Making butter better

Avid readers — and particularly those with long memories and a food obsession — may remember my posting about our Christmas Day lunch at the wonderful restaurant Le Gindreau, in Saint-Médard, about an hour south of Daglan.

The post was called “Our (Michelin) starred Christmas,” and it appeared on December 29, 2016. In it, you might also remember, I raved about the butter in which tiny pieces of black truffle had been blended. The posting concluded with this:

Interestingly, for all that wonderful food, the one dish that I loved the most was not even a “major” plate — it was the serving of butter that came with the offerings of fresh-baked bread and rolls. Into the butter was incorporated an amazing amount of finely minced black truffles, and I think I could have eaten it until I exploded. Fortunately, I did not.

You can almost guess what happened next: My wife Jan and I got talking about how we might replicate that butter chez nous, if we could just get our hands on a fresh black truffle. And it seems we have succeeded.

There was a bit of luck involved. Yesterday morning, Jan had gone to the weekly market in the neighbouring village of Cénac to buy a few things, including pieces of duck for making soup. It turned out that the Duck Man had some fresh black truffles for sale, so Jan bought a very nice one — a bit larger than a walnut, I’d say — for 25 euros.

The next question was how to mince the truffle, because the pieces incorporated into the butter at Le Gindreau were incredibly small. Jan’s clever solution was to grate the truffle over softened butter, in a large bowl. For the grating tool, she used our Microplane, and it worked beautifully. Once the whole truffle had been grated, Jan simply folded the tiny pieces throughout the butter.

To try it out, we each had a cracker with some of the truffle butter on it. Delicious!

Then Jan realized that the sides of the mixing bowl were coated in a thin layer of truffle butter, so she used the bowl to make us some truffle-flavoured scrambled eggs for dinner.

Then at today’s lunch, she mixed truffle butter into the mashed potatoes we had alongside our veal chops.

As for the rest, it’s been scooped into small portions and frozen.

I suppose the question is: Well, was it worth the 25 euros? And my answer would be: Yes.

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4 Responses to Making butter better

  1. Sounds yummy 😍😍

  2. Caitlin says:

    True truffle butter, with the “melanosporum,” the true Black Perigord Truffle, is a fantastic treat. Sadly, what’s marketed in its place in so many North American markets and restaurants, is a sad substitute. Those of us lucky enough to have spent time in the Perigord have tasted the difference between the real thing, and the lesser replicas. The summertime visitors rave about having had a truffle omelet for lunch, and thinking they’ve had such a wonderful bargain gourmet experience, not understanding that the summer truffle has only a faint resemblance to its big brother. Summer truffles have a pleasant, mushroomy aroma and are a nice addition to many dishes, but the aroma is fleeting and the flavor nearly non-existent.
    You are so fortunate to be able to enjoy the real thing.

    • loren24250 says:

      Thanks for all that, Caitlin. Very astute and knowledgeable, as I expect from you! I have to say that the butter at Le Gindreau was so tasty, so delicious, that it more or less overwhelmed all the other truffle “treats” I’ve had. In fact, I have often found that truffle slices or “shavings” over various dishes don’t really do much for me. Maybe in the past, I’ve been served summer truffles, instead of the real deal. Anyway, thanks again. Hope that you’re loving life back in California. Cheers, Loren

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