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Truffles, fresh pasta and East-meets-West food

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Kitchen Rescue

Truffles, fresh pasta and East-meets-West food

By: - Columnist / @Inq_Lifestyle
/ 03:30 AM May 12, 2011

GOOD NEWS come in threes!

Super Good News # 1: Finally, everything “truffle” is available locally, thanks to Cecille Poblador.

When Cecille bought her batch of truffle salt during her trip to Napa, everyone loved it. Every time she served it sprinkled over steak or even just eggs, people went crazy.

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The raving made her decide to call the company and bring the whole product line in.

Now, we can have truffles all the time! Gone are the days of hoarding only for us to find that we had bought so much so that many of them would lose their freshness.

Sabatino Tartufi began as a small storefront in Umbria, Italy, in 1911 catering to local families by distributing truffles, olives, olive oil and sardines.

“Our White Truffle Cream and Truffle Honey has garnered a number of Sofi awards in the Outstanding Condiment (2008) and the Outstanding Jam, Preserve, Honey or Nut Butter (2010) categories,” she said.

“The truffle salt and truffle oil have also been featured in the Oprah Magazine (as one of ‘Oprah’s favorite things’) and in many other food publications.”

Poblador’s product line includes truffle salt, honey, whole black summer truffles, oils, balsamic vinegar with infused white truffle, carpaccio, cream, truffle tagliatelle pasta and truffle sauce.

I have tried many truffle salts, but this one particularly rocks. It is flavorful, a rounded mouthful of truffle. In fact, the flavors are so intense that I can literally taste a perfectly truffle salt-seasoned steak or a roast chicken even, just by closing my eyes and imagining.

The honey, drizzled over triple crème brie or camembert, is heaven… The truffle cream, mixed with butter or on its own, is divine.

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The prices are reasonable. For restaurant owners, Poblador gives wholesale discounts. She never overstocks. Her truffles are flown in twice a month, so everything is guaranteed fresh, all the time.

Poblador has three pickup points all over the metro and has distributors in Cebu and Davao. Call Cecille Poblador at 0917-8559637 or 0917-3600335.

Fresh pasta

Good News # 2: Nothing is more sublime than fresh pasta.

Dexter Chee Ah of Hongley Food Products now makes and supplies fresh tagliatelle, fettucine, black pasta, spaghetti, black pasta, linguine and ravioli sheets, with a promise of more variants to come.

Hongley began manufacturing noodles in 1977 and dim sum ingredients for Chinese restaurants in a small two-story house on Oroquieta Street, Manila.

They first made fresh egg noodles (mami), pancit canton and dim sum wrappers and delivered them to food establishments like Kowloon House, Grand House, Aristocrat’s and Panciteria Lido.

They have also created a whole range of Japanese products like fresh ramen, fresh udon and gyoza wrappers.

“It took the company around 10 years to perfect the delicate craft of Japanese noodle-making but the results are very rewarding.”

Now they are on their boldest move yet with their new Fresh Pasta line, under the brand Toscana. Chee Ah says the name is to pay homage to the wonderful cuisine of Italy.

For your Chinese, Japanese and Italian noodle and dim sum needs, call Dexter at 0917-8302192.

There is no perfect time to experiment on a new ingredient, especially something like fresh pasta, than summer, when all the kids are home. I suggest you try to cook this: Fresh Pasta with Truffle Cream Sauce.

Fresh pasta—fettucine, tagliatelle or linguine—heat water in a pot, when it boils, add a bit of vegetable oil to the water, let water continue on running boil for 3 more minutes before throwing in the pasta. Remember, noodles should be fully submerged so do not skimp on water.

Add 200 g fresh pasta, cook about 1-2 minutes or until the bite of the noodle is to your liking.

Strain and do not wash.

Do not allow fresh pasta to sit. Cook fresh pasta only before serving.

In a pan melt 2 tbsp butter, add 2 minced shallots, cook until translucent.

Add 1 oz truffle cream, adjust truffle to taste.

Add cooked pasta.

Add good-quality cream, about ½ to ¾ cup, just enough to coat the noodles and not drown them in it.

Season with salt and pepper.

Garnish with truffle carpaccio and shaved parmesan before serving.

Good Earth

Good News # 3: If there is anyone who changed the Chinese culinary scene, it is the Good Earth’s chef Henry Cheung. He is our East-meets-West maestro whose creations are perennial happy plays of flavors to the palate. His food, always one that I personally need to have and go home to, every so often… I look for it, I crave it!

Well, it is with great pleasure for me to announce that Chef Henry now caters. Have him personally in your home to cook all those beloved dishes plus new ones, just for you.

For your next special event call Chef Henry or Belle at 0926-9098515.

My apologies: I mixed up the contact number of the Hand Painted Ostrich Eggs last week. This is the right number: Rex, 0917-5262365.

For my new cooking class schedule and summer promos, call 0917-5543700, 0908-2372346, 4008496, 9289296.

E-mail the author at raspiras@inquirer.com.ph

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