My first taste of truffle was on truffle fries in a restaurant. As soon as I put one near my mouth I was hooked. The smell alone was enough to make me realise truffles were going to play a big role in my food life.
Truffles are a type of fungus and are found in the ground near certain species of trees. They are usually hunted by dogs or pigs who sniff through the dirt to find the elusive truffles. They have quite an earthy, distinctive flavour and are definitely considered a delicacy and often come with an expensive price tag.
Whenever I see anything with truffle on a menu I tend to find it really hard to pick anything else. This paid off on a trip to Italy a couple of years ago. We were in Lake Orta, one of the northern Italian lakes, sitting in this white table cloth restaurant overlooking the lake. I spied a truffle pasta on the menu and couldn’t resist. Our order came out and I was presented with a bowl of plain pasta and then the waiter came over with a fresh truffle and started grating it over the pasta. I couldn’t believe it! I also couldn’t believe that he was just grating it everywhere and it was going all over the tablecloth! I don’t know when I will ever get the opportunity to have fresh truffle again especially for a bargain price of 15€!
Adding truffle to your dishes can be through a variety of ingredients, from fresh truffles, to truffle oil, marinated truffles and even truffle honey. Truffle oil, as used in this recipe, is the cheapest and easiest way to add a delicious truffle flavour to your meals. I love it drizzled on risottos, soups or pastas. It’s important to note that truffle oil is a finishing oil and shouldn’t be used in cooking. While it may seem expensive a little goes a long way.
As pouring truffle oil on chips doesn’t make for a very exciting recipe this recipe is really all about cooking the perfect baked chips. Firstly choose the right type of potato. I really like using baking potatoes like Maris Piper for baking chips as they go lovely and fluffy in the middle.
Set your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (fan oven) and use about 1 medium sized potato per person. You chips don’t have to be cut perfectly but try get them all a similar thickness so they cook evenly. I sometimes throw away the little ends as they tend to go crispy before the bigger chips are cooked but you make like that sort of thing!
Place all the chips in a bowl and add a few tablespoons of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Because we are going to be adding layers of flavour after the chips are cooked, keep the flavours simple at this stage. Toss really well and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Use a couple of they don’t all fit on one.
The total cooking time will be about 40-50 minutes but set your timer every 10 minutes and turn the chips so that the cook evenly throughout and don’t stick to the baking sheet. Once you can easily put a fork through the chips they are done. Plate and drizzle immediately with the truffle oil. To add some additional flavour, sprinkle over some freshly grated parmesan and chopped parsley.