Thursday, February 11, 2016

NC Truffle Dinner

Is there such a thing as too many truffles in one sitting? I did the research for you readers, and the answer is no. I'm talking about the truffle mushrooms, one of those special ingredients that when I see them listed on a menu, my eyes immediately dart to that dish. Truffles are exotic, rare, and...right in our backyard? Yes, Truffles NC is a truffle farm in King that you can visit, and even purchase goodies like truffle salt, truffle honey and truffle white chocolate (HELLO!) I was thrilled to attend a dinner featuring these truffles, benefitting the Children's Law Center of Central NC. Truffles and a good cause? Sold.

Chef Harrison Littell of Five Loaves Catering really outdid himself with every detail of this meal. Each morsel was executed to perfection. He and his wife Andrea are behind the blog TowniesWS. It's always fun to meet fellow Triad bloggers and dine with other local foodies. We took our seats and noticed pats of truffle butter, topped with more shaved truffles at each table. But where was the bread you ask? It was utter torture waiting for it to arrive.

The evening began with a Chocolate Truffle-making demo, to keep with the theme, while we indulged in Truffled Deviled Eggs. My guest said these deviled eggs were the best she had ever eaten, and they were certainly delicious. My egg was purple, from beet juice, which didn't alter the flavor. A yummy mustard and mayonaise filling is made extra special with truffles, and is piped into perfectly cooked egg whites (or egg purples). Homemade creme fraiche and Atlantic Sturgeon caviar top it off. It had a great mouthfeel. Raffaldini Vineyards kindly paired each course with a wine, and we enjoyed the Pinot Grigio with the eggs. I could already tell it would be a fabulous evening.

The description of the first course had my mouth watering the moment I read it: beautfiul ribbons of homemade Tagliatelle pasta is topped with shaved truffles, goat cheese, browned butter (a FAVE) and a sprinkling of parsley for color. The aroma was irresistable. This dish had a perfect salty bite, and the combination of browned butter and truffles truly sent it over the top. The noodles were a nice al dente and it paired beautifully with Raffaldini's Sangiovese.
Are you kidding with these truffles? Insanity!
I was tickled when the second course featured a slightly sweet note, thinking it was an early dessert! It was a sweet and savory flavor marriage that was pretty ingenius. A Fig Gallette combined roasted figs (which look a lot like shaved truffles!), boursin cheese, truffles, micro greens and a hazelnut whole wheat flour crust. A drizzle of a fig reduction rounded out the dish. The crust was nutty and slightly crisp, and I admit I spread a bit of truffle butter on the last bite! A dry rosé was a nice balance to the sweetness of the dish.
Are those truffles or figs I spy? Lucky for me - BOTH.
Finally, a basket of warm sesame bread arrived, and we all reached for the truffle butter at the same time! We were soon distracted by the gorgeous plate of Snowy Grouper that was placed in front of us. The grouper was actually caught the morning before in Southport, NC, and Chef Littell even told us the name of the boat that caught it and the name of the captain! I was so impressed with the emphasis on local throughout the evening. The poached fish was accompanied by an exceptional Sweet Potato, Yukon Gold Potato and Truffle Gratin and roasted root vegetables like radishes, carrots and beets. The truffled beurre blanc that was drizzled across the plate was so rich. It was like Chef melted the truffle butter and added some heavy cream and a squirt of lemon juice. Sensational! The wine was a white Vermentino, comparable to a Chardonnay.
It's like this dish took a bath in truffles.
Chef Littell had his creativity cap on when he planned the dessert course: Truffle and Duck Egg Creme Brulee is about the most indulgent thing I could have ever imagined, and one of the tastiest. Duck eggs have a yolk to egg white ratio of 60:40, as opposed to a chicken egg, which has 40:60. So the custard was extra creamy and rich. A gorgeous, gooey block of sticky honeycomb was oozing out all over the top of the burnt sugar, and was even better when it oozed out in my mouth. I would be remiss not to dwell on the Hazelnut Truffle Shortbread which accompanied the dish. It was an excellent cookie. The La Befana dessert wine was a wonderful sweet note to end on.
Check out those flecks of truffles in the custard! And in the shortbread!
I was so totally satisfied after this meal. The food, the conversation, the cause - everything was wonderful. Chef Littell and Five Loaves Catering are doing tremendously creative work, and anything we as a community can do to support Truffles NC and the Children's Law Center is important. My truffle addiction is getting out of control. Here's hoping my truffle oil will do the trick until I can afford some real ones!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds an absolutely divine Truffle heaven! Thanks to the hard work of everyone who put this together!!

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