggs. My house guests were treated to a special breakfast the morning after our party – poached eggs intensely flavored with truffle! The musky aromas penetrate through the egg shells, and after a simple 3 minute poaching… et voilà heavenly truffle eggs! The tip I learned from the truffle experts at Gourmet Attitude – to eschew standard wisdom and never store truffles in rice as it will dry them out. Store them with fresh eggs and extend the party into the next day.

Pan-Seared Sea Scallops with a Champagne Truffle Cream was the first course in our 5-course holiday dinner earlier this week. Champagne/Truffles/Scallops – a fantastic way to begin an elegant holiday feast.

Holiday Table

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A Farmers Market Dinner Featuring Salmon & Truffle Cream

farmers market dinner

Pan-Roasted King Salmon with White Truffle Cream
Farmers Market Wild Arugula, Heirloom Baby Cherry Tomatoes, Avocado
Pine Nuts, French Lentils, Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Inspired by a trip to the Farmers Market, fresh king salmon was pan-roasted and served over organic French lentils seasoned with just a kiss of my Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette along with wild arugula, irresistible baby cherry tomatoes, lightly toasted pine nuts, and avocado.

The sauce is made with La Tartufata blended with creme fraiche which added a velvety nuance to the dish. A preserved truffle product from Gourmet Attitude, La Tartufata is an earthy intense white truffle cream. This dinner was a delightful marriage of earth, garden, and sea. It’s the third in a series of three meals, each featuring one of the preserved truffle goodies in the “Trio Boutique.” We especially liked dipping the little heirloom tomatoes in the truffle cream sauce…

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A Sweet & Savory Dinner Featuring Truffle Honey

cooking with truffle honey, bacon wrapped pork loin

A Sweet & Savory Dinner ~ Featuring Truffle Honey

Pan-Seared & Roasted Pork Loin Wrapped in Bacon
Demilune of Baked Butternut Squash & Apple with Truffle Honey & Rosemary
Sauteed Purple Cabbage with Truffle Honey, Balsamic Vinegar, Caraway Seeds

My generous friends at Gourmet Attitude in NYC, purveyors of fresh truffles and fine truffle products, sent a gift box called the “Trio Boutique” containing three jars of fancy truffle products ~ truffle honey, truffle carpaccio, and white truffle cream. Merci and Grazie! We thought it would be fun to cook three separate dinners, each featuring one of these preserved truffle goodies.

For the first truffle dinner, lean and mild pork loin was enhanced with thick smoky bacon. Nutty butternut squash was baked with gala apple and laced with truffle honey, rosemary and butter. Then for contrast, purple cabbage was sauteed with onion and butter, flavored with balsamic vinegar and toasted caraway seeds, finished with truffle honey. This rather common combination of pork, apples, and cabbage was elevated by the truffle honey and the pretty demilune squash presentation with a rosette of colorful cabbage. It’s a meal that exemplifies uncomplicated effortless elegance.

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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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French Black Winter Truffle GIVEAWAY!

Gorgonzola with Truffle Honey
The wonderful folks at Gourmet Attitude have generously offered Taste With The Eyes the opportunity to host a GIVEAWAY of one French Black Winter Truffle! Merci Beaucoup! It is intensely fragrant and the most cherished of them all, the Queen of French Truffles, Tuber melanosporum, also known as the Périgord Truffle.
Regrettably I don’t happen to have a “fresh black diamond from the earth” on hand today to prepare for this GIVEAWAY, but the next best thing is truffle infused products, like their sensual truffle honey which we paired with gorgonzola and toasted ciabatta, and Champagne!

heirloom tomato with truffle carpaccio

heirloom tomato
truffle carpaccio
parmigiano-reggiano
toasted buttered baguette

Truffle Carpaccio
la BOUTIQUE de la truffe

It would be dream-come-true to always have fresh truffles in my kitchen. Preserved truffles are the next best thing. Truffle Carpaccio is a preserved truffle product from Italy. It is made with summer truffles (tuber aestivum vitt), olive oil, and salt. It can be served on toast, tossed with olive oil and pasta, or for an intense flavor combination try a teaspoonful on top of a grilled rib-eye steak.


This makes a delightful first course:  Slice heirloom tomatoes (blot excess moisture), place on a baking sheet, top with a little sea salt and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Place until the broiler until the cheese bubbles. Top each tomato with a teaspoon of truffle carpaccio. Serve with toasted buttered baguette, garnish with chives.
tomato & truffle carpaccio bruschetta

Toasted baguette rubbed with garlic, brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with Parmigiano-Reggiano, and topped with chopped heirloom tomatoes tossed with truffle carpaccio and a little salt.

The truffle aroma is heavenly.
Gourmet Attitude in Manhattan is an importer of fresh truffles. They recently launched this line of truffle delicacies called “la BOUTIQUE  de la truffe” which includes the Truffle Carpaccio, Truffle Honey, and White Truffle Cream. We paired the Truffle Honey with panko-crusted chicken breast and paired the White Truffle Cream with angel hair pasta. Truffle heaven!

Truffle Butter Popcorn, Iron Horse Blanc de Blanc

If you had a chance to read yesterday’s post, you would know that I am now enamored with Michael Mina. Here is another reason: 
Truffle Butter Popcorn with Chives as a bar snack!

…which we thoroughly enjoyed with a glass of Michael Mina Iron Horse Blanc de Blanc 2000. Iron Horse produces a limited number of special cuvées for select chefs and restaurateurs including Michael Mina. (And, oh, by the way note the cool leather bar top).

From their website: Blanc de Blanc is the most elegant and sophisticated of the Iron Horse cuvées, made from 100% Chardonnay.

It is ethereal – like drinking a cloud. It seems to effervesce away in your mouth and tastes like, among other flavors, a perfectly browned, lightly buttered slice of sourdough toast.
Ah yes, pair with popcorn anyone?