Eat Morels, Drink Wine
One of spring's blessings is the morel mushroom. It grows here in the Catskill Mountains, and it takes a trained eye and knowledge of its habitat to find them. Once you know what they look like and how to find them, it is an exciting treasure hunt for a mushroom which is heavenly in taste and texture.
Our local specialty farm market sells them for 50.00 a pound, and they were all gone when Larry went back to check.
Though I have gone out a few times with a friend who has a passion for both hunting and eating them, tonight's dinner was none of my pickings. My friend came over with a bagful and we proceeded to make a FABULOUS dinner (recipe enclosed) which was accompanied by an affordable bottle of Linderman's Savignon Blanc (South African)which I bought for under 8.00 a bottle, superb for both drinking and cooking.
Dinner was finished off with another one of Larry's amazing salads.
The mushroom grows all over the country, and a google check will give you more information. Right now here in the northeast, they are in season, and if you can't pick them, some of your specialty markets might have them. Here is the recipe. Of course, we never measure, so these are all approximations.
A bunch of morels, at least 20 I would say
About 2o thin stalks of new asparagus
a box of cherry or grape tomatoes, or about 4 plum tomatos
1 container of sour cream
ground black pepper
ground nutmeg (fresh if possible)
1 lb pasta of choice (we used artichoke pasta as we avoid wheat)
1/2 stick organic butter and a few tablespoons olive oil.
OPTIONAL: chopped up shallots
PS we use all organic ingredients when possible.
Steam asparagus till it is al dente, remove from heat
Heat butter and oil, saute mushrooms.
When wilted, add asparagus
Add 1 container of sour cream-mix well
Add the chopped tomatoes
add 1/2 c. or more wine
grind fresh pepper and nutmeg into it.
Cook down for a while, stirring constantly, adjusting ingredients as you taste it
(add some of the pasta water if you want to sauce if not thick enough).
Serve over pasta of choice
Oh and Shiva, our half Siamese cat, waits anxiously for his nibble of food, which is always served to him on the window ledge alongside Larry. Tonight he had morels, and cucumbers.
Off to read my Allende book, which seems to go on forever, though I am thoroughly enjoying it.
Patti O Cookster