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The Cross and the Cleaver… A Sense of Luxury

“The way I see it, we all have a dream of ourselves, that we could be more than we are. Well, Pendel and Braithwaite are here to help you realise that dream”. So reads a quote from the movie “Tailor of Panama” (2001). The movie scenes from the tailor shop evoke the feeling of luxury, perhaps of being dressed, albeit briefly, like James Bond. I can say the same about the opening scenes of the movie “American Psycho” (2000). The images of snow-white plates, dotted with creative shapes and colours of nouvelle cuisine, with at least one diner wearing black silk gloves are mesmerising! They are also thought and action provoking….

Inspired (provoked?) by the above, occasionally, I want a meal that goes beyond pizza, roast beef, chicken soup or ham-cheese-tomato sandwich. Not there is anything wrong with those dishes. Just sometimes I want to feel like a proverbial million dollars, or at least like a guy who doesn’t look at the prices on the menu in whatever restaurant he goes to.

To make it so, I engage in luxury food. For some it is Scottish smoked salmon, or caviar, or oysters, or real champagne. For me it is TRUFFLES. A fungi, aroma of which some compare to rich, dark earth and well aged cheese; while others suggest they stink like a bag of old forgotten socks. Well, I love the taste and the aroma.

Let’s get it straight though. Only once in my life could I afford a real, fresh truffle. It was half a size of a golf-ball. It was damaged, and I got a friend/family/clergyman discount. It still cost me a pretty penny. For my regular source of variety of truffle products, I rely on such institutions as Marshalls©, HomeSense© or Winners©. So, if you are interested in, and willing to explore, the luxury of truffle, go shopping, …then follow me to the kitchen …

My dishes utilise the basic four truffle products that I recommend as a “starter kit”. Serve the dishes in the order printed 😉

– APPETISER#1 – Slice a large tomato med-thick, slice a large fresh mozzarella the same thickness. Arrange on a plate alternating between the slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then drizzle with olive oil and truffle flavoured balsamic vinegar (or reduction).

– APPETISER#1 – Scrambled eggs – in the still runny stage of four eggs, add 1 tsp of butter, 1 tsp of heavy cream, 1 heaping tbsp of chopped chives and generous sprinkle of truffle salt. Stir over med-heat until desired doneness and serve with white baguette.

– MAIN COURSE- Warm at room temperature ¼ cup of blue cheese and generous tbsp of butter. When soft mix together thoroughly adding 2 tsp of truffle oil. Refrigerate, or freeze, in disc shape moulds or as a roll in cling-film. Use as slices to top freshly grilled steak, pork chop or roast chicken. Season them with nothing more than salt and pepper.

– DESSERT (well, sort of) – Slice thinly a baguette, top each slice with blue cheese of your preference, or aged cheddar (white is the best), or med-smoked Gouda. Drizzle them over with truffle flavoured honey. Serve with small cups of strong coffee or mint tea.

When cooking, serving, and eating the above delicacies – do not forget to dress the part!!!

P.S. If/when you buy truffle stuff and do not like it … let me know, we can sure make a deal 😉

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