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French Perigod Truffles with Benton's Ham topping the house-made Burrata


Burrata and truffles is a perfect combination. Try making your own burrata or simply make the butter braised leeks with store-bought burrata.

Recipe courtesy of The 404 Kitchen in Nashville, TN.


For the burrata

  • 1 Pound Mozzarella Curd, use the best available, such as Caputo Brothers curd
  • 2 Cups Heavy Cream, the higher the fat content the better
  • 1 Tablespoon black truffle oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 gallon water, 182 degrees Fahrenheit, more water may be needed

For the butter braised leeks

  • 1/4 Cup diced ham, such as Benton's Country Ham
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 Cup chopped parsley, washed and dried
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 12 sprigs thyme, leaves pick off the stem
  • 4 Leeks, julienned crosswise and washed in cold water
  • 1 Pound butter

To assemble

  • French Perigord truffles
  • Sea salt


For the burrata

Crumble 1/2 of the curd into a stainless bowl, pieces should be about a half inch to an inch in size. Sprinkle the curd with 4 heavy pinches of salt.  Don't worry about over salting. Pour half the water over the curd and allow it to start relaxing. With a wooden spoon scoop the curd out of the water and allow it to slowly drip back into the hot water. As you repeat this again and again you will notice the cheese starting to become glossy and have long strands.

At this point form the cheese into long pieces and place in cold water. Once the cheese has chilled slightly remove it from the water and from the top pull long strands off as thin as possible. Think of string cheese when doing this, that is the size of strands you are looking for. Put the pulled strands in the heavy cream. Once all the cheese is pulled into the cream season the mix with salt and black truffle oil. Mix thoroughly to combine. This is Stracciatella and is delicious eaten on it's own. Crumble the remaining curd into another bowl and salt as before. Again cover with hot water and allow the curd to start relaxing.

This time after stretching the cheese until glossy return the cheese to the warm water.  Remove one end of the cheese and using your thumb and index finger squeeze the cheese into a ball about the size of a Ping pong ball pinching the ball off the larger mass.  If you were to put that ball into chilled water you would have fresh mozzarella which is also delicious and tastes completely different when made fresh.Return the ball to the water briefly (5seconds) to warm up. Remove the ball from the water and gently smash the ball into a circle about a half inch thick.  Pinch the edges with your thumb, index, and middle fingers to slightly flatten then leaving a thicker center.

Form a circle with your index finger and thumb by touching them tip to tip. Place the larger center of the cheese in the circle. Stuff the stracciatella (about 1/4 cup worth) into the center stretching the cheese as you stuff it.

Fold the thinner outside parts together and pinch them closed. Dip the pinched part back into the hot water briefly to help seal it up.
Gently place the fresh burrata into cold water.

For the butter braised leeks

Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil (the water should taste and smell of the sea). Blanche the leeks for roughly 45 seconds to set the chlorophyll. Melt the butter over low medium heat (about number 4 on the stove dial).  Add the bay leaf to the butter and a pinch of salt. Drain the leeks from the water and immediately put them in the melted butter. Braise the leeks on the same heat level for approximately 20 minutes or until the leeks are tender but still have a bit of crunch. Remove for the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Strain the leeks from the butter reserving both. Using some of the leek butter over medium high heat crisp up the diced ham. Once crisp strain the ham from the butter, discarding the butter.Reheat the leeks over medium heat adding some of the butter back to the pan along.  Add the thyme, lemon juice (to taste), salt, and black pepper. Once heated finish by adding the parsley tossing to combine evenly. Garnish with the crispy ham.


To assemble

Spoon the hot leeks into the center of a small bowl and gently spread around, be careful to not reach the edge of the bowl. With a sharp knife cut the burrata in half turning the cut side up so the liquid doesn't leak out. Garnish the leeks with the crispy ham.  Place the burrata, cut side down, o to the leeks and sprinkle with the Maldon salt. Shave the truffles paper thin and garnish the dish with the slices. Eat and enjoy!