A few weeks ago our neighbours Gaby and Isabella invited us over for a mouth-watering Truffle supper. Contrary to what the truffle farmer, who you just caught rummaging around your oak trees, will protest - it has actually been an excellent year for truffles in our area thanks to the dry hot summer of 2010. Our neighbours prefer to use the Fly method or "Chasse a la Mouche' as its called in french, it requires a lot of patience (glass of pastis in hand optional)...you basically need to head out into your garden (or indeed somewhere which has old oak trees) - between the hours of 11am and 4pm, on a sunny day (sunshine is critical)!! You take up your position and look out for a small red fly, the truffle fly, and take note of when it lands at the base of trees. If you swat it away and it returns (to lay its eggs) it will usually return to the exact spot and this is where your truffle is. You must be quite careful when digging as the black truffle does look very much like a big lump of dirt and you wouldn't want to destroy this 'diamond of the kitchen'. So with several truffles in hand, you place the truffles in a container alongside fresh free range eggs, seal it shut and keep it in the fridge for 7-10 days. The truffle will actually permeate the eggs, even through the shells as they have such a pungent aroma. Result = Out of this world flavour!!
Ingredients for 2 servings
4 Large Fresh Eggs 1 Tbsp Double Cream 1 Small Fresh Truffle – about 25g A Large Knob of Butter Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Clean your truffle thoroughly, slice it very thinly (preferably using a razor blade) and poach it in just a little hot water with the salt and pepper for 4/5 minutes. You then reduce the water to a dessertspoonful, allow it cool and add it to the cream.
- Meanwhile, heat your pan and whisk your eggs, add the poaching water and cream to them and whisk again.
- Add the butter to the pan, allow it become very hot, but not discoloured, then add the eggs. Move them around a little then add the sliced truffles. Allow the top to almost set 'baveuse' fold and serve immediately.
Photo of Truffle pesto - sorry the omelette was gobbled up so fast that I completely forgot to take pics
Gaby and Isabel also served simple boiled potatoes with a sinful truffle pesto as dressing (the photo above doesn't do the flavours any justice - I asked for thirds!!). The Truffle pesto is very simple, very finely chopped truffle mixed with olive oil. Some fresh salad and St. Felicien cheese topped it all off nicely.
The sheer abundance of truffles in this part of the world, for those who know where to look is incredible. For this supper I think we each had 2 large truffles each (both in the omelette and the pesto).... just don't get caught trespassing on other truffle farmers turf when you head out into the woods hunting!