Truffles With Curtis Stone & Justin Hilbert

Truffles Demystified at Maude


“White truffles are more fragrant and perfumed. They are best used raw in applications and shaved over dishes. Cooking brings out the flavor of black truffles. I enjoy incorporating them into sauces using classic French and Italian techniques.” – Executive Chef Justin Hilbert, Maude.


Everyone has heard the long-winded monologue, chronicling the rhapsody of flavor and fleeting transcendence when experiencing one’s first taste of a truffle. These earthy, rich, and undoubtedly distinctive variety of mushrooms remain some of the most expensive foods by the pound sold today. Selectively picked on the outskirts of southern France and northern Italy, truffles are some of the most valuable and sought-after ingredients of the most esteemed and reputable kitchens worldwide. Despite truffles’ widespread popularity and acclaim, few know the true oddity and intricacies of their production, as well as the rare mushroom’s real significance. Additionally, the wide assortment is also, at times, overlooked, and the difference between black and white truffles becomes nebulous to those without formal culinary experience. These rather eccentric mushrooms receive a plethora of attention and praise, but when examined thoroughly, the reasons for their universal success are much more complex and obscure.

Truffles grow when a symbiotic relationship is created between a spore and the roots of a tree, some of which include oak, birch and pine trees. They spend the duration of their existence underground, only to be found as a result of their pungent odor by an animal with a strong olfactory sense. When truffles are uprooted, their spores spread as they are transported, allowing for new truffles to grow in different places. Contrary to the prevailing belief that pigs are used in the search for truffles, pigs have become the outdated, second-choice animal pick for truffle farmers. For the most part, dogs dominate when it comes to discovering truffles, as they do not eat the truffles once found. Pigs have a complicated history with their owners when it comes to detecting the hidden mushrooms, their gluttony being the primary concern and reason for their disfavor in modern truffle-hunting. Especially in our recent competitive markets, truffle prices have only increased, making the conservation and safety of each and every truffle found a priority for farmers. Although black truffles can range from 500 to 1,500 dollars per pound, and white truffles can cost upward of 3,000 dollars per pound, the price is worth it to those who truly savor the flavor.

Besides the obvious external color differences, the most prominent diff erence between black and white tru ffles lies in their similar yet distinct and independent flavors. Black truffles are characterized by their subtlety and musky undertones, while white truffles boast a more aromatic experience during consumption in addition to hints of garlic. Furthermore, the dishes black and white truffles are paired with also play a crucial part in their flavor and the overall gustatory experience. Many hold the conviction that black truffles are best eaten when cooked alongside a meat, and that the heat allows for the peculiar fragrance to be released and influence the flavor of the other elements of the meal. In stark contrast, white truffles are said to be at their best when they are raw and shaved over pasta or fish. Either way, when added to a recipe, truffles are truly strange in that they add a unique, satiating robustness as well as an understated, quiet pungency.


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Chef Curtis Stone. Photo by: Ray Kachatorian

CURTIS STONE’S INSIDER TIP: If you’re fortunate enough to use truffles at home, keep it simple. Shave over risotto or scrambled eggs and you can’t go wrong.

TRUFFLE HISTORY: The ancient Greeks believed that truffl es were created when Zeus angrily and accidentally sent lightning bolts that collided with the land.

INSIDER TIP: Few commercial truffle oils contain any concentration of actual truffles. Most truffle oils, with a few rare and expensive exceptions, are created using a synthesized truffle flavor, rather than using even a small hint of the truffles themselves. If you want to have the real truffle experience, a hefty price is close to unavoidable.

FUN FACT: A nickname for truffles is “the diamond of the cookery.”


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Executive Chef Justin Hilbert. Photo by: Clay Larsen

WINTER VEGETABLES WITH BROWN BUTTER

curtis stone
Photo by: Clay Larsen

Recipe by: Executive Chef Justin Hilbert

YOU’LL NEED

Vegetables

  • 1 Head of cauliflower
  • 1 Butternut squash
  • 2 Medium-sized Kohlrabi
  • 2 Medium-sized turnips
  • 2 Medium-sized rutabagas
  • 3 Parsnips
  • 3 Golden beets
  • 1 Head of celery
  • 2 Tbsp brown butter
  • Apple balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Black truffle
  • Hay (for smoking)
DIRECTIONS
  1. Peel and cut the vegetables into diamonds, and reserve the scraps. Blanch the diamonds until tender.
  2. Smoke over hay for ten minutes.
  3. Juice the vegetable scraps, then bring the juice to a simmer.
  4. Strain the juice, then reduce by two thirds. Steep with some truffles until cool.
  5. Warm the diamond-cut vegetables in the reduced vegetable juice.
  6. Plate the vegetables and garnish with the black truffle, apple balsamic and warm brown butter.

