A Morel Dilemma

So picking up a couple of bits and bobs for dinner tonight (spaghetti amatriciana for the Prick, and a big warm bowl of boscaiola for Mrs Prick, presently en route home from parts north) at the local Harris Farms, I saw packages of fresh just-flown-in-from-France morel mushrooms. Not cheap, but hey, fresh morels!

Two thoughts come to mind: One, it’s amazing how far Sydney food culture has come in ten years. When I landed here in 2001, I was fortunate enough to live (albeit in a tiny bedsit under a nursing home) in Woollahra, and could if I saved my pennies pick up a bit of nice cheese at Jones the Grocer or Simon Johnson. But the local Coles? Forget it – it was like going back to the 1950s, in a bad way. Fast forward to 2012, and our local supermarkets now flog roquefort cheese, duck breasts, and salmon roe.

But secondly, and down to business now, were I to pick up some morels, what would I do with them? Risotto? An awesome accompaniment to a great piece of beef? Thoughts, suggestions and tips welcome in comments.

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2 Responses to A Morel Dilemma

  1. Dr Duck from Goulburn says:

    I have just finished working my way through 400 g of black truffles from a friend’s farm. Very interesting …. I’d like to try some fresh morels…. worth the trip to Sydney to get them.

    The Yanks who collect them like to coat them in saltine cracker crumbs and fry them in butter …. others suggest egg and flour or half flour half maize cornflour (makes them crispy). However, I’m always suspicious of American cook books and food blogs. Nonetheless, there must be something to it.

    I would have steaks with a red wine reduction sauce thickened with butter and a little cream, and put lightly sauteed morels in it. Even better if you have some glace de viande and can make a sticky reduction sauce, in which case leave out the cream. Season well with pepper. I’ve done this with dried morels to good effect.

    A chicken sautee with a quick old fashioned wine and stock sauce, finished with cream, also comes to mind. Season chicken pieces well and brown well in butter, add shallots, deglaze with wine, season, throw in a little thyme, turn down heat to a simmer and cover till just cooked. Take out chicken and add some cream and the sauteed mushrooms, reduce till thickened slightly and pour over chicken.

    Dr Duck

  2. Pogria says:

    Keep it simple. Pan fry in lots of butter with a good stripping of fresh thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Splash of home made plum worcesteshire.
    Pour over a black and blue rump or sirloin.
    Duck or goose fried potatoes on the side.
    Drink the red, don’t waste it in the pan.
    Salad, if you must.

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