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Megans Cookin: The Morel Of The Story!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Morel Of The Story!

When I get a thought in my head, it can haunt me. It will perch itself on the edge of my sanity and whisper to me. It can show up in my dreams and dominate my conversations. Sometimes, it even shouts at me and can even follow me on vacation.

Case in point?

These morel mushrooms.

About a month ago or so, I was seeing some chatter about morel mushrooms on Twitter. Knowing these are the rare gems of the mushroom family, I was definitely enchanted. I even thought what a nice addition they would make for this dinner that I hosted on vacation. I checked out Earthy Delights, a great little artisanal/wild/traditional foods company. I exchanged a few tweets with David, the great guy that works at Earthy Delights. That just fueled the mushroom obsession in my head. I tried to leave it behind as I went on vacation.
Damn thoughts!

Fast forward a few days:
While on vacation, my girlfriend and I stop at a little convenient store for a soda. While she went into the store, I stayed outside in the car with the dogs. I noticed a hippy looking guy sitting in a lawn chair on the side of the building. It looked rather strange to me and got my attention. Then a Volkswagen van pulled up and out hopped a woman.

In her hand was a mesh bag full of morel mushrooms.

I almost fell over. I recognized her bounty immediately. She approached the hippy man and they exchanged mushrooms for money. I felt like I was watching a drug deal go down. I had never seen that scenario.

My girlfriend went up to the hippy guy and asked what the deal was. He was there to buy morel mushrooms from the local gatherers for $10.00 a pound. I couldn't believe it. I knew those mushrooms sold for about $40.00lb. But the hippy guy couldn't sale any and couldn't tell us where those mushrooms were headed. He said try the farmers market. We'll I've never seen these mushrooms anywhere and not at any farmers markets I had ever been to. That was just throwing fuel on the mushroom obsession fire going on in my head.

After I got home from vacation, I told David about the hippy guy and the morels. He told me he could of been a guy working for a company like his own. Who knows where those mushrooms were headed or who the hippy guy was working for. I just found the whole exchange very interesting.

After a few more tweets and a phone conversation, David sent me a box of fresh morels and a few other goodies. I was in mushroom heaven. I was so excited I could hardly stand it.
So I started planing a very simple yet delicious dinner. I was going to just go with a big steak and the mushrooms with a side of fresh spring asparagus.

A meal to celebrate Spring with some of it's seasonal bounty.

Then I saw the recipe for asparagus risotto from Recipe Girl and knew that would be my side dish. A simple food perfectly fitting to celebrate the spring season. And I would throw in some sauteed morels and a few fava beans. (Fava beans have been whispering to me as well.)

This risotto went perfect with the morel feast. You can substitute any wild mushroom in this dish or leave them completely out. I recommend you skip the fava beans because they get lost in the dish. They need to be the stars of their own recipe in my opinion.
You can find the recipe here.

Thank you David for the morel feast and the other goodies.
I appreciate it so much!

If you haven't checked out Earthy Delights,
I recommend it!

From the web site of Earthy Delights:

Earthy Delights is America's premier supplier of specialty foods to quality conscious American Chefs. We pioneered the use of overnight delivery to get fresh produce from the farm to the kitchen in the shortest time possible. We are leaders in offering wild-harvested and hand-crafted foods from small harvesters and growers to a larger audience. Now we are bringing this same selection of fine products to the adventurous home chef, using the power of the internet.

We offer wild mushrooms and other seasonal wild-harvested items, fresh specialty produce, fine hand-crafted cheese, aged balsamic vinegar, exotic spices and hard-to find ingredients to the professional chef and the at-home culinary artist. As the palate of the American public becomes more sophisticated, our catalog of fine foods is constantly expanding to meet and anticipate the needs of the adventurous professional and at-home chef.



Blogger Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Just beautiful!!! Love morel mushrooms and this recipe definitely seems to do them justice!

May 4, 2009 at 5:13 AM  
Blogger April said...

Welcome back my friend!! I had no idea what they looked like either, but this dish looks fantastic!

May 4, 2009 at 5:39 AM  
Blogger RecipeGirl said...

Love the story of watching the 'deal' go down :) Glad you enjoyed. I've never cooked w/ morels... I think it's time!

May 4, 2009 at 5:57 AM  
Blogger stephchows said...

It was a total drug deal!!! LOL that IS a funny event to witness :)

May 4, 2009 at 6:53 AM  
Anonymous Janet said...

I was wondering when you were going to write about this, i was so curious about what they look like and they are definitly weird looking. Love the story...

May 4, 2009 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

I'm sitting here with chicken fried rice from pick up sticks feeling very cheated! :) Love your story.. lol.. My daughter would find a mystery waiting to be unfolded and never stop talking about it till she discovered the destination of those morels! :)

Guess what I'm embarking on Megan?? I just found an Opera tutor. I was hesitant, being that I don't see a career for this forty something gal, but I miss singing and have always wanted to have a go at opera!! :)

May 4, 2009 at 12:42 PM  
Blogger Reeniā™„ said...

Are you sure they weren't magic mushrooms? Ha. How interesting that must of been. You were in the right place at the right time. This risotto look so creamy and delicious! You put them to wonderful use!

May 4, 2009 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

I am so jealous! I love morels. Great meal here!

May 4, 2009 at 7:01 PM  
Blogger Christine aka Mistress of Cakes said...

wow...that looks so good!

you and doggbloggy would be best friends. here is his blog:

he is a mushroom kind of guy...he even forages for his own.

May 4, 2009 at 7:23 PM  
Anonymous noble pig said...

OMG that sounds delicious! I love Morels...what a meal.

May 5, 2009 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger kate said...

i love mushrooms so! nicely done.

and yeah, the macaroons--everyone fears them. let's conquer them together!

May 5, 2009 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger The Blonde Duck said...

I love the morel of the story! :)

May 5, 2009 at 2:25 PM  
Blogger Debbie said...

All's well that end's well.
Funny, "drug deal" story.

May 6, 2009 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

The mushrooms look enticing. They certainly do make a beautiful photo. Your recipe looks delicious. Thanks goodness for Twitter. Have a lovely Mother's Day Megan my friend.

May 7, 2009 at 4:35 PM  
Blogger Nicisme said...

Wow, what a great haul of morels!

May 8, 2009 at 7:29 AM  
Anonymous Jude said...

What a fantastic seasonal dish. Gotta get my hands on some morels before they disappear.

May 10, 2009 at 8:39 AM  

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