My pursuit of the world’s fanciest popcorn for fancy guesties Mom, Aissa, and Alison brought me to Clancey’s Meats and Fish in charming and trendy Linden Hills. I was looking for duck fat and truffle salt – I’d never used either ingredient before. As I waited for the butcher to scoop out a cup of rendered duck fat, I found an unmarked, 3-ounce jar of black truffle salt and handed it to the cashier.
“That’ll be $3.69 for the duck fat and $25 for the truffle salt.”
“TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR SALT!!?!” screamed the voice inside my head.
I glanced back at the line of well-dressed Minneapolitans behind me, anxious to get home with their fennel pollen sausage and Alaskan sockeye salmon.
“Yes. Yes, that’s fine. I’ll put it on my Visa,” I heard myself say, in an entirely unfamiliar, just-a-hair-too loud, robot voice.
Thanks to my pride, I am the owner of 2.97 ounces of earthy, pungent truffle salt, and I’m happily exploring ways to use it in my cooking, tiny pinch by tiny pinch.
$25 salt and sale-priced frozen veggies cancel each other out, right?
I started with a thick, rich, comforting chicken stew topped with creamy, buttery mashed potatoes. Then I considered my (very slightly) elevated cholesterol, and made a couple of small tweaks:
I substituted milk for cream in both the gravy and the potatoes; I cut half the butter in the potatoes and replaced it with a heart-healthy spread; and I used canola oil instead of butter to make a roux for the gravy. Then I added truffle salt to the potatoes, and bouillon and a lemon rind to the chicken stock to boost the flavor lost in cutting the cream and butter.
It was delicious and rich – the perfect comfort food – and I didn’t miss the cream and butter at all.
Professor Meowington sez: the lemon really brightens up the flavor of the gravy.
Recipe below the fold