A Truffle a Day

SG Séguret
2 min readFeb 2, 2021

Recipes for a Delicious Life

Fresh Périgord truffles (photo ©SG Séguret)

Truffles, did you say? Those musky, floral, earthy, pungent, feral, elusive, captivating beasts of the forest floor? ’Tis the season (albeit for just a bit longer, unless you happen to live in Australia or New Zealand). And lucky for you, I will be sharing a recipe a day for the coming month, celebrating the appearance of Cooking with Truffles: A Chef’s Guide, which is poised to jump off the press.

The truffle — the kind that is unearthed by dogs and pigs— is actually a sack of spores: the fruiting body of a fungus which attains maturity under the earth, attached by an almost-invisible mycelium to the roots of certain host trees, most commonly oak and hazelnut. As a survival tactic, in order to entice predators to aid in its quest for sexual reproduction, it emits a powerful odor when mature. It is this aroma which causes chefs to swoon the world around.

The trick to cooking with truffles, should you be lucky enough to have one in your kitchen, is to do as little as possible with it. Despite the truffle’s reputation for being a costly item to add to your pantry, it pairs best with plain fare: rice, pasta, eggs, potatoes, cream…

Today’s recipe (excerpted from the above-mentioned book) is a warming soup, good for a cold winter’s day. This, as all recipes to follow, can be prepared both with or without the star ingredient in question, depending on your proximity to that culinary prize.

Truffled Corn Chowder

Truffled Corn Chowder garnished with chickweed (photo ©SG Séguret)

Ingredients:

2–3 ears of corn or baby frozen kernels

2–3 potatoes

1 onion

2–3 ribs celery

1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

1 quart chicken broth

Salt and pepper, to taste

Slight touch of cayenne

1 cup heavy cream

Grated truffle, to taste

Preparation:

Peel and dice onions to ¼–½ inch and sauté with diced celery in olive oil until translucent. Add diced potatoes and chicken broth and heat to boiling. Lower flame and add corn and seasoning. Blend, if desired, or leave morsels as they are. At the very end, stir in the heavy cream and the grated truffle. Top servings with more grated truffle or truffle slivers.

Pour a glass of your favorite beverage (a Sauvignon Blanc would serve excellently), and celebrate with a resounding bon appétit!

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SG Séguret

Susi Gott Séguret, fiddler, dancer, photographer, chef, is author of multiple works, including Appalachian Appetite, Child of the Woods & Cooking with Truffles.