A Scuffle With A Truffle


A Scuffle With A Truffle

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Fellow foodblogger, Nick, over at Imafoodblog, recently got his hands on some black truffles for this post. Apparently, he had more than his fill because he offered me one for the small price of one decent six pack of beer. I couldn’t pass that up!

Why hello!
Why hello!

Let me be completely honest: I was a bit scared of this thing. I had never cooked anything with an actual truffle (although I’ve used the oil before). I mean… I didn’t even really know what color they were supposed to be on the inside. All I knew is that they were supposed to have an interesting flavor (these were a bit more mild than most I believe) and that you were supposed to shave them thinly on stuff.

Truffles Two Ways

Serves 4
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Basic Egg Pasta

2 Cups Flour (I like Semolina)
2 Large eggs
3 Large egg yolks
Pinch of salt

Scallop Appetizer

1 Pound large scallops
Parmesean Cheese


To make the pasta:
1) Mix the salt and flour together with your hands and then make a well on the counter. Add the eggs and yolks in the center of this well.

2) Ideally you want to slowly incorporate the flour into the eggs with a fork until you have a nice even dough. Knead this for about 15 minutes

3) Cover this with a cloth or plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes. You could also refrigerate at this point for 24 hours or so.

4) Then it is time to roll. Assuming you don’t have a pasta press, get out your largest rolling pin and work slowly. Try to get it as thin as possible.

5) Cut the dough into whatever shapes you want. You could make ravioli or any number of other fun things.

6) To make linguini, flour well, roll up tightly and slice it as thin or thick as you would like. Use the sharpest knife you have to cut so the dough doesn’t press down and cuts smoothly.

7) Once it is all cut, toss it lightly to separate all the strands. Cook pasta 4 minutes in boiling salted water. When the pasta floats, pull it out and toss it in a few tablespoons of melted butter.

8) Shave some truffle, parm, and scallops right on top.

To make the scallops:
1) Make sure the scallops are dry before they hit the pan. Literally dry them off with a paper towel.

2) Get a good pan going over high heat and add enough butter to cover the bottom of the pan (probably 3 or 4 Tablespoons).

3) Once the butter is seething and starting to brown a bit, gently set the scallops in. Make sure they aren’t touching each other.

4) Leave them alone for about 3-4 minutes and then flip!

5) Cook them for the same amount of time on the other side and they are done!

6) When I took the scallops off, I topped them with a sliver of truffle, some parsley, and the butter drippings from the pan.

So while I wanted to bite into this guy like an apple, I figured it maybe wasn’t the best idea. I was at a loss as to what to actually do with this thing though. I ate a sliver of it raw (because it just cost me 6 beers). I pondered. I referred to my Flavor Bible. Eventually, I came up with an appetizer and dinner I wanted to make.

Appetizer: Seared Scallops with Truffle and Butter Sauce

While the truffle was intimidating me, the scallops were not. I feel pretty comfortable cooking them. I’ve made them a few times before and I think they are super-easy. Personally, I like sea scallops which weigh in, normally, at about 2 ounces a piece.

Make sure these guys are dry.
Make sure these guys are dry.

Cooking the scallops

If you’ve never cooked scallops before, it is easy. There are only two things to really remember assuming you are searing them in butter (which is the best way to cook them).

– Make sure your scallops are dry before they hit the pan. Literally dry them off with a paper towel.
– Once you put them in the pan, don’t touch them!

Get a good pan going over high heat and add enough butter to cover the bottom of the pan (probably 3 or 4 Tablespoons). Once the butter is seething and starting to brown a bit, gently set your scallops in. Make sure they aren’t touching each other.

Leave them alone for about 3-4 minutes and then flip!

Scallops are pretty easy to cook.
Scallops are pretty easy to cook.

Cook them for the same amount of time on the other side and they are done! If they are cooked properly, they will be very juicy. It is okay if they are still a little pink in the middle. They should be firm to the touch, but not tough at all. They should flake apart. If these descriptions aren’t helping you at all, just remember 3-4 minutes a side if you have about a 2 ounce scallop.

When I took the scallops off, I topped them with a sliver of truffle, some parsley, and the butter drippings from the pan.

