Mushroom kitchen - Mushroom details

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Truffles on a Serviette
Truffles any of the good edible truffles can be used
White wine
Chicken stock
Bacon slices
Chopped parsley, thyme, bayleaf

Serve one truffle per person

Wash the truffles very carefully, using only fresh ones that are softish to the touch. Line a pan, which has a good, tight lid with bacon slices, then place the truffles on top. Sprinkle with the herbs, barely cover with a half and half mixture of white wine and chicken stock, then lay a buttered paper over the top. Stew gently for 1 to 1 hours, topping up the wine and stock as needed. Drain and serve hot in a folded serviette.
Mrs Beeton has this to say about truffles in her Book of Household Management, 1861. `When the peasantry go to gather truffles, they take a pig with them to scent out the spot where they grow. When that is found, the pig turns up the surface with the snout, and the men then dig until they find the truffles. Good truffles are easily distinguished by their agreeable perfume; they should be light in proportion to their size, and elastic when pressed by the finger. To have them in perfection, they should be quite fresh as their aroma is considerably diminished by any conserving process.'

The fact is that the strong aroma of truffles contains the highest content of pheromone of any plant scent. Pheromone is the scent which animals give off as a sexual stimulant and the specific pheromone that truffles exude is practically the same as that given off by pigs in season and similar to that given off by dogs. It is for this reason that both pigs and dogs can be used to scent out truffles. Perhaps this also helps explain the high value that man places on truffles -could they have been a traditional aphrodisiac?

Raw, fresh truffles have a delicious, nutty flavour and a distinct, incredibly strong smell. If you keep a truffle with a bowl of eggs overnight, the eggs will begin to take on some of their flavour. Very fine slices cut with the slicing blade on a grater can be added to many prepared dishes: omelettes -truffles have a real affinity with eggs; salads -the nutty, mushroomy touch plus the strong aroma give real distinction; open sandwiches or smorgasbord of many kinds - in particular, those with pate - are rendered spectacular with just the finest of fresh truffle slices.

Author: Mrs Beeton

Origin: This classic recipe has been adapted from Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, 1861. Normally it would be made with Perigord or summer truffles but white or red truffles can be used.

Alternative mushrooms
Tuber aestivum
Tuber magnatum
Tuber melanosporum

Truffles en croute.jpg

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