Hungry for something different for breakfast? Well here we eat this strictly for lunch or dinner, but hey, we won’t judge. This scramble is something special because it has a delightfully new, fresh taste. That is, for me anyway, because I, until yesterday, was a stranger to cooking with trufa – truffle. I had heard the terms, truffle oil and truffle butter, and it always seemed quite fancy and exotic, but I had no idea what it really was. I had seen a documentary on truffles once, something about only a special breed of pigs can dig them up from underground, or something just as crazy, but I was still pretty clueless. Jorge kept asking, ‘but why would you put chocolate in a scramble?’. Clearly the only truffles he was familiar with were the sweet, melt-in-your-mouth truffles that we splurge on around the holidays.
Later after doing some research on truffles, I found that they are a subterranean Ascomycete fungus (otherwise known as a type of mushroom), and actually considered by many famous chefs as the ‘diamond of the kitchen’!! Who knew I was missing out on so much but not using them in my cooking before now?! Being subterranean, truffles must be located underground as well as dug up. There is a special breed of pigs – truffle hogs- that have an innate ability to sniff out the truffles, but producers have hard time getting the truffles away from the hogs once they are found as the hogs have a tendency to eat them! So, now they are training dogs as well, who have no interest in actually eating the valuable truffles! Oh, what you can learn on the Internet, right?!
In the realm of edible truffles (watch out as some breeds can be poisonous!), the black truffle (Tuber melanosporum) from the south of France and the white truffle (Tuber magnatum) from Italy are the most desired. And because of their popularity and prestige, these fungi are considered among the most expensive of the world’s natural foods! When I came across this recipe in my new favorite cookbook, ‘Recetas básicas de cocina española’, it noted that both fresh or preserved truffles could be used. Since we are nowhere near truffle season, mostly fall-winter, I had to visit one of my favorite tienda de conservas – shop of canned & preserved foods – in the city center to find some preserved truffles to try out this recipe. And although the recipe turned out great, I will definitely be on the lookout come September to get my hands on some fresh truffles as well so I can experiment with the two different flavors!
So, let’s get to the recipe!
This recipe for revueto de champi y trufa – Truffle & Mushroom Scramble – will feed 2-3 people easily.
6 eggs (whisked together) **I only used 5 eggs because there are only two of us and it was plenty.
15 grams (1/2 oz) of black truffle, fresh or bottled/canned (finely chopped) – As you can see in the pictures I used one small piece about the size of my thumb nail. **If you use canned/bottled truffle, reserve the juice as you can pour a bit of it into the scramble as well.
200 grams (3.5 cups) of fresh whole mushrooms (cleaned and roughly chopped) ** Feel free to use a variety of mushrooms. It’s not mushroom season here (in May) so I was a bit limited, but I will be sure to try this recipe again in the fall when there is an abundance of variety and I’m sure I will have great results!
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (or 2 if you don’t want to use butter)
1 garlic clove (minced)
30 grams (2 tablespoons) of butter **We don’t usually have butter in the house, so I used extra virgin olive oil instead – use whichever you feel more comfortable with.
sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
fresh crusty baguette (to serve on the side)
Let’s start with the mushrooms. Add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to a medium-sized pan and let heat up at medium high heat for 30 seconds. Add mushrooms (roughly chopped) to the pan and let cook for 3 minutes, stirring every so often. Add a dash of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to the mushrooms as they cook.
After 3 minutes, add the minced garlic (at the same time you can add a splash (about 5-6 drops) of the truffle liquid if you used bottled/canned truffles). Cook for 1 minute while stirring – to ensure the garlic doesn’t burn – and then remove the pan from the stove.
As to not dirty too many dishes, I placed the mushrooms in a small dish and covered with aluminum foil so they wouldn’t get cold, and used the same pan for the next step.
So, on to the eggs. In a medium-sized pan, on low heat, add butter (or 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil) to the pan until melted and add whisked eggs. Use a very low heat as this allows for the eggs to have a creamy texture.
As the eggs begin to thicken (about 2-3 minute with more or less constant stirring), add the mushroom mixture as well as 3/4 of the diced truffle to the eggs and continue to stir until the scramble is of your desired consistency. (Some like eggs a bit more runny, others more done.)
Remove from fire and separate onto plates, grate the remaining truffle onto the top of the scramble and serve with a side of fresh, crusty baguette. Yum!
**Being American, I know we are usually accustomed to topping off our scrambles with some cheese (here they would probably scoff at you). But I think a nice mild goat cheese added in right at the end to warm it up or topped with a bit of fresh grated parmesan would do the trick! ;) Enjoy!
A handy little tip if you’re cooking with European/American recipes and you’re not sure of the exact measurements you should use…I found a great online converter that really helps. Try it out!