Category Archives: Expensive

Truffled eggs, Tummyrumble Style

truffleTruffles. What are they exactly? I know they’re a fungus, but how many of us have actually had a real truffle? Not many, I’m sure. So in the interests of my dear readers I recently bought a piece of actual truffle to get to the bottom of the mystery, what is a truffle and are they really worthy of all the hoo-haa?

One Saturday afternoon walking past the Black Bull Butchery in Potts Point on my way to the Kings Cross Organic Markets I notice a sign: “Australian Truffles available here” in a scrawl on a piece of cardboard in the front window. I walk in and it’s a riot of people jostling for position in front of the main counter. I make my way to a corner looking for the truffles. I spot a little bag on a tray looking so forlorn. The last piece of truffle left. 5.30 grams of Australian Black Truffle:
truffle_packet

As you can see, an expensive little morsel, working out to approximately $489.62 per 100grams. I can’t wait to get it home and finally smell the smell that everyone comments upon, apparently sex and stinky socks.

According to Truffles Australis:

The French Black Truffle is the fruiting body of the fungus Tuber Melanosporum that forms a symbiotic relationship with the roots of oak or hazel trees on which it grows. The edible portion, the truffle, is harvested in winter once it has matured and is emitting the sweet perfume it’s renowned for.

So we know that it’s a fungus and we know that it got a funky smell. It’s moment like these I wish we had smell-o-vision (not minties). When I finally get home and get to open it, things unknown suddenly make sense. What do I mean by that? All those times I’d eaten things with “truffle oil” or stuff of that nature, I now know what that element was. That unknown soft thing that floats around your mouth that is subtle and mild. A revelation in smell. Sex is right, or also a really smelly man who hasn’t bathed in some time..sweet, but stinky!

Yet what to do with it? Eggs. Simple scrambled eggs. I had some beautiful eggs perfect the job. I popped them in a jar with the truffle and left them overnight on my first attempt. Second attempt I left them for about 3 nights, two days. Leave them longer to get more of the delicate aroma to seep through the porous shell of the egg.

truffle_jar

I don’t eat scrambled eggs often.  No reason in particular, I just prefer poached (not that I’ve ever really successfully poached an egg!). But I do make a pretty mean scrambled egg. The key is not to overcook, and to be very gentle. Crack your truffled eggs in a bowl, with some full cream milk, or cream, a little pepper, no salt yet, and mix to combine. Heat a large heavy based fry pan with some good butter. When the butter foams, it’s good to go.

Pour your eggs into the pan and very gently draw through from the edges to the centre with a wooden spoon. As you do this, the uncooked egg should fill the gaps to gently cook. It should be curd like and glistening, not rubbery or foam like.

truffle_scrambled

Once it’s done take off the heat pronto, you don’t want it to keep cooking…Make sure you have some super good sourdough on hand ready to toast. Don’t be like me and cut your hand open while hacking through my Brasserie Bread Reem-made epi roll! (if you want to see a picture of my cut hand click here but careful there’s blood!)

Toast your bread, pile your eggs on a plate, then gently grate or thinly slice your truffle over your eggs. Voila! Insanely luxe, scrambled eggs with truffles.

truffle_breaky

Verdict on the truffles: I was surprised that the flavour did not anywhere near match the intensity of the aroma. But it gave the eggs a softness that’s hard to describe. I can now successfully sniff out truffle oil, and think I could probably tell the difference between synthetic truffle oil and the real thing.

Is it worth the dollars? Maybe for a special occasion at home, but keep it simple. Don’t try anything complex. The flavour is so subtle you don’t want to be overpowering it at any stage or it’s simply a waste of money.

Truffles, yes. Get them now while they’re in season.

York & Albany, London

In this special guest post, my desk buddy Skye, who has just returned home from an 8 week jaunt through South America, finishing up in Edinburgh and London,{read about her adventures over here} takes us through her delicious, “last day on holiday” lunch at York & Albany. Enjoy!

skyeWhen I had decided that I was going to London to finish of my huge overseas trip, the first thing I thought of was doing a posh hotel and food to match. Unfortunately, I cancelled the posh hotel in Notting Hill, settling for a grubby hostel in Russell Square, but I did make a booking at York and Albany, one of Gordon Ramsay’s numerous restaurants in London. Situated between hippy Camdentown and Pretentious Primrose Hill, I thought I had it all wrong, but I guess its in just the right position for its clientele.

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Forty One, Sydney

dietmarForty One. Famous for the views from atop Chifley Tower, and head chef Dietmar Sawyere. After Taste of Sydney I was super keen to get to Forty One, seeing as it wasn’t as far as Berowra Waters Inn!

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Pony, The Rocks

pony_menu1Hen’s Night. Bachelorette party. Bridal Shower. All terms to describe the coming together of ladies to celebrate the imminent marriage of the Hen. It usually involves copious amounts of alcohol, silly games, and sillier costumes. Luckily for me, and everyone else, the Hen in question is one of the classiest ladies you will ever meet, so the standard Hen’s Night debauchery was totally off the menu. Thank god. What did we do instead? We drank great wine and ate beautiful food.

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Est Restaurant

estsignMarch into Merivale, the recession busting promotion that has been running offering $33 meals, is almost over and I only managed one visit! But I made sure it was to the best: Est Restaurant…awarded three hats by the SMH Good Food Awards, and with Peter Doyle at the helm it is consistently reviewed as one of the best restaurants in Sydney.
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Balthazar Restaurant + Bar, Perth

balthazarext

While we were in Perth, we frequented close by cafe/bar Tiger, Tiger to steal their internet and get restaurant recommendations. One of their recommendations was Balthazar in the CBD.

So one Saturday evening, after a most informative and entertaining walking tour around the city, we headed down towards the Swan River for dinner. I had actually made a booking earlier in the day, but as it was Saturday night and last minute we were offered either a wait in the bar until a table becomes available or just eat in the bar. We thought we’d wait and see when we got there.

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