A truffle hunting adventure in Umbria for the richest black truffles in Italy may seem like a movie set adventure complete with mountainscape, a gray capped Italian hunter, Lagotto Romagnolo dogs, a woodland forest, a small pick and a leather bag bursting with truffles. In today's kitchen, however, the smell of truffles wafting through the air may only be as far away as a trip to the supermarket. A small amount of quality black truffle butter and TRUFFLE SALT make a decadent, soul warming gratin. Other than a glass of dry Prosecco, a fork and napkin may be all this moviestar dish requires to satisfy the appetite. Other less glutinous folk, however, may want more of a complete meal--roast chicken and a simply dressed salad keep good company with this earthy, Umbrian inspired truffle red carpet worthy plate.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Rub the bottom and sides of a 12 INCH CAST IRON SKILLET, with two teaspoons of the truffle butter.
- Layer the potatoes in a single layer, slightly overlapping the potatoes across the bottom of the dish.
- Sprinkle the first layer of potatoes with the truffle salt. Dot with 1/3 of the butter. Sprinkle 1/3 of the Gruyère and pour 1/3 of the crème fraîche over the potatoes. Finish with a few grinds of black pepper. Repeat twice more--a few slices mayb be left over depending on how the potatoes were overlapped, or the size of the potatoes. No worries. The baking dish should comfortably hold three layers of potatoes.
- Place the dish in the oven and bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are crispy and golden on top. Let cool 5 minutes, cut into pie wedges with a metal spatula.
An inexpensive CUT RESISTANT GLOVE AND MANDOLINE helps keep the potato slices uniform so they cook evenly. It also speeds up the process of slicing so many potatoes. Rich and delicious, it feeds a large crowd--double the recipe and make on a half sheet baking tray. TRUFFLE OIL is a fine substitute for truffle butter. May be made and baked a day in advance. Simple remove from the oven 10 minutes early, cool, cover and refrigerate. Remove from the refrigerator an hour before reheating. Reheat for 15 minutes (or until heated through) in a 350 degree F. preheated oven.