Mr Murchison's Truffle Odyssey...

Here we have a mixture of the earthy depth of Perigord truffles and artichokes, the heady scent of white truffle oil, the softness depth of risotto and an incredible umami hit with the Parmesan.  Continuing our truffle theme, and courtesy of the very lovely Alan Murchison:

Jerusalem artichoke & Perigord truffle risotto, white truffle and artichoke velouté

Ristotto Rice
50g shallot brunoise (very finely diced)
25g garlic purée
100g butter
150g arborio risotto rice
100ml dry white wine
450ml vegetable nage
75g Jerusalem artichoke purée
50g crème fraîche
50g Parmesan cheese

12 cooked poivrade baby artichokes
50 slices of fresh Perigord truffle (yikes!)
100g pea shoots

To make the risotto, sweat the shallots and garlic purée in the butter.  Cook for 4-5 minutes without colouring.  Stir in the risotto rice and cook for a further 2 minutes.  Add the white wine and reduce by half.  Add half the vegetable nage and simmer over a gentle heat for 12 minutes, adding more nage as required.  Remove from the heat when the rice still has a little bite.  Pour onto a tray and spread out to allow the rice to cool evenly.  Cover with cling film and set aside.

To finish the dish, gently heat the cooked risotto, adding the artichoke purée.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the rice is tender, then add the crème fraîche and Parmesan and season to taste.

For the artichoke velouté, heat the purée and add the steamed milk and truffle oil.  Season and add the lemon juice.

Spoon the risotto rice into large metal rings.  Carefully remove the rings, add the artichokes and sauce, then top with copious amounts of sliced truffle.

Other Components:
Jerusalem artichoke purée
1kg Jerusalem artichokes
600ml vegetable nage
400ml whipping cream
salt and pepper to taste

peel the artichokes and chop into even size slices about 1cm thick.  Place in a pan and cover with the vegetable nage and cream.  Bring to the boil and simmer until very soft.

Lift the artichokes from the liquor and put in a Thermomix (or blender*).  Blitz until smooth, adjusting the consistency with the leftover cooking liquor.  Season to taste.

Vegetable Nage
2 large onions
3 sticks celery
1 bulb fennel
1 large leek
2 whole heads of garlic
100ml olive oil
750ml dry white wine
3 star anise
12 black peppercorns
6 white peppercorns
1 sprig rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
3 bay leaves
12 pink peppercorns
bunch of flat leaf parsley
bunch of tarragon

Finely chop all the vegetables and seat down in the olive oil for 3-4 minutes without colouring.  Add the white wine and reduce by half.  Cover with water and bring to the boil.  Simmer for 15 minutes, then add the herbs and spices and simmer for a further 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and allow to infuse and cool.  Strain and set aside.

Cooked Poivrade Baby Artichokes
3 lemons
2 litres of water
5g ascorbic acid
6 large baby poivrade artichokes with long stalks
1 large banana shallot, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic
10 ml olive oil
100ml white wine
50 ml white wine vinegar
3 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
6 black peppercorns

Squeeze the lemons into a large bowl and add the water and the ascorbic acid.

Start preparing the artichokes by snapping off the outside leaves as close to their bases as possible.  Keep removing outside leaves until you reach the lightest in colour and the most delicate inner leaves.  Prepare all six artichokes to this stage.  It is important to work quickly to prevent discolouration.

Peel the rough green skin from the artichoke head and stalk.  Once the creamy white flesh has been exposed and there is no green left, submerge it in the acidulated.  Repeat until all the artichokes are prepared.  Cut the remaining leaves away to just expose the choke.

Lightly colour the shallot and garlic in a little olive oil.  Deglaze the pan with the white wine and vinegar, and add the herbs and peppercorns.  Place the artichokes in the pan and just cover with the acidulated water.  Season to taste.  Bring to the boil and simmer for three minutes, then allow to cool in the liquor.

* If using a blender, please note that hot liquids should not be blended with the lid tightly on, as a vacuum will be created, and the contents of the blender will end up all over your kitchen!

Please do buy Alan's brilliant book - you can read my review of it here, and see more photo's of his amazing dishes