How much in a restaurant?
How much in a restaurant?

Other ridiculous things you could sprinkle on scallops:
– Gold Leaf
– Saffron
– Julienned 100 dollar bills

If you were serving these at a party, you could stick them with a toothpick!

The redneck version!
The redneck version!

Dinner: Homemade Pasta with Truffles and Parm

I’m getting pretty decent at making homemade pasta without a pasta maker. It is a bit of work, but with practice it is very doable.

Mix your salt and flour and make a big well on the counter. Now my math-inclined readers may notice that the recipe above only adds up to 5 yolks, but my photo below has 6 yolks. That’s because my eggs were a bit smaller than normal, so I threw in an extra one. Just a judgment call. It ended up working out.

Pasta parts.
Pasta parts.

I’m not going to completely detail the pasta making process in this post. I made it the exact same way I made it in this post.

I think my dough had a bit better consistency this time around. I was able to roll it thinner and yet it was pretty strong.

Still a little thicker than I would like.
Still a little thicker than I would like.

I used the same rustic cutting process I used in the last post which basically involves rolling up the large sheet of dough and then slicing into strands.

I really like photographing pasta.
I really like photographing pasta.

This stuff cooks quickly. Just about 4 minutes in boiling salted water. When the pasta floats, I pulled it out and tossed it in a few tablespoons of melted butter I had in another pan.

After that, I just shaved some truffle and Parm right on top.

Pretty delicious.
Pretty delicious.

The pasta was light and fluffy and each little bite was accented with a little truffle flavor and some nice Parm. (Don’t use the cheap stuff on this dish).

At the end of the day though, I think if I had to pick just one dish to make with truffles it would be the scallops. Those were absolutely awesome.

As far as the truffle goes, I enjoyed it. I’m not sure I would buy one at market prices, but I can see how it could be nice once in awhile. If however a friend of yours ever offers you one for basically nothing, don’t pass up the opportunity!

31 Responses to “A Scuffle With A Truffle” Leave a comment

  1. Dude, color me jealous! The closest I've gotten to truffles, well besides the restaurant I work at is the truffle salt I picked up a while back at the Portland Farmers Market.

    So here is my suggestion. Shave a couple slices, dice it fine – get an air tight container. Get some good salt, either Sel Gris, Fleur De Sel or your favorite salt – mix in the minced truffle and BOOM! more bang for your buck with that truffle.

  2. Those scallops look AWESOME. A note to the wise: use clarified butter to sear them for maximum searing prowess, I also probably would've added some finely minced truffles to the butter/sauce (after taking it off the heat).

    These were mild, as are most of the summer varieties. When the white Alba ones roll in this winter you'll be able to smell it at your house when I shave it at mine. Admittedly though, they are 4X-10X as expensive.

    You did not disappoint!

  3. Mmm truffles… I've never had real ones to work with either, just the oil and salt. So envious. Those scallops make me wish I had an occasion for fancy cooking tonight!

    Also: "Julienned hundred dollar bills" – HA! Probably not as tasty as truffles though. And you'd need a REALLY sharp knife!

  4. Nicely done. We made a cheesy creamy risotto with some of ours. I love the scallops, we may have to try that one out.

  5. Yum. I hope that you make me something with julienned hundred dollar bills that sounds delicious soon. I'd come back to the states for that!! Oh wait, I am coming back anyway so you should I know I'd also settle for gold leaf on something… Just so you know: I heart your sense of humor.

  6. I was in a restaurant once and asked the waiter what "truffle oil" tasted like (the menu had some appetizer sprinkled with truffle oil or something). He said "I will bring you some!" and he came back from the kitchen with some of the oil on a plate. I thought he was going to let us dip our bread in it or something to get a taste, but he just passed it under our noses for a hot second and that was the closest we ever got ; p (it smelled really strong though).

  7. Truffle oil is pretty strong stuff. The salt is a good idea. I should've done that.

    Seriously though. The scallops! Very good.

  8. It should be noted that the truffle salts are all good, but for the VAST majority of truffle oils are NOT MADE FROM TRUFFLES at all. Instead they are made with the irresistibly sexy sounding thioethers chemical compounds (2,4-Dithiapentane) mixed with oil(s).

