Thursday, August 30, 2012

Truffle Oil & Parmesan - a Powerful Pair!

Lemon Truffle Parmesan Salad,

 Truffled Portobello Pizza,

 and Baked Truffled Cheese Fries

     Truffle oil, actually a plain oil infursed with truffle extract, is very potent stuff!  It usually elicts a strong reaction;  either you love it or can't stand it.  Our family is enamored with the earthy flavor and strong aroma in truffle oil - especially in dishes that also call for the buttery nutty taste of Parmesan cheese. The combination of these two ingredients takes a recipe over the top and beyond the ordinary!  In this post I have included three of our favorites. 
     The Lemon Truffle Parmesan Salad is adapted from one of my most used cookbooks, The Family Chef by Jewels & Jill Elmore.  When our Uncle Bruce had it, he raved about it so much that Aunt Betsy gave  him a bottle of truffle oil in his Christmas stocking!                                 
     The Truflled Portobello Pizza is Jenn's invention and a Sunday supper favorite.  She came up with the idea of using arugula, mushrooms, a couple different cheeses, and a drizzle of truffle oil. By using a premade homemade crust, it is so easy and simple to make. All I can say is that it is truly fabulous! 
    Last is a recipe for Baked Truffled Cheese Fries.  I patterned them after the truffle fries we get at our favorite "after church" restaurant.

    Enjoy these yummy truffle oil and Parmesan pairings!

 Lemon Truffle Parmesan Salad                                                                                       
    2 bunches of romaine lettuce
    2 handfuls of arugula (optional)
    1 (15oz.) artichoke hearts, drained
    1/2 chopped hazelnuts
    1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
    Toss all ingredients together.
    1 cup olive oil
    1 tablespoon truffle oil
    1/4 cup lemon juice                                                                                   
    2 tablespoons shallot, finely chopped
    1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper                                                
    Whisk all ingredients together.

Steps for Truffled Portobello Pizza
1.  Gather the Ingredients
You will need 3 baby portobello mushrooms, 2 cloves pressed or minced garlic, 1 handful washed arugula, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons truffle oil, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, and one premade whole wheat pizza crust.

2.  Prepare the Crust

Brush the crust with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.  Spread the garlic over the crust.  Wash, dry, and slice the mushrooms.  Arrange the mushrooms on top ot the crust.

3.  Continue to Build

     Sprinkle the on the two cheeses and then arrange the arugula on top.  Drizzle the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

4.  The Finishing Touches

     Bake in a 450 degree preheated oven for about 13 minutes.  Before slicing, drizzle the 1 1/2 teaspoon truffle oil over the top of the pizza.

Step for Baked Truffled Cheese Fries
1.  Gather the Ingredients

You will need 4 peeled russet potatoes that have been cut into 1/4 inch wide long strips, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley, 2 cloves garlic that have been put through a press, 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, and 2 teaspoons truffle oil.

2. Rinse and Soak

1/4 wide inch strips can be made by cutting the potato lengthwise every 1/4 inch and then cutting those slices into 1/4 inch strips.  Rinse the strips and drain them.  Then put them in a bowl and cover them with hot water.  Let the potatoes sit in the hot water at least 10 minutes.

3. Prep and Bake

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.  Cover a cookie sheet with foil.  Drain the potatoes, give them a final rinse and drain again.  Dry the strips off by using paper towels to blot off the moisture.  Put the potatoes in a dry bowl and toss them with the olive oil.  Place them on the cookie sheet in a single layer.  Bake them for about 30 minutes, making sure you turn them over every 10 minutes.  At the end of the cooking time, they should be nicely browned.

4.  Mix the Seasonings

Mix together the parsley, grated Parmesan, garlic, and truffle oil.  When the potatoes have finished baking gently toss this combination on them while they are still very hot.  Then sprinkle on a little salt.

5.  Serve with a Dipping Sauce

Mix together 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 clove garlic which has been put through a press, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.  Yum!

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