Thursday, November 1, 2012

Truffle Omelette

Black Summer Truffle Omelette

Truffles.  I can't even begin to explain how much I love truffles.  Their my dish of choice to order and I absolutely love eating and cooking with them. 

Although I definitely prefer fresh truffles, unfortunately, they are rare and expensive.  In addition, a freshly picked truffle must be consumed within 10 days and if you got it in the US, it's already a few days old.  An alternative is to cook with canned truffles.

Fresh Truffles vs. Canned Truffles.  When a recipe calls for fresh truffles, you can substitute it with canned truffles.  However, there's a caveat.  Since a canned truffle is essentially a "dead" truffle, it will release its aroma for only a couple hours.  Hence, it is crucial to put it in immediate contact with the base of the dish.  Second, you have to use more of it... like at least 15g per person, since the flavor is not going to be as present as that of a fresh truffle.  It's also good to use the juice or oil in the can for more flavor.  Sometimes people use truffle butter/oil/salt in conjunction with the canned truffles to help enhance the flavor.  Canned truffles are also cheaper and available year-round.  It's a nice way to experiment with truffles without the large cost.

Whole Black Summer Truffles (canned, 50g) from P.A.Q. New York. I purchased this through Delicious Karma as a special about a month ago.  I did some research on the company, and the quality and integrity of the truffles.  Although the top Google hits are all from the company itself, I did find a couple articles on a founder of the company, Ian Purkayastha [Forbes | Food Republic].  According to the articles, Ian sold his products to a bunch of Michelin starred chefs, including Thomas Keller.  However, from his LinkedIn, it looks like he left to pursue another company.

Why Eggs and The Review.  I decided to make a simple omelette so that I could really taste the flavor of the truffle from PAQ New York.  I used only salt and pepper to season.  I also chose not to use any truffle oil/butter/salt/paste.  Just whatever came in the jar.  To my surprise, the omelette was absolutely delicious and it was definitely very truffle-y!  I think next time, I can even get away with using 1/2 a canned truffle per person from this brand.  They're now on my approved truffle vendors list.


Ingredients:  For 1 person.  I think the next time I make a truffle omelette I'd use heavy cream or milk in addition.  Sucks we can't get double cream in the US.  Also if you are using the whole black summer truffles from Delicious Karma, I would use 1/2 a canned truffle/person since the flavor is very strong... unless of course you want it super truffle-y.  Also with these particular canned truffles, no marination beforehand is required.
  • 1/2 Tbsp Organic Grass-Fed Butter (I like the Kerrygold brand)
  • 2-3 Eggs, really fresh ones are even better
  • ~1/2 - 1 canned Truffle (>~17g/person), thinly shaved.  If you have fresh ones, even better!  Check serving size.  You can also use grate it.  If you are using the whole can, save the truffle juice/oil.
  • Sea Salt (Fine, "fancy" salt preferred)
  • Black Pepper, freshly grated, coarse if possible
2. P.A.Q New York's Whole Black Summer Truffles (canned, 50g) ordered from Delicious Karma!

Variations: Other foods that can enhance the truffle flavor in the omelette... and/or, whatever, just don't go overboard.
  • Double cream, heavy cream, milk
  • Chives
  • Cheese

Instructions: Make sure you have the instructions roughly memorized before cooking the omelette.  Cooking the eggs take < 1 minute total.
  1. Gather ingredients.  If you are using fresh truffles, make sure to wash it just before using it (check out my post on my fresh Alba white truffle).
  2. Crack your eggs in a bowl.  Add the salt and pepper.  If you're using the whole can of truffles or don't plan on keeping the liquid for later on, add the juices to the eggs.  Whisk for at least 30 seconds, or until the yolks and the whites are blended thoroughly.  Some people like to store this mixture (with a few truffle shavings added to it) in the refrigerator overnight or a few hours to intensify the truffle flavor.  I didn't do that.
    2. Eggs with freshly cracked black pepper, red Alaea sea salt from the Big Island, and truffle juice from the can.
  3. Using the truffle/chocolate shaver, thinly slice the truffle.  
    4. Thin truffle slices from 2 canned truffles.  I made a second omelette, too.
  4. Melt the 1/2 Tbsp Butter in a hot enameled skillet.  When you see the butter foaming and on the verge to turn brown, pour the whisked eggs.  Please only cook 2-3 eggs (1 serving) at a time.  Tip the pan and lift the edges occasionally to let the raw egg flow underneath.
  5. When you see the egg begins to set, layer the sliced truffles on the surface.  
    5. Almost time to add the truffle slices.

    6. Done.  Time to fold.
  6. Cook until the top is almost set.  I like my eggs a little runny.  Fold and serve immediately. 
    6. Slightly runny egg... just how I like it.

I enjoyed the truffle omelette with some crispy bacon strips.  If you want to be French, serve it with a salad lightly tossed in olive oil.  If you want to be super French and non-Paleo, serve it also with some warm bread and red wine.

7. Again food porn shot fail, even with the curly parsley and the 3 truffle slices I saved to garnish.

8. Black summer truffle slices nested between the eggs.

In summary, simple foods and sauces capture the truffles' aromas and flavours best.  Making a simple omelette achieves this well without spending much time or effort into preparing the dish.  The Whole Black Summer Truffles from Delicious Karma are prime.  I think I'll get another can and use it to make a truffle-based creamy sauce to go along with some meat.  Hopefully they'll go on specials soon.