Truffles on the Cheap
A restaurant dish featuring these delectable num-nums can sink you over a hundred bucks a person in a high end restaurant. Fresh truffles themselves can soar up in the neighborhood of over a thousand dollars a pound. What's a bargain hunting truffle lover to do?
I called the product rep at Urbani to see if she could help me out. Are there any options to enjoy these at home that don't involve selling a kidney, I asked? Apparently yes, and for way less money than I would have expected. The secret to saving money on these little mouth treasures she told me, was to switch from fresh to preserved truffle products and the careful selection of recipes. Urbani's SRP's for preserved truffle products such as oils, sauces, purees and preserved whole truffles range from eight to thirty USD per item. However, a little goes a long way and by choosing recipes that use the preserved products judiciously, your per serving cost can be much less than that.
One simple idea the Urbani rep gave me that people can try out on their own without too much cost is a simple truffle flavored bruschetta with meat. To make it you'll need black truffle oil, salt & pepper, garlic, thinly sliced grilled meat, and sliced Italian bread. Basically, toast the bread slices until slightly crispy and sprinkle with salt pepper and garlic. Then spread the tops lightly with truffle oil and top with grilled meat. This is a great way to see if you like the overall truffle flavor without investing too much cash. If you like it, there are many ways to bump things up a notch with your home menus.
You could also use paste to flavor butter for fabulous baked breads and rolls, throw a tablespoon or two of puree into a batch of risotto, or grate / shave the whole preserved truffles into some olive oil and garlic to heat through and serve over pasta with a hint of grated high quality cheese on the side. Not too much though. The purpose is to celebrate the flavor of truffles.
This same sauce is also good on grilled trout. There are tons of recipes out there, so explore and don’t be afraid to be creative. With the per serving cost savings on some of these meals, you’ll have lots left over for a really fabulous bottle of wine, and maybe that engagement ring, guys?