August 5, 2013-You can’t buy Périgord truffles at your local supermarket but we know where you can get your hands on some and really, really impress your friends!
As mentioned in our Blog post (Wine and Spirits…and Ice Cream), fresh Périgord truffles, prized by chefs, are now available in the summer thanks to production of top quality truffles in Western Australia. The Australian truffles are being exported all over the world. In 2001, the U.S. bought 100 lbs. This year 2000 lbs. will be imported.
Frank Burnacci of The Chef’s Diamond Company is the importer. Frank has an impressive background as an award-winning chef, but now devotes his time, along with wife Lillian, to their truffle importing business based in Chicago. Chatting with Frank about different ideas for using truffles was fun and inspirational.
We wondered if they could be paired with spirits. Absolutely. For example, truffle-infused vodka is easy with amazing results. You can do it with a full bottle and let it steep for a while (depending on how much truffle flavor you want) or you can add truffle slices to individual vodka martinis. That led us to a discussion of the Dirty Martini, which Frank has turned into a “Dirty Truffletini”, recipe below. We then discussed ideas for muddling bourbon and truffles, which should be a winner as truffles go well with sweet flavors. Then there are all the amazing things you can do with summer stone fruits such as cherries, peaches, plums and apricots. Maybe add a little kirsch or some other eau-de-vie, and paper thin truffle slices or gratings. His recipe for Cherry, Peach and Truffle Cobbler is below.
Périgord truffles are very expensive costing over $700 a pound. Before you faint, you only need an ounce or two. Based on the price at the time of writing, that would be about $48.00 an ounce. Frank sells by the ounce and he said one ounce would be enough for six or seven martinis. This is a special splurge but compare it to the cost of a nice dinner at a restaurant with a couple of drinks and it doesn’t look so out of line. Go to his web site http://www.thechefsdiamond.com for more information.
NOTE…..Keep your alcohol in the freezer.
3 oz vodka
½ oz dry vermouth
½ oz juice from olive jar
Top shelf quality pitted green olives
Ash goat cheese for stuffing olives
1 oz black Périgord truffle
Micro plane or grate half the truffle and mix most of the truffle with the goat cheese the rest we use for the rim see below… stuff those olives
In a shaker mix vodka, vermouth and olive juice. Cover and shake hard. Garnish cocktail glass by wetting the rim with olive juice and dipping into more grated truffle
Strain contents of the mixer into the cocktail glass
Include 2-3 of the olives skewered
To make a show of it don’t forget to make it rain truffle with very thin slices (need truffle slicer) from the other half of the truffle…
Cherry, Peach and Truffle Cobbler
1 cup fresh pitted cherries
2 tbs bourbon
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
2 tbs dark brown sugar
Cook all in a saucepan over very low heat until all the juices reduce to a glaze… do not burn !!!
Place in fridge overnight (this is where the flavors do their magic)
½ cup cinnamon flavored Graham Crackers crumbled
1 tbs soft butter mixed with the crackers
Leave to cool
In a small bowl or glass place a good amount of the cherries on the bottom about 3 tbs
Add 1 tbs chopped and very ripe peaches on top of the cherries
Cover this with the streusel
Very thin slices of truffle cover the streusel. Don’t be shy… make it rain the good stuff.
To finish à la mode, top with a bourbon flavored ice cream, or vanilla bean ice cream.