Monday, May 19, 2008

The Morel of the Story: More Shrooms is Better Shrooms!

Along with the concept of "birthday week" (because really, you can't get all the birthday festivities that you want into one day), it's become a tradition around our house to celebrate Peef's birthday with morel mushrooms. Seems that, for a few years in a row, the mushrooms cooperated and showed up right when we needed them.

This year they were a bit tardy. So, what did we do? Why, we did what any sane people would do. We extended birthday week! And what a lovely time we had!

This year, it just so happened that when I went "foraging" for the morels on the urban landscape, I also found some other delights.

Blue foot mushrooms, for one.
And a fresh porcini!
And some beautiful white hon shimeji mushrooms.
I cackled crazily as I carried them home in my pack. And, of course, I got right to cooking.

(Paul was positively delighted that I'd found his beloved morels!)
We decided it would be best to keep things simple. So, we put together a lovely wild mushroom pasta dish. The concept was simple.
  1. Saute mushrooms in olive oil and a bit of butter.
  2. Douse with a splash of dry vermouth (this is a fantastic little trick that takes away any "dirty" flavor the mushrooms might have and brings out their musky earthiness).
  3. Finish with a bit of heavy cream.
  4. Serve over noodles with a grating of grana padano cheese.

Simple as you can imagine -- but absolutely lovely.

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