Friday, January 01, 2010

God's Fungal Gift

My very good friend Justin invited me over Tuesday for what his wife Amy dubbed "Truffle Mania 2009". He had just purchased some fresh truffles from Italy that were nestled snugly in some arborio rice. I guess the easy way out would have been to just make a rich pot of truffle risotto but with Justin nothing is pedestrian when it comes to the culinary. We texted back & forth on some ideas & I settled on making a truffled mushroom souffle while he planned on whipping up 3 different courses. I knew that the wine had to match the earthy elegance that the truffles would imbue the dishes with. I settled on a 1997 Argyle Riesling Knudsen Vineyard Willamette Valley, OR ($-unavailable) & a 2007 Cooper Mountain 5 Elements Mountain Terroir Pinot Noir ($32.99).

Oregon wines have an earthy beauty that I think is just unattainable in pinot noir from most other New World regions. And the riesling is the hidden gem from this Pacific Northwest region. With 12 years in the bottle the Argyle expressed something I've never gotten except from Mosel riesling!

Since I had never made souffle before this Justin so graciously led me through the process. I first made a mushroom duxelle with fresh creminis, reconstituted dried porcini, wine, butter & shallot. That went into an egg custard with grated Comte cheese. We next whipped the egg white with a little cream of tartar. We then folded in some of the mushroom duxelle, shaved truffles & custard. The remaining duxelle went into the bottom of the souffle ramekin with shaved parmiggiano & butter.

Justin plated a fresh tomato salad with rice wine pickled fennel, sunflower sprouts, truffle oil & grated truffle. Amazing.

Up next was a miso soup with mirin-marinated tofu, collards & shaved truffle.

Then it was on to my souffle which I was very proud of if I do say so myself.

The Cooper Mountain was exactly what we needed. It had a plush texture that was nicely balanced & not too rich or heavy at all. The wine was elegant, earthy with hints of mushroom & truffle & a dried cherry note on the long, luscious finish. This pinot lit up all the sensors throughout my body.

I unfortunately don't have a good pic of either of the next courses but I will say that Justin's pasta carbonara with fresh noodles & shaved truffle made me not miss the bacon.....almost....The pasta was luscious & creamy with a beautiful sweet earthiness that was hauntingly delicious.

To cap it all off we had affogato which is rich vanilla ice cream with fresh espresso poured over. Perfect ending to a perfect meal. Thanks Justin & Amy!!


Samantha Dugan said...


Michael Hughes said...

Heaven. Seriously.

Unknown said...

I think I harvested some white truffles ... I am in the area and not sure where to take them to verify that is what they are / sell them! Help! reply to