It is morel season. I have never eaten morels before. Last year a colleague at work was extolling the flavour of these honeycombed fungi, proper name, Morchella esculenta. (Esculent is an English word, taken from the Latin meaning edible.) With great detail and a look of religious ecstasy on his face he spoke about cooking them in butter and cream, spooning them gently over pillow soft home made pasta and eating slowly in complete silence. In a similar fashion I go completely gaga over broad (fava) beans. It must be the short season and hence short supply that brings on such reverence. Eating local, seasonal produce procures so much pleasure, not to mention just how right on it is as an environmental act.
In reading on the subject of morels I am told they go awfully well with pheasant, possibly due historically to hunters bagging both booty on the same day. In which case, I’m pretty sure they would also marry nicely with venison. I’m going to have mine with a big old rib eye steak that I have marinading as I write in olive oil, red wine, salt and pepper. I’ll cook the mushrooms in butter and walnut oil with garlic, parsley and a generous splosh of wine. I may add some demi-glace too.
I’ll be heading over to Derek’s studio to cook, which is right on the banks of the St. Joe river. Fire up the bbq, pop open a bottle of wine and watch the fly fisherman on the other side of the water wait patiently for a brown trout to bite.
I’ll be posting again tomorrow with pictures of our evening feast.