Truffles are one most expensive and luxurious mushrooms out there. They have been consumed and considered a delicacy since ancient Greek times.
There are two types of truffles, white and black.
Black truffles are grown in France around oak tree roots. The black truffle is the more expensive of the truffle variety. Its flavor and essence is so strong that it will penetrate eggshells if stored together and will affect the taste of eggs. It has an earthy stronger flavor than the white and is used mostly for sauces and pates.
White truffles grow in Northern Italy and cultivates under ground, so they usually take on the characteristics of the soil they are grown in. White truffles have a more delicate flavor and garlicky aroma. They are usually eaten raw and shaved over dishes.
Both types of truffles taste and smell are very pungent and musky. And it is said they stimulate and sensitize the skin. The truffle is rare, and searched for my female pigs or dogs. The use of female pigs is is due to a chemical property in the mushroom that imitates male pheromones of pigs. So I guess even pigs find truffles an aphrodisiac!
Given its phallic shape, asparagus is frequently enjoyed as an aphrodisiac food. Feed your lover boiled or steamed spears for a sensuous experience. Some suggests “eating asparagus for three days for the most powerful affect”. There are two types of asparagus today, white and green.
White Asparagus, Green Asparagus and Purple Asparagus
White asparagus is white because of the process of etiolation (the deprivation of light). Dirt is kept mounded around the emerging stalk, depriving it of light. The plant cannot produce chlorophyll without the sunlight, so there is no green color to the stalks.
White asparagus is considered to be slightly milder in flavor and a bit more tender than green asparagus.
Purple asparagus is different to green and white asparagus. The purple color comes from the high levels of anthocyanins (potent antioxidants) in the spears. It has a lower fiber content than white or green asparagus, making it more tender and the whole spear can be eaten from tip to butt. Purple asparagus tend to be sweeter and thicker than green or white asparagus. Fresh purple asparagus has a deeply fruity flavor.
All varieties and colors may be used interchangeably in recipes.
Truffle scented asparagus with hollandaise sauce
Makes 1/2 cup of sauce
2 egg yolks
1/2 TBLS fresh lemon juice
4 TBLS unsalted butter, melted
1 dash of ground cayenne pepper
1 pinch of sea salt
Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl and until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler,) the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt. Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use for the eggs benedict. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.
Truffle scented asparagus recipe
1 bunch of asparagus, stalk ends cut off where color starts to lighten
2-3 TBLS sea salt
Ice bath (ice and cold water)
1 ½ TBLS truffle oil (white oil or black truffle oil)
Salt and pepper to taste
Put a medium sized pot of sea salt and water on the stove and bring to a nice soft boil. Take asparagus and shave off outer skin towards the stalk end if asparagus is the really thick variety (it is very tough and stringy and not that pleasant to eat). Boil asparagus for about 45 seconds, 30 if the stalks are really thin and 1 minute if the stalks are very thick. Immediately take them out of the boiling pot and place into the ice bath. Let the asparagus cool all the way through and take out of the ice bath and gently pat dry with paper towels. Set aside. Take a frying pan and heat over medium high heat. Put the pine nuts in pan and keep them circulating over the heat until they begin to brown, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Next take the asparagus and place in a bowl. Toss with 1 TBLS of the truffle oil and sprinkle a little salt and pepper to taste. Place asparagus on a plate and pour the hollandaise sauce gently over the asparagus. Sprinkle pine nuts over sauce and drizzle remaining truffle oil over all. Garnish with another dash of cayenne if you want. Serve and enjoy!!