Sauteed Morels Made By Man

I admit that I have morel fever! Every spring, I go gaga for the morel mushrooms. These forest treats are in limited supply for a limited time.

Morel Mushrooms

My man, Brian, and I received a small precious bunch of morel mushrooms from friends, Erin and Richard McArthur. Thank you McArthur’s!!!

In the past, we have cooked butter-fried morel mushrooms. See FoodMeOmaha post, “Butter-Fried Morels Made By Man”. This time, my man sauteed the morel mushrooms with butter.

Sauteed Morels:

Ingredients:

  • Fresh morel mushrooms (approximately 12)
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • Salt and black pepper

Directions:

1. Admire the morel mushrooms.

2. Trim the stalk ends and cut the bigger morels vertically in half.

3. Soak morels in salt water (we soak for about an hour), rinse, and pat dry.

4. On a frying pan, melt butter on medium-high.

Melt Butter for Sauteed Morel Mushrooms

6. When the butter is melted, add the morel mushrooms.

7. Add salt and pepper.

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8. Cook for about 5 minutes or until cooked through with buttery goodness.


Breath in the awesome aroma!

9. Occasionally stir gently.

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Sauteed Morel Mushrooms

10. Serve and enjoy each morel morsel!

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So simple and soooo good… We deliberately rationed the morels! Like Russian roulette (but in a delicious way), we took turns enjoying a morel piece. Every buttery, woodsy mushroom bite was followed by a moment of appreciation.

I now prefer the sauteed version over the fried. The earthy mushrooms shine more without the breading.

FoodMeOmaha Tidbit: Have morel fever? Check out the FoodMeOmaha post, “2015 Morel Sightings at Omaha Restaurants”.

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Halloween Hors d’Oeuvres

Zoe, Anne, Renae, Lena, Kelly, Maude, and FoodMeOmaha (left to right).

On Sunday, October 27th, we had a Halloween-themed baby shower at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch for our dear friend Anne. In the Halloween-meets-baby-shower spirit, we celebrated with cute horror d’oeuvres to coo over!

Banana Ghosts and Clementine Pumpkins. Banana + three chocolate chips = ghost. Clementine + celery stick = pumpkin. Maude assembled these fun, super-easy, healthy treats. These Halloween treats are popular on Pinterest and blogs. For reference, I like One Little Project’s “Ghost Bananas and Pumpkin Clementines” blog post.

Deviled Egg Eyeballs. Deviled eggs + sliced black olive + red food coloring = bloodshot eyeballs. I made the Food Network’s Classic Deviled Eggs with the following additional steps:

Prior to putting the yolk mixture on the egg whites, add the bloodshot effect. I dipped the tip of a steak knife in red food coloring and lightly drew red squiggles on the egg whites. (Note other online recipes use a toothpick but I improvised since I did not have any.)

Use a piping bag to disperse the yoke mixture. This is much easier and less messy than using a spoon. Since I didn’t have a piping bag, I filled a plastic bag with the yolk mixture, cut the corner with scissors, and then neatly piped the yolk mixture on the egg whites. I learned this trick from The Huffington’s Post article, “Deviled Egg Mistakes: How to Make Them and What to Avoid”.

Add the olive slice for the pupil. Then, enjoy the devilicious egg eyeballs!

I recommend serving the deviled egg eyeballs sooner then later since the bloodshot effect spreads and turns pink over time as seen in the comparison pictures above.

Pumpkin Puking Guacamole. Pumpkin + guacamole = pumpkin puking guacamole. I wanted it too look like a baby puking so I mimicked the pumpkin puking guacamole from ExtremePumpkins.com. I used a permanent marker for the eyes and nose for a quick and easy effect.

For the puke, I made three batches of Alton Brown’s guacamole recipe with some modifications. I did not use tomatoes and jalapenos; used red onion; and loaded up on the cilantro. The guacamole delivers in taste and does not brown due to the lime!

The pumpkin baby puking guacamole is a hit in both looks and taste!

This Halloween hors d’oeuvres post is dedicated to awesome parents-to-be Anne and Joe! FoodMeOmaha is looking forward to meeting little awesome junior to come!

Butter-Fried Morels Made by Man

My man, Brian, and I were delighted to receive morel mushrooms thanks to our friend, Richard McArthur. Morels have a subtle, delicate woody mushroom taste. They cannot be farmed and only come out once a year for a very short time.

Check out those beauties! Brian transformed the brainy-sponge mushrooms to butter-fried goodness.

