recipes, food snaps, and travel musings

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Morchella elata

...at least that's what I think they were called.

Now I can't check because I ate them all. Ate all what? Morels.

Let's start with a bit of background, shall we? For the first 19 years of my life, I couldn't eat mushrooms. I could not be in the same room when they were being prepared, the merest hint of fungi in a soup, salad, pizza, anything and I would turn green and abandon the whole meal.

The smell turned my stomach, the thought of biting down on one was enough to ruin my appetite. As far as food aversions go, I would have been awarded top marks for my hatred of mushrooms.

What changed? I haven't a clue. It was around the same time that I learned how to blow bubbles with bubble gum that I found I was able to eat mushrooms. No, I certainly don't think the two events were related. Nobody in their right mind would associate the two rites of passage.

Putting aside how ridiculous it is to have not been able to blow bubbles with bubble gum until I was 19, let's get back to the topic of mushrooms.

Anyone who read the post from a couple of days ago will remember that I made a lovely "lobster and oyster mushroom bisque," and forshadowed an upcoming cooking experiment involving morels, the delectable and pricy edible cap fungus.

After carefully washing and slicing the epigious ascocarps, and discarding the bottoms of their stems, I prepared them in the following perfect way:

Early Morels with Spring Greens

5 large fresh early morels, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 pinches of coarse salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 oz cubed vegan cheese (I used the Edam flavour of Scheese)*
2 Tbsp tamari
1 Tbsp aged balsamic
3 cups mixed spring greens (baby kale, chard, and other young Brassica species), wet from washing
2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

*available from VeganEssentials

Fry morels in olive oil at medium-high heat until liquids begin to be released from the mushrooms. Add the salt and stir well for a couple of minutes, as the mushroom liquids boil and are condensed. Add garlic powder, stirring, and vegan cheese. Continue to fry until edges of the cheese begin to brown.
Add tamari and vinegar, stirring to combine, and boil to reduce liquids further.
Add spring greens, and cover to wilt, the stir to combine. Turn off heat when greens are uniformly wilted and bright green. Stir in toasted sesame seeds, and serve hot.

Toast is suggested (morels like being served with toast). If the photo looks a bit fuzzy, it's because I was too hungry to try very hard. I think you get the idea.


The Easter Chipmunk

Lindt released a dark chocolate bunny this year! Vegans, rejoice.

The ears got eaten first - they are the tastiest part.

It really is a lot of chocolate, though, when you've been eating cupcakes and truffles all weekend.
Maybe I should melt down our Eastern Chipmunks and turn them into fondu?

(Don't worry, they can't hear me plotting their demise...)

5 comments:

Vincent Guihan said...

Mmmm, morels are one of my favourite mushrooms. They're good in a cream sauce, too.

The Geographical Vegan Says... said...

instructions???

Vincent Guihan said...

Traditionally, melt 1 tbsp of margarine, 1 tbsp of flour, whisk into a roux, add 1 cup of soy milk (keep whisking!). Mince the morels and toss in, or you could use an immersion blender on the lot. Let the mixture thicken and reduce by about half. Some nutritional yeast doesn't hurt, some garlic, some white wine, other herbs. If you want a thicker sauce, more oil/flour. If you want a healthier sauce, start w/3/4 cup of soymilk, heat through, toss in the morels, and then add some corn starch diluted with cold water to thicken (again, maybe 1tbsp of each depending on how thick you like it).

PJ said...

Is it definitely vegan? After all, a lot of dark chocolate (and plain chocolate) is made with milk.

Tony said...

You mention Coconut Cream Powder in your recipes. What brand do you use and recommend that is Vegan? Thanks, Tony