Winter Truffles for Summer produce!

Australian chills have brought forth our black gems - gloriously fragrant, firm and rich!  It's my favorite time of year, when I get to excite US chefs by visiting them with the unexpectedly exoticly aromatic gems they are used to only seeing in the harsh winter months.  And, there's always some for me to play with - which I do - endlessly!  Peas, corn, peaches, wild mushrooms, fresh sheep's ricotto - hmmm

Here's my next venture and the recipes I'll be sampling for those fortunate enough to be attending the amazing SFChefs Grand Tasting event coming up August 3-5.

Australian Winter Truffles "Unearthed" at SF Chefs Grand Tasting

San Francisco, CA -- July 23, 2012 -- Attendees to this year’s Grand Tasting on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, August 4 and 5 from 12.30 pm, will be treated to their heart’s content of the earthily fragrant Black Perigord Truffles from Australia, paired with local summer produce at the Anolon Gourmet Cookware booth.

Dish prepared by Cal; Staminov, Bernardus Lodge
Carmel Valley
Diners have had the pleasure of this experience at northern Californian restaurants as chefs have been embracing the Southern Hemisphere truffle with their summer creations, including The French Laundry, Bouchon, Mina, Cyrus, Baume, L’Auberge Carmel and Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay. San Francisco consumers can also purchase Australian truffles at the Ferry Building Marketplace at Far West Fungi.

Australian born, now Yountville-based Chef Sally James will be using Anolon pans to whip up corn and pea soups topped with crème fraiche and lashings of truffles, as well as latkes and "pikelets" with heirloom tomato truffle concasse and truffle-cured New Zealand Mt. Cook Alpine Saikou Salmon.

Home made Mortadella and Truffle Pasta
from Acquerello in San Fanci
Chef James first introduced the truffles from the West Australian Wine and Truffle Company
to Bay Area chefs 7 years ago and their popularity has grown dramatically. The Wine & Truffle Company’s Manjimup Truffière produces the largest quantity of truffles from one property during the winter months, from late May to mid August, where it has been in production since the early 1990’s.

Not only will attendees be able to get their senses filled with truffle, truffle mustard and truffle honey, in addition, a select few Australian treats will also be on offer – Brookfarm Macadamia Oils with native scents, Murrumbooee Bush Pepper blends and Chili Jam & Bush Tomato Chutney.

For more information, interviews and Australian truffle samples, contact Sally James

at 707.363.4577 or

Pea and Sweet Corn Soup Shooters with Truffles

 Serves 4-6
The Garnish: 

1 tablespoon Truffle Mustard mixed with 3 tablespoons Crème Fraiche or sour cream
Finely sliced Australian black truffles

 For the Corn Shooter:

 Fresh kernels from 6 ears corn
2 tablespoons Brookfarm Premium Macadamia oil
2 green onions, white part only, chopped
1 stalk of lemongrass, white part finely chopped
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup buttermilk or cream
white pepper, sea salt and lemon juice to taste

 Place kernels from about 1 ear corn in a blender with 2-3 tablespoons of water (enough to make a soup consistency) and blend until smooth.  Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and lemongrass and sauté for 1-2 minutes or until starting to soften.  Add the remaining corn and cook, stirring for 1- 2 minutes.  Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer 4-5 minutes.  Using an immersion blender or blender, process the mixture until as smooth as desired. Return to the pan, add corn “juice” and buttermilk, reheat and season to taste. 

 For the Pea Shooter

 1/2 cup chicken broth or salted water
2 cups fresh peas
2 sprigs mint
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon medium dry sherry, optional
Murrumbooee Bush Pepper and Salt Blend

 Bring the broth to the boil in a saucepan and add the peas with one mint sprig. Simmer for 1 minute or until just tender but still bright green.  Drain, reserving the liquid, and transfer to a blender.  Add the milk, vinegar, sherry and a couple of fresh mint leaves to the peas and puree, adding a little of the reserved liquid if necessary to bring to a desired consistency.  Return to saucepan, season to taste and reheat. 

Pikelet and Latke Canapés with Cured Salmon and Truffles

Makes about 24 of each.

For the pikelets (Australian for mini pancakes), sift 1 cup self-raising flour, 1 teaspoon Murrumbooee Bush Pepper and Salt mix and ¼ teaspoon baking soda into a bowl.  Combine 1 egg, ½ cup milk, 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar and 2 teaspoons Brookfarm Macadamia oil and pour into center of flour.  Beat to a thick pouring consistency.  Heat more macadamia oil or butter in a nonstick pan over medium heat, add tablespoons of mix and cook until golden and bubbles appear on top, flip and cook a minute further, then transfer to paper towel lined tray

 For the Latkes, grate 1 large (about 1 pound) sweet potato. Mix with 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 eggs.  Heat oil in a nonstick pan and place heaped tablespoon sized mounds of mixture in pan, pressing down.  Cook 2 minutes each side, until golden, then transfer to a baking tray lined with towel while you make the remainder. 


Crème Fraiche mixed with truffle mustard, cured salmon (recipe follows), black Australian truffles.

 Murrumbooee Bush Tomato or Chili Jam. Crème Fraiche, Heirloom Tomato and Truffle Concasse

 To cure the salmon, place 1 fillet of salmon (bones removed, skin side down) on a tray lined with enough plastic wrap to cover all fish.  Gently warm ¼ cup truffle honey, and brush over the fish.  Combine ¼ cup sugar with ¼ cup truffle or sea salt, 2 tablespoons dill and 1 tablespoon peppercorns and sprinkle over the fish. Wrap completely in plastic and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, up to 2 days.  Wipe or rinse off cure, pat fish dry and slice as desired.  Keeps wrapped tightly for up to 5 days.

Chefs Notes:  The featured products in these recipes are:

The Wine and Truffle Company in Australia are proud to be supplying the world’s finest restaurants with fresh black truffles.  Its’ marvelous for chefs in America to be able to enjoy fresh truffles with summer produce.  They also produce the mustard, honey and salt used in these recipes.  For stockists contact,
Brookfarm Premium Grade Macadamia oil, available from William Sonoma, is wonderfully healthy oil with a very high monounsaturate content and a high smoke point too!

Saikou Mt Cook Alpine Salmon from the pure glacier waters streaming from New Zealand's pristine alps!

Murrumbooee Bush Pepper and Salt Mix, Bush Tomato Chutney and Chili Jam also at William Sonoma, bring you the native tastes of Australia.



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