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Truffle Hunting

Truffle Hunting

Farm to Plate - Sn 1/Ep 6Farm to Plate - Sn 1/Ep 6

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In Seattle, Guy is hunting truffles with the help of Alana McGee and her dogs to create a slaw featuring bacon, Brussels sprouts, seasonal vegetables and, of course, truffles.

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- G'day, guys. My name's Guy so I'm from Bondi Harvest and every chef knows fresh is best. In this series, we're foraging, fishing, and finally cook the freshest ingredients. We're leaving the kitchen behind, getting in the great outdoors, cooking seasonal recipes on the beach, in the forest, and on the paddock. So come join us. Alright, so today's episode's all about forest to plate. We're here in Seattle, gonna be searching for truffles, black and white truffles. It's cold, it's rainy, but it's definitely worth it because I've never been truffling before, I'm so excited! We've got two puppies and guides running around helping us and we're gonna make an awesome slaw, it's gonna have smoked bacon, it's gonna have some seasonal veg like Brussels sprouts, poached egg on top, Hollandaise, and then a whole heap of truffles on top. Quite decadent, I'm pumped, let's go find some. - My name is Alanna McGee and I am a truffle hunter and truffle dog trainer. I have four dogs, this one, she's a Lagotto Romagnolo which is an Ialian truffle hunting dog, it's a breed they traditionally use in Italy for truffle hunting. - Look how excited she is! - There something there? - [Guy] This is amazing, just how strong their sense is. - She's trying to pinpoint it. - Yeah. - I mean, they can be pretty deep. Once they get down there, the scent is moving from a different direction, and so they have to re-pinpoint. I've always been interested in biology and kind of the confluence of like, food and science and also animal behavior, so it's kind of the best of all worlds. I get to work with my dog in the woods and be out in nature and also have this kind of culinary aspect to it. - It's amazing how the dog's sense of smell is so strong. When they find one, it's like an excited child in the sand just throwing dirt everywhere trying to get in there. - Yeah, good girl! So, this is an Oregon black truffle, or a Washington black truffle. They're small in the beginning of the season, so this time of year, but they will get to be the size of your fist. - [Guy] Yeah, wow. What's the largest black truffle you found? - The largest one we ever found was about five ounces, so about that big, it was pretty large. - [Guy] That's gonna pay you pretty well. - [Alanna] Yeah, oh, and is there another one right there? Look at that! - [Guy] White truffle? - [Man] It's a black truffle. - Black truffle. So beautiful. - Yeah, I mean, you're welcome to hang onto that one if you need. - I'll put it in my pocket. - Truffles are basically aroma bombs. All they are is aroma and that decreases over time, so if you can get it right out of the ground, they're phenomenal. Most of the truffles found are not found by animals. The stuff you're gonna find in stores, especially if it's been brought over from Europe, is already almost a week old by the time you get it and when that happens, the quality is not as good, so the truffles that we find with dogs are superior in quality because they're actually ripe. - [Guy] What's the perfect environment for a truffle to grow? - So we find them under, primarily Douglas fir. So we're in a Douglas fir forest right now, you can have 'em in mixed forests, but primarily Doug Fir. - [Guy] Okay. The weather has a big part to play though as well? - Well, they're a winter mushroom, so they start when the rains come and they go off, the blacks can go really long. - There's primarily two types of truffles that we find in these woods, we find a white truffle and a black truffle and the white truffles tend to be that really heady garlicky heady truffely aroma and the black truffles are kind of fruit forward and chocolatey. - I think they're on to something over here, come check this out. Woohoo, got a gorgeous white truffle, just smells gorgeous, perfect for infusing butters and it's gonna be so good sliced on top of our Hollandaise sauce. I need it to warm up because it's so cold right now. - We have a really kind of vibrant, sustainable food scene in the Pacific northwest, and so truffles tie right into that. They just add so much flavor and brightness to these kind of cold gray dreary days. - Alright guys, so we spent some time in the bush, we been foraging for truffles and we've got two kinds, the black and the white, but now it's time to cook up an epic meal. We're going to do an awesome sort of Brussels seasonal winter salad, so it's going to have shaved Brussels sprouts, chili garlic is gonna have awesome endive in there, some radicchio as well. I'm gonna show you how to do a Hollandaise sauce that's gonna be full of truffles and then shave some truffles on top, it's gonna be the best brunch you'll ever have, so very decadent, so very lucky, let's get cooking. Okay, we're gonna slice our garlic, our chili, and we're gonna dice up some bacon into beautiful little dices. And now your Brussels, I'm gonna slice 'em up into quarters so they're just beautiful shapes and they cook nice and evenly. And my hands are getting a little bit cold, it's actually