Truffle oil has the magical ability to enhance the flavour of every dish: be it snacks, mains or sides. It is often used for seasoning and is rarely used as a cooking oil.
Mix truffle oil into a vinaigrette (made by mixing an oil with vinegar or lemon juice, salt and herbs) for salads, or toss it with cooked potatoes or popped popcorn.
One of the easiest dishes to prepare is mushrooms in truffle oil. Add a wee bit of truffle oil into melted butter, season with a bit of salt and mix with cooked mushrooms. This makes for a binge-worthy side dish, sandwich filling or bruschetta topping. The truffle oil and butter mix can also elevate simple mashed potatoes. If you choose to use truffle oil for cooking, avoid high heat. Here’s a recipe that uses the flavour-filled truffle oil-and-butter combo for an appetising risotto.
Truffle Mushroom Risotto
1 stick unsalted butter, divided
2 small shallots, finely minced
1 and half cups arborio rice
Half cup dry white wine
6 cups basic vegetable broth (preferably homemade), warmed
300 gms cremini mushrooms (cut into halves)
2 tablespoons truffle mushroom paste or puree
2 tablespoons truffle oil
Half cup mascarpone cheese
Half cup freshly grated parmesan plus more for garnish
Half tbsp chopped chives for garnish
Salt and cracked pepper to taste
1. In a pan or skillet with a broad bottom and at least 3-inch sides, melt two tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Cook the minced shallot in the pan for two to three minutes, or until tender. With a wooden spoon, mix in the rice and stir to evenly coat the grains in the melted butter. For approximately a minute, toast the rice. Pour wine into the rice while continuously stirring.
2. Now add 1 cup of warm broth to the rice once the wine has been absorbed by it. Stir continuously to ensure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add another cup of broth after the first portion has been absorbed. Until the liquid has been absorbed by the rice and the grain is just al dente, keep stirring constantly.
3. As the rice is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of truffle oil in a pan. Add the mushrooms and let them sear on one side until golden brown. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and season lightly with salt and pepper.
4. Turn off the heat when the rice is cooked to your preference. Add the remaining butter, mascarpone cheese, truffle puree, and 2/3 of the sautéed mushrooms to the mixture. Stir the cheese and butter until completely melted. Use salt and pepper to taste.
5. Spoon out the risotto into serving bowls. Top with mushrooms, parmesan and chives. Serve warm.
Lincoln Bennet Rodrigues is the founder of Black Vanilla Café in Goa.
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