Saturday, 30 April 2011

Recipe #14: Truffled "bruschetta" with assorted mushrooms, rockmelon (cantaloupe), tomatoes, spring onions & more!


This, first and foremost, is a meal inspired by bruschettas: with a difference. Truffles.

I first cooked with truffles on Christmas 1999. Since then, I rarely have truffles since it is so costly and difficult to obtain.

Today, I was feeling inspired and went looking for truffles. I found a bottle of concentrated truffle oil (with chunky slices of truffles in olive oil) and a rich truffle paste containing coarsely chopped black summer truffles in olive oil. That bottle cost me AUD$35 and the truffle oil cost half of that, which when totaled, really annoyed my wallet.

Meanwhile, a friend of mine remarked that he hasn't found a great recipe combining mushrooms and fruits. I know of Asian salads that combine both to produce a tangy, spicy and zesty dish. However, I wanted to try something new: a marriage of mushrooms and fruit in a way that is good enough as a meal on its own.

So here it is... And, might I add, I have never enjoyed truffles this much in my entire life!

Ingredients
  • Black summer truffle (finely chopped)
  • Concentrated truffle oil (sliced truffles in olive oil)
  • French loaf or bread roll
  • Assorted mushrooms (flat, button, oyster, porcini, shiitake)
  • Rockmelon (cantaloupe)
  • Mango (optional)
  • Tomato
  • Spring onion
  • Sea-salt
  • Ground black pepper

Preparation
Chop rockmelon, mango, tomatoes and spring onions and place them aside.
Slice french loaf/bread roll into thick diagonal slices.
Heat fry-pan with concentrated truffle oil until it begins to simmer then keep heat low.
Place bread slices in pan and gently allow them to soak oil and turn golden brown. Turn over and do likewise.
Remove bread slices from pan, spread chopped truffles or truffle paste, then place in pre-heated oven and keep on low heat while preparing rest of meal.
Chop assorted mushrooms into coarse slices and place evenly over a large fry-pan with heated truffle oil. Cook mushrooms very slowly until they turn golden brown. Add sea-salt and black pepper to taste. The more types of mushrooms, the better. I recommend a combination of flat mushrooms, button mushrooms, porcini, shiitake and oyster mushrooms. The porcini and shiitake can be obtained dried, so need to be soaked in warm water then rinsed out before cooking.
When ready, remove sliced bread from oven, top with mushrooms, fruits, tomatoes and spring onions. Then enjoy!

Bruschettas are traditionally served with red wine; however, due to the delicate complexity of the truffles, I preferred a nice Gerwutztraminer from Alsace.

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