How to Incorporate Specialty Gourmet Foods into Your Menu

Many people enjoy eating specialty gourmet foods and luxury foods at restaurants and for special occasions, but don’t really know how to incorporate these fancy foods into their menu at home.

Once you get used to using specialty gourmet foods, you’ll see new and creative opportunities to add these ingredients to your menu almost every day.

Foie Gras

© Sudres/photocuisine/Corbis
© Sudres/photocuisine/Corbis

While not to everyone’s tastes for a variety of reasons, some do enjoy foie gras. Who would have guessed that foie gras is one of the most versatile and easy to incorporate specialty gourmet foods? Just by adding foie gras to an existing recipe, many dishes can easily be elevated to an impressive gourmet meal.

In general, foie gras complements almost any type of red meat, exotic meat or poultry. Fish such as tuna, salmon, skate wing and seafood such as scallops, lobster, and even abalone are all good counterparts to foie gras. Vegetables that are especially good with foie gras include sautéed cabbage, braised endive, sautéed mushrooms, fava beans, leeks, carrots and onions, and legumes such as lentils and other dried beans. Foie gras is often served with mixed green salad, and also pairs wonderfully with Alba white truffles or Perigord black truffles.

In many cases a slice of seared foie gras or a slice of foie gras torchon, terrine, or block, can simply be placed on top of your meat, fish, or vegetable. Use smaller pieces or cubes to top soups and sauces.

Truffles, Truffle Oil, and Truffle Butter

© Creativ Studio Heinemann/Westend61/Corbis
© Creativ Studio Heinemann/Westend61/Corbis

Admittedly, most people don’t indulge in fresh truffles every week or every month; however, drizzling a small amount of white truffle oil or black truffle oil or adding truffle butter to recipes is an inexpensive way to enjoy the delightful earthy flavor of truffles on a regular basis. Uses for truffle oil include pasta with truffle oil, truffle oil mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs truffle oil, truffle oil macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese with truffle oil sandwich, and truffle oil salad dressing.

The uses for truffle oil and truffle butter are endless because truffles go with so many foods. Fresh truffles, truffle oil, and truffle butter all pair well with red meat, white meat, cured meats, fish and seafood, vegetables, cheese and all mild bases such as pasta, risotto, potatoes, polenta, and eggs. For more ideas on how to use truffle oil, read our article Top 10 Uses for Truffle Oil.


VodkaCaviar-200x300Though you may not keep Beluga caviar or top quality osetra caviar on hand, salmon caviar, trout caviar, and tobiko are much more affordable, can be kept in the the freezer and used as needed, and have a wide variety of uses.

Whether you use sturgeon fish caviar (the only type of fish roe that can simply be called “caviar” without naming the type of fish from which the roe originated), or the roe from other types of fish, a small dollop of shiny fish eggs dresses up any meal. Sushi and sashimi can accommodate any type of caviar or tobiko, as can scallop tartar, tuna tartar, and salmon tartar. Smoked fish such as smoked salmon or smoked trout can be dressed up with jet black black caviar as can grilled or baked fish.

The same concept of pairing truffles, truffle oil and truffle butter with mild bases also can be applied to caviar. Caviar, and other types of fish roe can be incorporated into many pasta dishes and egg dishes or can be served simply on a toast point, small round of toasted brioche bread or blini.

Specialty gourmet foods don’t have to be preserved for holiday dinners and special occasions.  Foie gras, caviar and other fish roe, and truffle oil and truffle butter are all quite versatile, and when used in small amounts can be affordable enough to enjoy frequently.

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Laurel Pine

Laurel Pine is the CEO and Founder of Laurel Pine Living Luxury. I am passionate about living life fully and luxuriously and celebrating every day. Food and drink is one of the ways people experience luxury, and it is my personal mission to connect people with the world's most delicious foods and exquisite culinary experiences.