White truffle extravaganza

I am a mushroom fanatic–as Adam can attest, it’s easy for me obsess about mushrooms–seeking out restaurants with mushroom-based dishes or returning to restaurants with impressive dishes that feature mushrooms.  With the arrival of fall this year, I began hankering for mushrooms since they are a seasonal specialty.  We toyed with the idea of going to a white mushroom dinner at a restaurant downtown but ended up not going because I was too lazy to make the trek downtown.  I thought I’d get my mushroom fix when I visited my brother but, save for a few mushrooms in a chicken dish he ordered, I didn’t consume any.  When I read that Eataly was having a $5/gram white truffle day, I thought I’d take advantage of the deal and trekked down to Eataly to buy one.  Unfortunately, it hadn’t occured to me that truffle might not weigh under 5 grams and when I got to the counter, the truffles they were pulling out cost around $80.  I asked for their smallest truffle and recieved a 10 gramer which still came out just shy of $60.  The price definitely gave me pause about purchasing it but I thought, when am I going to buy a truffle again, gulped, and took out my credit card.

I decided to make a pasta dish and a risotto dish with the truffle and Adam dug up a good risotto recipe on Epicurious and I settled on making gnudi in a cream sauce for the pasta dish.  Of course, buying a truffle required other purchases like a truffle shaver and ingredients to make the entrees including truffle butter and truffle oil which are fairly pricey.

I decided to start with the gnudi dish and made the ‘dough’ the day before and rolled out the gnudi this morning.

I improvised the sauce, borrowing from different recipes and ended up combining chicken broth, cream, truffle butter and parmesan cheese.  This is the end result–pretty tasty!

I got a late start on the risotto dish, not realizing that in addition to all the chopping required, I would have to boil the leeks in cream and then let it refrigerate for a bit and roast mushrooms and onions and allow these things to cool.  Cooking risotto is also fairly labor intensive since it requires frequent attention and additional broth.  But, in the end it was worth it.  The risotto came out really well–I had never thought that leeks would make a good ingredient in risotto but it worked and the combination of onions, leeks, cheese, and shiitake mushrooms created an interesting flavor layering effect.  And the best thing is–I still have some of the truffle left!

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