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  • Cooking to Impress

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    • What Is Truffle Oil?
      Truffle oil is a high-quality olive oil that has been infused with the flavor of either white or black truffles. It is used sparingly to give a burst of flavor to savory dishes. The white oil is li...
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      What Is Truffle Oil?
      Truffle oil is a high-quality olive oil that has been infused with the flavor of either white or black truffles. It is used sparingly to give a burst of flavor to savory dishes. The white oil is likely to have a bit of a peppery taste.

      Once you taste it and get a feel for which foods it will best enhance, the ways it can be used are limited only by your imagination. Add a dash to a fresh green salad or a little on top of your favorite soup. The possibilities are endless.

      Truffle oils are generally not used in cooking, as the heat can lessen their flavors. Instead, they are added after a dish is prepared.

      Take the bottle to the table and drizzle on the fine oil at the last minute so the full, earthy aroma can escape and cast its magical spell on your guest.

      Truffle oil, both white and black, can be found in most local gourmet stores. Prices range quite a bit but needless to say, it's not inexpensive. The good thing is it has a long shelf life so you can savor the "liquid gold" for some time.
  • We know that dinner time is often rushed and harried. Meals are eaten in front of the TV, at a drive-through or ordered over the phone. But every once in a while, you want to make a meal that's all about a lovely table, delicious food and good conversation with friends and family. So dust off that great bottle of wine because we have a couple of recipes that will make you remember why you bought that good china.
    Beef Medallions in Portobello Wine Sauce
    Ingredients:
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup Madeira or port wine
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 10-12 ounces (2 large) portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef tenderloin steaks, cut 1-inch thick
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Directions:
    1. In a medium bowl, stir broth, wine, thyme, black pepper and garlic powder until blended. Add mushrooms; toss to coat well. Cover and set aside.
    2. In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add steaks and cook 4-5 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Remove steaks from skillet; place on a plate. Cover to keep warm.
    3. Add onions to skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until tender and translucent. Add flour and salt; stirring constantly, heat 1 minute. Pour mushroom mixture into skillet. Stirring occasionally, boil 10-12 minutes or until sauce is thickened and mushrooms are tender. Add steaks to sauce; heat 1 minute. Serve immediately.
    Makes 6 servings.
    Really, what's fine beef without mashed potatoes? But not just any mashed potatoes. These luscious spuds have an added elegant ingredient that will have your friends wondering how such an ordinary dish could have such a delicious, upscale flavor. The secret is in the truffle oil!
    Roasted Garlic Potatoes with Truffle Oil and Butter
    Ingredients:
  • 1 garlic bulb (about 3 ounces)
  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • white truffle oil
  • minced fresh chives
  • Directions:
    Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut off the top 1/2 inch to 1 inch of the garlic bulb to expose cloves. Wrap garlic in foil, place in baking pan and bake until soft and browned, about 45 minutes. Squeeze garlic from skins. Meanwhile, in large saucepan over high heat, bring 1 quart water to boil. Add potatoes, cover and return to boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer until potatoes are very tender, about 10 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to pan. Heat milk in microwave oven until steaming, about 1 minute. Pour milk over potatoes; add roasted garlic and mash with potato masher. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon onto plates or into small bowls. Make a well in the middle of each serving and fill with 1 tablespoon butter. Drizzle each serving with 2 teaspoons truffle oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon chives.
    Makes 4 - 6 servings.
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