    Say yes to truffle salts (except the cheapest ones which are made from salt flavored with the above) and NAY! to truffle oils (except the ones that are expensive enough for you to say, "Jeez, for this price I might as well just buy some effing truffles" when you see them).

  9. I've never made scallops before but are planning too so I was very happy to see you make them. Also the pasta looked so easy to make. I guess I thought all pasta was made with a pasta make! I have to try this! Thanks!!

  10. "Buying" a truffle for just a six pack, is one of those rare occasions in life where mother luck is just smiling down on you!!! Well done, you used it well. Both dishes are a feast to look at and I am sure it was sublime!!

  11. The scallop looks wonderful! I just got a big chunk of black truffle and I decided to use your recipe. This will be my first time to cook truffle and I’m not so confident. Hope I can cook some beautiful dishes as yours! :)

  12. Somebody actually did give me a truffle! I tried your pasta recipe and have just finished eating — delicious. Tonight scrambled eggs with truffle. However, although I would order this in a restaurant, I don’t think I’d ever buy one and, yes, I’m writing from Italy.

    1. Nice Lynn! Lucky you. I’m kind of in the same boat. I really like them as gifts or on special occasions but I can’t really see myself buying one to use at home regularly. ;)

  13. Gonna make you all super jealous…I live in SW France, home of the black truffle, and it’s truffle season right now. Our weekly marche des truffes is made up of all the local truffle pickers selling their wares direct and you cannot believe the excitement and debate at each event…let alone the heavenly smell. Truffle omelette on Monday and gonna try your pasta idea for lunch today…scrummy!

  14. My dear friend went truffle hunting today with a dog and they scored about 2 pounds here in Washington. He gave me one! It’s huge! I’m so glad I found your recommendations…whatever shall we have for dinner!

  15. I just came back from the Basque Region of Spain with 4 jars of truffles. Two contain the shriveled up little things in dark juice of some kind, one jar has a thick slice of truffle in oil and the 4 th jar is like a sauce of diced up truffles (10%) along with other mushroom bits and oil ( almost looks like pesto – but black rather than green).

    I am struggling to find recipes. I want to make truffle butter, truffle salt, truffle oil, as well as understanding how to store and cook with what I bought.

    Can anyone offer suggestions or point me elsewhere? Thanks so much!

    Sandra from San Diego.

  16. Thank you so much for the amazing scallops recipe. All previous scallop attempts were rubbery disasters and these were perfection!

    1. Hey Didi! So glad you liked them! This is still the method i use to make scallops when I can find them (minus the truffle b/c that’s a rare treat). Thanks for the comment!

  17. So your complete use of truffles was just shaving them on top of your dishes…? I guess you only paid a 6 packs worth, so you might as well completely waste the majority. Terrible info.

    1. I read this all again and I’m still very confused. All you speak of is shaving or slicing truffle onto the dish…how are you transforming this incredible ingredient whatsoever?

      1. I think sometimes the best ingredients are left plain. Why would you want to transform something so good? It’s pretty common to shave truffles onto a finished dish. Also though, in my defense, I wrote this article seven years ago when I was just learning to cook. It was the first time I had ever used an actual truffle… ;)

  18. Just picked up three blacks in Spain. I am going to try the recipe of scallops wither a slice of truffle, bon truffle! I will post the results.
    If it is fab, another trip to Spain might be in order!

  19. The Worlds Best Husband just brought me one for an early Christmas gift! Will be making your scallop recipe for Christmas Eve for the two of us. Cannot wait! Thanks in advance for such a straightforward recioe!

  20. I was pretty skeptical about the scallop recipe, but I tried it as is and found it a bit disappointing. It was bland, and the truffle was just not exciting. So I redid it a bit. I salted the scallops before searing them, and then after removing them from the pan I sauteed the truffle in the butter (ghee, actually), then topped each scallop with truffle and fresh parsley, then drizzled on the butter. I tried the truffle both minced and sliced, and it made no real difference. But it was a great idea for using a truffle in a way that doesn’t revolve around rice or pasta, which aren’t part of our diet. Thanks!

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