Truffle season is almost over, so hustle over to Avenue Restaurant in Long Branch’s Pier Village for some out-of-this-world unique truffle tasting dishes. Avenue’s very talented Executive Chef Dominique Filoni has created some amazing dishes with black Perigord truffles that will leave you savoring these fungi long after they are gone. These heavily prized truffles, called “the diamonds of the kitchen” by the French gourmand, Brillat-Savarin, are flown in from France and are on the table four to five days after having been unearthed from the ground.
On the brunch menu diners can indulge in Truffle Scrambled Duck Eggs. The eggs and the truffles are nestled together in a sealed container for a couple of weeks. Chef Filoni explains, “The eggshells are porous, so they absorb all the flavor of the truffle. When they are ready, the eggs are scrambled and topped with fresh truffle shavings.”
A popular item on the main menu is Filoni’s Truffle Risotto (See recipe below.) made with a special Vialone rice from Italy. The creamy starch is enhanced with celeriac, pine nuts and an espuma, or foam, made from whipping reduced truffle juice and cream in a high speed blender.
New on the menu this week, Chef Filoni has added a Sea Scallop and Truffle Carpaccio with layers of paper-thin scallops alternating with thin slices of truffles and Truffle Ice Cream infused with a truffle liqueur and topped with truffle shavings. In describing the ice cream, Filoni says, “The ice cream is a vanilla ice cream recipe that is adjusted to incorporate the truffles; we infuse the eggs—like we do for the scrambled recipe—for a couple days. We add sliced and diced truffles and steep the milk for the custard.” The result is a luscious rich and creamy ice cream with subtle tastes of the slightly nutty truffle.
For a succulent specialty dish guaranteed to wow your friends and family, serve them Chef Filoni’s truffle risotto:
• 2 ounces olive oil
• 1 cup minced onion
• 2 cups Arborio rice
• 1 cup white wine
• 3 cups chicken Stock
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
• 2 Tablespoon Mascarpone
• 1/4 cup freshly chopped Italian parsley leaves
• 4 tablespoons butter
• 2 ounces black truffles in small dice
• 2 ounces Black Truffle shaved
• Salt & pepper to taste
1. In a 4-quart saucepan, heat olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onions and sweat for 3 minutes until the vegetables are translucent and aromatic.
2. Add the rice and lightly toast in oil and butter for 2 minutes stirring frequently. Season lightly with salt & pepper
3. Add liquid 1/3rd at a time stirring until each additional 1/3rd is absorbed.
4. Once all liquid is absorbed, remove from heat and stir in Parmesan, mascarpone, parsley, and butter. Adjust your seasoning to your liking.
5. Add the chopped truffles and divided the risotto evenly in small bowl, top with the shaved truffles.
The special truffle dishes will be on Avenue’s menu through the month of January. The black Perigord truffle is a delicacy not to be missed and the tasting of Chef Filoni’s truffle creations is an epicurean experience.
From an early age, Dominique Filoni, a native of St. Tropez, France, had a unique passion for cooking. Whether helping his grandmother prepare one of her legendary culinary specialties, foraging for exotic mushrooms, although never for truffles, and wild leeks with his uncle, tending to the family garden or searching for snails with his mother, family activities often revolved around food. Filoni has been Executive Chef of the beachfront brasserie Avenue since 2009.
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