RISOTTO WITH WHITE TRUFFLES

DECADENT?  DEFINITELY.  SELF-INDULGENT?  INDUBITABLY.  GLUTTONOUS?  GUILTY AS CHARGED.  BUT IRRESISTIBLE.  WHITE TRUFFLES FROM ALBA, TARTUFO BIANCO.  THEY APPEAR IN LATE OCTOBER AND THE SEASON LASTS THROUGH MID-DECEMBER.  THERE IS NOTHING COMPARABLE. WHITE TRUFFLES, UNLIKE THEIR POOR COUSINS, GIVE OFF AN UNMISTAKEABLE NOTE OF GREEN GARLIC.  I RARELY BUY THEM BECAUSE A) THEY COST ABOUT $130 AN OUNCE, AND B) THEIR PUNGENT UMAMI FADES QUICKLY.  BUT EPICURUS GOURMET (LOCATED IN A DRAB INDUSTRIAL MALL ON SHERMAN WAY) BUYS THEM TO ORDER, SO THEY ARE NOT SITTING AROUND PACKED IN RICE IN A FRIDGE.  THE ONE I BOUGHT WEIGHED A BIT SHORT OF AN OUNCE.  JUST ENOUGH FOR THE MOST LUXURIOUS OF RISOTTOS AND MORE THAN ENOUGH FOR TWO.  YOU CAN SHAVE THEM OVER PASTA OR AN OMELET, BUT RISOTTO WITH ITS CREAMY TEXTURE IS, FOR ME, THEIR IDEAL HOME.  SINCE THERE ARE FEW INGREDIENTS, EACH SHOULD BE OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY -- HOMEMADE CHICKEN STOCK, THE BEST BUTTER, THE BEST RICE, AND THE BEST PARMESAN CHEESE.  RISOTTO CON TARTUFO BIANCO DESERVES NO LESS.  

 1 oz WHITE TRUFFLE
 1 LARGE SHALLOT
 ½ cup DRY WHITE WINE
 ¾ cup RISOTTO RICE
 4 cups HOMEMADE CHICKEN STOCK
 BEURRE DE BARATTE OR ANY HIGH-QUALITY SALT BUTTER
 ½ cup PARMESAN CHEESE
 FRESH CHIVES

1

BRING THE STOCK TO A LOW SIMMER ON TOP OF THE STOVE.

PEEL AND MINCE THE SHALLOT.

MELT 2 TBSPS BUTTER WITH 1 TBSP OF OLIVE OIL IN A LARGE SAUCEPAN, PREFERABLY ONE WITH CURVED SIDES.

ADD THE MINCED SHALLOT AND COOK ON A LOW FLAME FOR A MINUTE OR TWO. THE SHALLOT SHOULD BE SOFT BUT NOT BROWNED.

GRATE 1/2 CUP OF PARMESAN CHEESE.

STIR IN THE RICE. SEASON WITH SALT AND WHITE PEPPER. STIR FOR A MINUTE, THEN ADD 1/2 CUP OF WHITE WINE. CONTINUE TO STIR UNTIL THE RICE HAS ABSORBED THE WINE.

POUR IN ABOUT 1 CUP OF THE SIMMERING STOCK. COOK, STIRRING FREQUENTLY. (I USE A WOODEN FORK WHICH SEPARATES THE GRAINS BUT A WOODEN SPOON WILL DO NICELY.)

CONTINUE ADDING STOCK ABOUT A CUP AT A TIME, STIRRING, UNTIL THE RICE IS AL DENTE AND THE STILL LIQUIDY.

JUST BEFORE THE RICE IS DONE, THINLY SHAVE THE TRUFFLE WITH A VERY SHARP, THIN-BLADED KNIFE. (I USED A JAPANESE CLEAVER.)

WHEN THE RICE IS DONE, TURN OFF THE HEAT AND QUICKLY STIR IN THE CHEESE AND ABOUT 2 TBSPS OF BUTTER. IF THE RISOTTO HAS DRIED OUT TOO MUCH, ADD A BIT MORE STOCK.

SPOON RISOTTO INTO TWO WARM SOUP BOWLS.

SCATTER WITH TRUFFLES AND INHALE THE AROMA. SCATTER WITH CHOPPED CHIVES.

SERVES TWO

Ingredients

 1 oz WHITE TRUFFLE
 1 LARGE SHALLOT
 ½ cup DRY WHITE WINE
 ¾ cup RISOTTO RICE
 4 cups HOMEMADE CHICKEN STOCK
 BEURRE DE BARATTE OR ANY HIGH-QUALITY SALT BUTTER
 ½ cup PARMESAN CHEESE
 FRESH CHIVES

Directions

1

BRING THE STOCK TO A LOW SIMMER ON TOP OF THE STOVE.

PEEL AND MINCE THE SHALLOT.

MELT 2 TBSPS BUTTER WITH 1 TBSP OF OLIVE OIL IN A LARGE SAUCEPAN, PREFERABLY ONE WITH CURVED SIDES.

ADD THE MINCED SHALLOT AND COOK ON A LOW FLAME FOR A MINUTE OR TWO. THE SHALLOT SHOULD BE SOFT BUT NOT BROWNED.

GRATE 1/2 CUP OF PARMESAN CHEESE.

STIR IN THE RICE. SEASON WITH SALT AND WHITE PEPPER. STIR FOR A MINUTE, THEN ADD 1/2 CUP OF WHITE WINE. CONTINUE TO STIR UNTIL THE RICE HAS ABSORBED THE WINE.

POUR IN ABOUT 1 CUP OF THE SIMMERING STOCK. COOK, STIRRING FREQUENTLY. (I USE A WOODEN FORK WHICH SEPARATES THE GRAINS BUT A WOODEN SPOON WILL DO NICELY.)

CONTINUE ADDING STOCK ABOUT A CUP AT A TIME, STIRRING, UNTIL THE RICE IS AL DENTE AND THE STILL LIQUIDY.

JUST BEFORE THE RICE IS DONE, THINLY SHAVE THE TRUFFLE WITH A VERY SHARP, THIN-BLADED KNIFE. (I USED A JAPANESE CLEAVER.)

WHEN THE RICE IS DONE, TURN OFF THE HEAT AND QUICKLY STIR IN THE CHEESE AND ABOUT 2 TBSPS OF BUTTER. IF THE RISOTTO HAS DRIED OUT TOO MUCH, ADD A BIT MORE STOCK.

SPOON RISOTTO INTO TWO WARM SOUP BOWLS.

SCATTER WITH TRUFFLES AND INHALE THE AROMA. SCATTER WITH CHOPPED CHIVES.

SERVES TWO

RISOTTO WITH WHITE TRUFFLES
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