Recession-era Truffle Solution

by admin on November 26, 2010

Good—really good—truffles are one of the great joys of the winter table. Only problem is, they cost a small fortune. Even “truffle shavings” can command nearly $100 per jar. So unless you’re among the lucky few not affected by our ongoing recession, enjoying these funky looking, ultra-fragrant tubers may be a forgotten luxury this year.

But there is an affordable solution. And while we’re not claiming that our imported Italian Truffle Salt from Rome’s Sabatino & Co. will make you swoon quite as dramatically as a whole specimen will, a small sprinkle of this highly aromatic mixture of sea salt and small chunks of black truffle can really perk up a dish, and add at least a hint of near illicit decadence to a meal.

This satisfying cold-weather recipe for mushroom sauce with Truffle Salt can used as pasta sauce, and also served over rice or polenta.

In the meantime, consider sprinkling a dash of Truffle Salt on tonight’s grilled ribeye steak, tomorrow morning’s scrambled eggs, or over popcorn next time you sit down with a favorite movie—say, Big Night or Julie & Julia?

Mushroom Sauce with Truffle Salt
½ pound mixed wild mushrooms (such as pioppini, chanterelle, yellow foot, or hedgehog), cleaned and roughly chopped
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, soaked, dried, and roughly chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 sprigs thyme, leaves removed and chopped
6 canned plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup white wine

Soak the dried porcinis in lukewarm water for 30 minutes. Drain, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels. Warm the butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the onions, garlic, and thyme and cook for about five minutes, or until the onions and garlic become translucent. Add the mushrooms and wine and cook for another five minutes. Add the tomatoes, lower the heat, and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.

In the meantime, cook your pasta, rice or polenta, fold in the sauce, and finish with a sprinkle of Truffle salt to taste.

— serves 4

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