Elegant. Earthy. Esteemed. They're descriptors regularly ascribed to truffles, though they equally apply to celebrity chef Curtis Stone, whose made the prized fungi a mainstay at his James Beard Award-nominated Beverley Hills staple, Maude—named 2014's Restaurant of the Year by Eater LA, and one of the Best Restaurants in the World by TIME/Travel & Leisure.
"I first tasted truffles when I was 18-years-old Aussie, working in a French restaurant in Melbourne," remembers Stone. "I'll never forget it, because as soon as the truffles hit the heat of the dish, I was overcome with the aroma."
"For the rest of my career, I've looked forward to truffle season. They're actually the only ingredient that we've featured more than once at Maude; this is actually our third year of truffle-focused menus," he continues. "They're best left uncooked, which allows them to them speak for themselves, like in this simple risotto. The recipe was originally from Maude's November 2014 menu, but I adapted it for home cooking, as it's become one of my favorite dishes to make at home during the season."
Risotto with Truffles
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Make-Ahead: The risotto is best eaten as soon as it is made.
6 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1 3/4 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 black or while truffle
- 1.In a small heavy saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a simmer over high heat. Remove from the heat and cover to it keep warm.
- 2.Meanwhile, heat a large heavy high-sided nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Add the oil, then add the shallots and cook for about 2 minutes, or until softened. Add the rice and stir for about 1 minute, or until it is well coated. Add the wine and stir constantly for about 1 minute, or until most of the wine has evaporated.
- 3.Add 1 cup of the hot stock mixture to the rice and cook, stirring almost constantly and keeping the mixture at a steady simmer, until it is absorbed. Continue adding the hot stock mixture, 1 cup at a time, stirring until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding more, and cook for about 18 minutes, or until the rice is al dente and creamy (you may not use all of the stock).
4.Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese, butter, mascarpone cheese, and parsley. Season the risotto to taste with salt.
- 5.Divide the risotto among four wide serving bowls. Using a truffle slicer, shave the truffle over the risotto.
"Want to learn more about the celebrated chef, cookbook author, culinary personality and successful restaurateur (besides his overriding obsession with truffles, that is)? Grab a front seat to his fireside chat with Eater's Greg Morabito during Taste Talks LA, for a discussion on technique, the hard work of opening restaurants, and fine dining in the LA food scene!"