curtis stone
Photo by: Quentin Bacon

LASAGNE SALTIMBOCCA

Recipe by: Executive Chef Justin Hilbert

YOU’LL NEED

Ossobuco

  • 10 Lbs roasted veal bones
  • 10 Liters water
  • 1 Veal shank
  • ½ Cup shallots
  • ½ Cup parsley
  • ½ Cup chives

Sage Bechamel

  • 12 Cups milk
  • 10 ½ Oz butter
  • 1 ¼ Cup flour
  • 8 Bunches of sage
  • Salt to taste

Lasagne

  • Lasagna noodles
  • Sliced prosciutto

Garnish

  • Shaved white truffles
DIRECTIONS
  1. Make a veal stock with the roasted veal bones and 10 liters of water. Simmer the stock for two days.
  2. Brown veal shank in a pan with some oil, then cover with veal stock.
  3. Cook the shank with the stock in a pressure cooker for three hours or until tender.
  4. Remove the meat from the bone and shred. In a pan, cover the meat with braising liquid and reduce by half. Season with salt and add the shallots, parsley and chives.
  5. Create a roux out of the flour and butter, then add the milk and sage. Cook until thick and season with salt.
  6. Build the lasagna in alternating layers of bechamel, ossobuco and prosciutto, then bake in a water bath at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for one-and-a-half hours.
  7. Slice the lasagna into pieces, then coat the tops in bechamel. Broil the slices until the tops darken and bubble.
  8. Plate the lasagna and top with the shaved white truffle.

curtis stone
Photo by: Quentin Bacon

TURBOT PUMPKIN SWISS CHARD

Recipe by: Executive Chef Justin Hilbert

YOU’LL NEED
  • 1 turbot
  • Pumpkin juice
  • 2 pumpkins
  • brown butter
  • soy lecithin
  • 1 bunch of Swiss chard
  • Shaved white truffles
  • 1 bunch Sliced fennel stems
  • Fennel fronds
DIRECTIONS
  1. Remove the fillets from the turbot, leaving the skin on. Brine the fillets for six minutes in a 10% salt to water solution.
  2. Clean the head of the turbot, rinse the bones, and then bake at 270° for one hour.
  3. Place the bones in a pot of equal parts pumpkin juice and water. Simmer for 45 minutes and then strain.
  4. Finish the sauce with 3% brown butter and 2% soy lecithin.
  5. Cut 1 pumpkin into blocks and remove the skin. Vacuum seal the pumpkin with brown butter, then simmer until al dente.
  6. Trim the Swiss chard leaves from their stems. Cut the leaves with ring cutters, and peel and reserve the stems.
  7. Grill the turbot skin-side down for three minutes. Remove the skin then place inside a hollowed pumpkin.
  8. Saute the Swiss chard leaves, Swiss chard stems and fennel stems in brown butter. Place the cooked pumpkin with the turbot in the plating pumpkin. Garnish with fennel fronds and shaved white truffles.

curtis stone
Photo by: Clay Larsen

EGG YOLK SOUBISE AND GREENS ON TOAST

Recipe by: Executive Chef Justin Hilbert

YOU’LL NEED

Onion Soubise

  • 1 2/3 cup Spanish onion
  • 1 1/3 cup heavy cream

Egg Yolk Confit

  • 12 egg yolks

Custard Base

  • 1 ½ cup milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 ¼ tsp black truffle, shaved
  • 1 ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 brioche loaf, cut into 1” x 1” x 3” pieces

Braised Greens

  • 1 bunch Swiss chard
  • 1 bunch collard greens
  • 3 tbsp apple balsamic vinegar

Garnishes

  • Braised greens
  • Sliced truffles
DIRECTIONS

Onion Soubise

  1. Peel and slice the onions, then blanch for three minutes in boiling water. Remove the onions and sweat until soft.
  2. Cover with cream and reduce by half. Puree until smooth.

Egg Yolk Confit

  1. Separate 12 yolks from their whites and vacuum seal. Cook sous vide at 145 for two hours.
  2. Keep warm.

Custard Base

  1. Whisk the eggs and milk together.
  2. Add the truffle, salt and nutmeg.
  3. Soak the brioche in the mixture, then toast in a pan with butter.

Braised Greens

  1. Thinly slice the greens and saute in a pan with a light amount of olive oil. Season the greens with salt, then cover.
  2. Let the greens sweat, then season with apple balsamic vinegar.
TO FINISH
  1. After toasting the brioche, place the pan in an oven set at 350° for five minutes. Remove from the oven and plate the brioche.
  2. Coat the brioche with the soubise and add the braised greens. Top with egg yolk and shaved truffle.
  3. Garnish with greens and sliced truffles.

Maude

212 S. Beverly Dr. Beverly Hills, CA 90212

(310) 859-3418 | www.mauderestaurant.com


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