Magazine article Sunset

One Small Truffle Is All That These Dishes Ask

Magazine article Sunset

One Small Truffle Is All That These Dishes Ask

Article excerpt

Truffles, mostly the black variety and some white, are available canned in fine foods markets throughout the West. But now and through December, a few of those markets have (or can quickly get) fresh truffles from France and Italy.

Fresh or canned, truffles, are too costly to use in recipes that don't maximize their uniquely aromatic quality and curiously delicate taste--as these do, with just one small truffle, about 1/2 ounce. Or use more, if you want to splurge.

Because you can buy fresh truffles one at a time, they may prove less expensive than canned. They should feel firm and not look shriveled. A black one looks like a lump of coal, a white like a brown potato. Fresh truffles should last about 7 days; if you aren't going to use your truffle right away, keep it in a large, tightly closed jar filled with eggs and rice. These foods will absorb the truffle flavor and give you extra taste mileage from investment; use the eggs in omelets, the rice for pilaf. Many people consider white truffles from Italy choice, and these are most expensive--$300 to $400 a pound fresh. Fresh black truffles are only slightly less dear, $200 to $300 a pound. These numbers are less shocking when you realize that a 1/2-ounce truffle costs about $10.

Canned truffles, less fragrant than fresh ones, come in units as small as about 1/2 ounce. Expect to pay $25 and up for an ounce. Canned trimings are a good value, if you plan to cut the truffles up anyway.

If you don't have a source for fresh truffles, write to Truffle Editor, Sunset Magazine, Menlo Park, Calif. 94025. Corn Risotto

Serve as a first course, or with sauteed or roasted veal or chicken.

Melt 6 tablespoons butter or margarine in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan. Add 1 large onion, finely chopped. Stir often over high heat until onion is slightly browned.

Add 4 cups corn (2 packages frozen, 10-oz. size; or cut from about 6 ears) and 1 cup whipping cream. Stir on high heat until most of the liquid has boiled away; remove from heat.

Finely sliver 1 small (at least 1/2 oz.) fresh or canned black or white truffle. Stir 1/4 of the slivers (and liquid from canned truffles) into corn; set aside remainder.

Pour corn into a shallow 1-1/2-quart baking dish. …

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