We started with our ounce of dried morels. Freaky brainy-looking creatures, aren't they?? OH, but they are so very delicious. Stay with me here...
Meanwhile, chop up a bit of fresh thyme. And make yourself a nice batch of lemon thyme biscuits.
When the morels are ready, you'll notice that they're considerably softer than before. And your cream has taken on a completely new personality. Not only is it lovely and creamy -- but it is redolent with delicious morel flavor. Remove the morels from their creamy bath and set that lovely cream aside for later.
Chop the morels roughly. Don't forget to stop for a moment and appreciate their fascinating architecture. And then saute them in a bit of butter to ensure that they're fully cooked.
You've already sliced up a couple of cups of tender, fragrant leeks. You'll want to saute them in a bit of butter as well -- just until they're beginning to grow transluscent.Now, we'll move on to the custard. You'll take a bit of broth (either chicken or vegetable -- whichever you prefer) and heat it to the boiling point. While the broth is heating, you'll whisk up a few eggs with a bit of lemon juice. Temper the eggs, and then throw everything back into the saucepan. Heat it until it thickens into a delicious custard.
Then mix it with the morel-infused cream, some milk, and a bit of that chopped thyme.
Slice the cooled lemon-thyme biscuits in half and layer them into a buttered 9x13 pan.
Cover the biscuits with the sauteed leeks, morels, and a bit of grated Gruyere cheese. Try to prevent yourself from drooling all over everything.
Pour the fragrant egg custard gently and evenly over the top of the biscuits...
And then bake in a preheated 350ºF oven for about 30 minutes -- or until the custard is set and everything is browning a bit around the edges.
When the strata has cooled a bit, you can slice it into servings. We sprinkled ours with a bit of extra chopped thyme and placed it atop a bed of fresh watercress. We also fancied up a delicious ripe strawberry, and sliced one of the last of our perfectly ripe oranges to garnish the plate.
Your entire kitchen will smell positively fabulous by the time this strata comes out of the oven. And you'll be ravenous. Just don't forget to eat slowly. Savor and enjoy.
Morel & Leek Strata with Lemon Thyme Biscuits
If your tastebuds are tantalized, don't forget to vote for our recipe on the Marxfoods Blogger Recipe Challenge - Morel Edition.