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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Burgundy Truffle Buckwheat Risotto

Life is always full of surprises.  There are those you more or less find natural, and those that are in reality, a completely unexpected surprise.  I find that in my life, there are exactly those types of human beings.  Those that are just there, present, and those that illuminate my life with thoughtfulness and pleasant company.  Those are the ones I consider family because they truly know how to make me tick.
I can count those ones on one hand.  Those are the ones that know I'll always have their back.
Last night, for the first time in my life, I held a fresh little black Burgundy Truffle between my little palms and my mind started racing with all the potential creations I could make with it.
Since it was fresh, it needed to be kept in a sealed container in the vegetable drawer of the fridge for no longer than 2 weeks.. which wasn't a problem because I knew I would be consuming it right away.
I read that it can be frozen as well (just in case).
I'm familiar with the aroma, for I've been gifted truffle infused oil before, but never had I before been able to taste a slice of pure truffle.  Surprisingly, it was very mild.  I thought it would invade my senses, but since it was cold and right out of the fridge, I could hardly taste it.  The intoxicating invasion comes a few minutes later.
After pondering and filtering all my truffle ideas, I settled on a risotto made with buckwheat bulgur and quinoa instead of arborio rice.  Why this choice?  Well, first of all, I dont have any arborio rice on hand.  I have a myriad other treasures in my "dry' cabinet, but the only rice other than basmati I ever have is whole wheat basmati or red rice.  
Not suitable for risotto.
I did have this other product that makes me tick, buckwheat bulgur.  Quinoa is a given for me in risotto substitutes, but here I thought the starchiness and nuttiness of the buckwheat would make for a wonderful creamy risotto.
Serves 4
1 1/4 cup buckwheat bulgur
1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 onion, chopped
2 turkey cutlets
3 cloves garlic, grated
1 quart hot chicken stock
fleur de sel
cracked black pepper
handful parmesan
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 black truffle, shaved (mine was 12g 0.4oz)
1.  Prepare the turkey cutlets by sprinkling them with some fleur de sel and black pepper, then rubbing one of the grated cloves garlic onto each side.  Place 1/2 Tbsp olive oil in a hot flat pan and cook the cutlets a few minutes on each side.  You want them to have a nice color.  Set aside, then slice.
2.  Prepare the risotto.  Heat the other 1/2 Tbsp of oil along with 1/2 Tbsp butter in the same pan.  Add the onions and cook until translucent.
3.  Add the quinoa and buckwheat and stir to coat.  Let toast a bit.
4.  Add a few ladles of the stock to level.  Reduce the heat and cook, stirring, until absorbed.  Repeat this a few more times.  You will probably not use the entire quart of stock.
5.  Right before you place your last ladle in, stir in the turkey slices.
6.  When the risotto is done absorbing, remove from heat and stir in the remaining butter, truffle shavings, and parmesan.  Add some ground black pepper as well.

I served mine with some lambs lettuce in a walnut oil-balsamic vinegar spritz.
This meal was so stimulating it's hard to describe.  At first, you search for the pungent truffle taste, but realize it is mild.  As you go, the nutty flavor of the buckwheat seems to enhance the truffle aroma.  When you finish you still somewhat search for the moment the truffle will slap you in the face.. and it doesn't.  Maybe these ones are milder than the ones from Périgord.  I don't really have a way to compare, since this is the first time I've had a fresh morale of divinity within my grasp.

10 minutes later, as you are cleaning up, your eyes roll back into your skull and you just stop what you're doing and enjoy the moment...

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