TRUFFLED AVOCADO TOAST

One of my New Year’s resolutions, like I imagine most of my readers, was to lose weight — a resolution I believe I’ve made every year since 6th grade.  And I’ve been trying hard to keep that resolution–at least it feels like I’ve been trying hard.  I finally gave in and joined Weight Watchers for the hundredth time, except this time I promised myself that I’d try to stick to the program and not skip meetings.  It’s slow going, but at least it’s going.  If you’ve ever seen a WW ad featuring one of their success stories, you’ll notice a disclaimer at the bottom that says “results not typical.”  Well, say hello to “typical.”  My goal this year is to be “not typical.”

There are tons of WW “ambassadors” on Instagram, and they all joyously eat the rainbow, delight in ethereal baked goods made from egg whites and protein powder, and regard fat-free cheese, yogurt, and cool whip as a sort of holy trinity.  Everything they eat (and I do mean EVERYTHING) is Instagram-worthy, or at least Instagrammed.  But as I’ve learned over the years, this kind of eating tends to favor quantity over quality, is not sustainable in the real world, and is not for me.  I’ve tried a few of the products — the plasticene Velveeta slices (only 1 point!), the snack bars that taste like they’re coated in candle drippings (only 2 points!), the fat-free plain yogurt with fruit (pucker up!), and the1-point tortilla wraps that are gummy from cellulose fiber (OK, I kinda like these) — and have decided to focus instead on making healthier choices, eating smaller portions, and tracking (the bedrock of the WW plan).  And just to be clear, I will never ever accept Fat Free Cool Whip as “frosting” — that is just sadness.

So I expect that I’ll be posting some healthier recipes that fit in with what I’m trying to accomplish.  If appropriate, I’ll add the WW smart points value.  ‘Nuff said.

Avocado toast seems to be a particular favorite among not just WW devotees, but the world in general, although it seems that it is quickly being replaced by sweet potato toast (I know, not really a “toast” thing, and I can think of other ways to ruin my toaster besides running slices of sweet potato through it 4 or 5 times in a row).  Long before avocado toast starting trending, however, my parents used to make it, mashing it on toast and declaring it was “just like buttah.”

l had a small piece of a precious black winter truffle left in my fridge.  Jeanne, my “truffle pusher,” taught me that to enjoy truffles, they need a base of fat and salt.  But copious amounts of fat is kind of a no-no at the moment — and then I thought of the avocado, which is “just like buttah.”  And it worked — avocado toast with thin truffle shavings and a touch of flaky sea salt — that was one special breakfast!  Winter truffle season is over, but I may revisit this when summer truffles are available.  And for those of you without access to fresh truffles, I have confirmed that a teeny tiny drizzle of truffle oil is pretty delicious on avocado toast, as I suspect truffle salt would be as well (oh, the grueling research I conduct).  No recipe, just photos.  🙂

(6 WW smart points — 1/4 avocado (3 sp), 1 slice toasted sourdough or artisan bread (3 sp))

BLACK WINTER TRUFFLES

There’s a Houston woman named Jeanne DeBell Polocheck, who is known locally as The Truffle Lady.  This is because Jeanne imports fresh truffles weekly when they’re in season, and sells them to local restaurants and lucky individuals.  The truffles come from Les Pastras Organic Farm, an organic olive farm in the village of Cadanet in Provence.  Jeanne sells the truffles, as well as truffle salt, truffle oil, truffle honey, organic olive oil, and a few other items she imports from France, through her Facebook page The French Market, and also at the Memorial Villages Farmers Market.

Before the black winter truffle season ends, I splurged and bought a  45-gram  order of 3 truffles.  They don’t come cheap — this order was $80.

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Beautiful, no?

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I always thought truffles were sniffed out by pigs, but the farm uses dogs to hunt truffles.  These are the cuties that found my truffles, Éclair and Mirabelle:

I would appreciate it if my dogs, Jasper and Maisy, would get off their backs and go find me some truffles:

The truffles are only good for about 10 days, and storing them in a jar of rice in the refrigerator helps keep them fresh as long as possible.  (The truffle-scented rice is a treat for another day).

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I am fascinated by my truffles.  They’re like pets.  I take the jar out, open the lid, and inhale deeply pretty much every time I open the refrigerator.  I almost hate to use my truffles.  But, of course, I do.  Jeanne advised me that they need a base of fat and salt to bring out their flavor.  Say no more.

I don’t like to make elaborate dishes with my truffles.  I prefer simpler uses.  One way I particularly enjoy them is over scrambled eggs (scrambled, of course, in a generous amount of butter, and seasoned with salt and pepper).

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Mine, all mine.

Our favorite way to enjoy them, however, is shaved over buttered baked potatoes, preferably Mountain King Butter Golds (these are, incidentally, the best potatoes we have ever had — family is still talking about them from Thanksgiving.  Watch for them.).

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Mountain King Butter Golds

It’s nice to have a truffle shaver, although a sharp paring knife will work to cut thin slices from the truffle.

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Truffle shaver

I promise you, a buttered, sea salted, truffled baked potato is a special indulgence that you will not soon forget.

I shared one of my precious truffles with my friend Susan, and she sent me this quote from a feature on The Huffington Post (which also gathered some great-sounding truffle recipes) — “It’s a crazy world out there, and you never know what will happen.  One day, you could be minding your own business and suddenly be presented with an opportunity to buy a real black truffle. . . .  If you can afford to, you should absolutely do it this one time, so that you can experience what black truffles really taste and smell like. Oh, you’ve had truffle oil?  Forget everything you think you know about that and dive into the real thing.”  Excellent advice!

The season for black winter truffles is just about over.  It won’t be too long, though, before summer truffles come into season.  Milder in flavor, and about half the price of winter truffles, they are nice too, and fun to play around with (truffle ice cream was quite popular with Jeanne and her friends last summer).  But be warned, they are gateway truffles, and soon you’ll be craving the hard stuff (i.e., black winter truffles).