quite chilly out here, hence the down jacket and beanie. What we're after is some really nice color on that bacon and what that's gonna do is gonna render out all that fat, all that flavor, and it's gonna fold through and make those Brussels sprouts so, so special. I just pop 'em straight in there. So we're just gonna toss that through, cut the Brussels sprouts and the bacon, the oil, the garlic, all those delicious flavors. We sort of keep an eye on it, we want a bit of caramelization, we want to cook those Brussels 'till they're soft and tender. So you can see it's starting to caramelize, that's perfect. At this stage, I'm gonna pick and pull through some beautiful thyme. You just want those delicate leaves. Okay, so we give that another mix. You can see that bacon's caramelized, those Brussels are just gorgeous and golden and it's time to put it all together. We're just gonna pour that into a bowl and then start poaching our eggs. Okay, so there's three key things to remember when you're poaching your eggs, one, you want your water temperature to be perfect so you just want it bubbling, just moving, just enough so your egg doesn't hit the bottom and stick to the base of your pan. The second one is you want some vinegar, little bit of vinegar helps the outside of your egg whites set. White or white wine vinegar will be fine, and third is fresh eggs. So fresh eggs means when you poach your egg it holds together and it's beautiful. If the eggs are old, what happens is the white starts to deteriorate and your eggs just go everywhere and you won't have that perfect teardrop. Okay, so they're in the water, they haven't stuck, they're moving around just enough so they're perfect, they're gonna take about a minute or so. If you like your eggs hard, just leave 'em there by all means. I think poached eggs or eggs of any sort or are a very personal thing, so however you like it, go for it. Okay, so we're gonna make this gorgeous salad with our radicchio, our wilof, our endive. Gonna take off the ends and just peel off this beautiful red outer leaves, and again, it's gonna add to that beautiful bit of flavor, but also just give it a really gorgeous color. So just slice it into whatever shapes you like. So radicchio into our salad and then onto the endive, so again, just clean up your endive and just peel off these beautiful leaves, how gorgeous are they? Crunchy. Okay, so just give it a good mix and then it's time to plate our base, our beautiful, tasty winter inspired Brussels salad straight onto this beautiful board. Look at the colors, different shapes, how awesome does that look? So beautiful soft eggs, just the way I like them. Just use a slotted spoon or if you're in the bush and you only have tongs, use tongs. Just very gently poached eggs on top of your salad. And then onto our Hollandaise sauce. Like we learned while foraging for truffles, truffles actually infuse really well in fat solubles. So like clarified butter, olive oil, it's gonna permeate all the way through and it's gonna be so amazing on top of these poached eggs. So we're gonna start by separating our eggs. And we're just gonna transfer the yolk from one egg shell to the next, catching the yolk and discarding the white straight into a bowl. Now, next step is gonna add some white wine vinegar, so about a teaspoon, two teaspoons of white wine vinegar and then we're gonna slice up some of the beautiful black truffles that we foraged, that's gonna go in there too. How gorgeous is that cross section? You know, that's the signature of a truffle on top of the dish that sort of screams decadence. Alrighty, so onto a double boiler. Now, at this step, you want to always move your egg yolks, always whisking. If you don't move it, those egg yolks will set, those egg yolks will cook and scramble, which is not what you want. You want a beautiful, smooth, gorgeous altogether Hollandaise sauce. So we're gonna start adding our clarified butter or ghee, so it's gonna pour in a little at a time, continue to whisk those egg yolks and bring it together, so as you can see, getting thicker and if you think it's getting too hot, just take it off the heat, let the steam pass and then put it back on and continue on. So that's what you're after. Beautiful, thick, glossy and emulsified. That's ready to be poured on top of those beautiful eggs. And then we're gonna shave truffles on top, just because we can. Truffles are always worth the effort, the chill, the hours in the bush searching for them, they're a delicacy and I'd do it all again for this guy. Alright, our decadent Brussels truffle Hollandaise sauce and poached egg salad. Alanna, you're gonna have to taste this for me, have a go. Thank you so much for taking us out in the woods and showing us how to truffle hunt. - Thank you, it was fun having you guys out. - It was awesome, such a beautiful spot. What do you reckon? - Oh my god. - It's good? - Really good. - I love these truffles, I'm obsessed. So obsessed. They're so tasty. I'm surprised how pungent they are. - They are. - They're actually so much stronger - The Oregon blacks. - Than some of the Europeans I've actually tried. - Oh my god, it's so good. - Awesome, great, thank you so much! - Thank you. - And thanks for watching, guys. I hope you loved the recipe. Make sure to check out all the other videos and we'll see you next week.

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