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The trouble with truffles

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Truffle risotto arancini

Is that you can never afford to eat enough of them.

The above photo is what became of some left over truffle risotto made at the Slow Food Perth food piazza stand during the 2010 Mundaring Truffle Festival, and comprise perhaps the most expensive arancini (recipe below) the world has ever seen.

The festival was a big weekend. I personally stirred 24 kg of truffle risotto into existence, and have a right arm the size of Popeye to prove it. I would have loved to be posting lots of other photos of amazing truffle goodness from the festival but spending most of my time in the Slow Food Perth tent I didn’t get to annoy as many people with my camera as I have in previous years. Idle hands and all that, it was probably for the best.

It was an interesting event anyway, with a who’s who of local Perthonality chefs bringing their kitchens up to the festival to wow ever growing crowds of gourmet food fans with their wares.

I enjoyed the variety of foods and some of the amazing things people has created (Emmanuelle Mollois’ truffle macaron for one) and it’s always interesting to see the looks on peoples faces when given the opportunity to try truffles for the first time. “So that’s what it tastes like!” is the common theme.

Personally that’s the best thing about the festival for me. Seeing people who would never have had a chance to try truffles presented them in a way that’s affordable and accessible, so they can make up their own minds as to whether they’re worth $3000 per kg or not.

Slow Food Perth did a fantastic job over the weekend. With a tent to educate kids about food (where apples originated, the history of wheat and how to make fresh pasta), and in the food tent Terra Madre delegates were cooking up a storm. Turning out pizza, mushrooms and porchetta from the wood fired oven and truffle risotto, polenta, and Blackwood Valley beef rolls with truffle butter.

Hopefully next years event can keep hold of the organic community roots that made it such a unique event on the Perth food calendar.

Truffle Arancini (or regular arancini)

First I should say that you should never make a risotto solely to turn it into arancini, unless you’re a caterer or a sadist (arguably the same thing) it’s just a waste of good risotto. If however, you are already making risotto, just use a little more rice and end up with more than you need, that way you can enjoy your risotto and have a guilt free path to arancini left overs the next day.

So to make truffle risotto arancini above you basically take a whole pile of cold truffle risotto, some small balls of bocconcini or fresh mozzarella, flatten a layer of risotto onto the palm of your hand, place a piece of cheese in the centre, and wrap the risotto around the cheese. Then roll it into a ball, dip it into a beaten egg, and roll it in breadcrumbs.

Shallow fry in olive oil or deep free in vegetable oil til golden brown, then drain onto absorbent paper and leave to rest so you don’t burn your mouth off when you try to eat one.

The result should be a delicious crunchy exterior and a cheesy truffle risotto interior that gently coats your mouth with goodness.

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4 Responses to “The trouble with truffles” (756 views)

  1. Masochistic or not, you should probably make some more risotto to even up that left arm. Summer is on its way and you know that means muscle shirt weather.

    August 14, 2010 at 9:27 pm Reply
    • Good call Conor. Tho my muscle shirt days are well and truly behind me (one of the downfalls of being a food blogger perhaps), there is much to be said for the therapeutic benefits of stirring a large pot of something for the better part of a day.

      If only I could find some method of cooking that involves doing stomach crunches repeatedly…

      August 14, 2010 at 10:23 pm Reply
  2. I learned a microwave-based risotto recipe from my dad that we use specifically for risotto pancakes. It’s hard not to gobble it all up though.

    August 29, 2010 at 11:26 pm Reply
  3. Your photo and subjects are exquisite. But it’s these images of uncooked rice that made my insides quiver for some reason. Simply too sexy for words. Like tiny grains of concentrated time, tumbling into their cauldron of fate… Am glad to have discovered your site from half-way around the world. Thanks Twitter.

    (ps – for doing stomach crunches while cooking, consider using the abs as a nutcraker when making your next pecan pie…)

    November 9, 2010 at 6:12 am Reply

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