Butter Fried Morels:

Ingredients:

  • Fresh morel mushrooms (approximately 30)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of flour
  • Salt, black pepper, red pepper, paprika, and garlic powder
  • 3/4 stick of butter

Directions:

1. Admire the morels.

2. Trim the stalk ends and cut the bigger morels in half.

3. Soak morels in salt water.

Morel Mushrooms Soaking in Salt Water

Brian explained that the soaking is an important step to eliminate the teenie bugs and dirt in the crevices. These were soaked for about half an hour and then rinsed again

4. Season flour with salt, black pepper, red pepper, paprika, and garlic powder.

5. Whisk two eggs.

6. Dip each morel piece in the beaten egg, then dredge in flour mixture.

7. Heat butter in a skillet. When it is hot, pan-fry the morel mushrooms until golden-brown.

8. Admire the butter-fried morels and enjoy each precious piece!

The butter-fried morels were gobbled up with glee. It had a nice outside crunch, subtle delicate mushroom inside, and buttery goodness throughout.

Once the plate was empty, I immediately said to my man, “I want more morels…”

Prosciutto and Cantaloupe: The Perfect Couple

On Thursday, August 2nd, I was hunting for an after-dinner snack at Wohlner’s Neighborhood Grocery & Deli. I wasn’t sure what I wanted. I prowled the isles and eventually settled on the fresh produce section in an attempt to find something fresh and healthier to eat. I saw the cantaloupe and immediately thought of prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe. I love prosciutto. Yes, please.

Prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe, also known as Prosciutto e Melone, is an easy and basic recipe. This is a stupid easy recipe AND stupid delicious.

All you need is two ingredients: the beloved prosciutto (a cured ham) and cantaloupe. I recommend using high-quality prosciutto and a ripe cantaloupe to maximize the stupid delicious taste.

At Wohlner’s, I purchased half a cantaloupe for $1.99 and 20 thin slices of Boars Head prosciutto (about 1/2 lb) from the deli. The prosciutto was $24.95 per pound. It’s pricey compared to other meats but a little goes a long way. Case in point, I overestimated on the prosciutto. I only used six slices of prosciutto for half a cantaloupe.

After my grocery trip, I cut some of the cantaloupe into bite-sized pieces.

I like the easy, accessible bite-sized cuts. Alternatively, you can also cut the cantaloupe into wedges (a more traditional style) or use a melon baller for fancy, ball-shaped cantaloupe.

I cut strips of prosciutto and wrapped each cantaloupe piece with the prosciutto strips. Along the way, I helped myself to some prosciutto and the prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe.  Mmmm….

The result: beautiful, tasty prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe that was prepared within a few minutes. Easy and oh sooo good.

Prosciutto and cantaloupe together make the perfect couple. It’s a case where opposite attracts. Think sweet refreshing cantaloupe and salty sexy prosciutto.

I ate every piece with glee. The saltiness of the prosciutto and sweetness of the cantaloupe is a combination I relish. A few days later, I made the prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe again and ate every piece with glee again.

AllRecipes.com’s Prosciutto e Melon recipe (which includes reviews) is similar to my version except I use a higher prosciutto to melon ratio.

Here are some tips. For gatherings, you can use toothpicks for convenient hand food. If you want to accommodate vegetarians and non-cantaloupe fans, you can serve them separately like Rachel Ray’s Prosciutto e Melon recipe. This way, eaters can enjoy the prosciutto and cantaloupe separately or combine them based on their preference.

Ultimately, if you like prosciutto and cantaloupe, then its stupid not to have this stupid easy and stupid delicious “perfect couple.”

For the Love of Souffle, Part 3: The Souffle Cooking Success

For Valentine’s Day, Brian and I decided to cook dinner instead of dining out since we wanted to avoid the busy V-Day dining crowd.  We negotiated/bantered on the menu and assigned chef(s).  We came to an agreement that I would cook my stuffed walnut bleu cheese steak and my dude would cook…  chocolate souffle!!!  I was very happy with this arrangement.

On V-Day, Brian insisted we exchange presents before dinner.  I wanted to make him wait for his gift until post-dinner but decided to be nice.  I opened my present and discovered… an aritsan Kitchenaid mixer!

A beautiful, sleek equipment strategically opened first for the souffle making!

Unlike my dude’s first souffle cooking attempt (See For the Love of Souffle, Part 2: The Souffle Cooking Attempt), he conquered the souffle this round!  He received his training from CookingWithMarki on YouTube.

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Brian followed the CookingWithMarki Chocolate Souffle video instructions and the recipe on the YouTube page at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apUxg3_lL-g.

Brian was so intense in his cooking.  I had to tell him to relax and enjoy the cooking.  He responded that he wanted to get it just right and he did.

Here are pictures of the making of the successful chocolate souffle.

          

Mmmm… Moist, light, chocolate goodness.  The chocolate souffle was so good that it was made again (jointly the second round). Definitely, added to our cooking repertoire.

Here are some souffle cooking tips from Brian and myself:

  • Prepare all your equipment and ingredients ahead of time.
  • Use room temperature eggs for better results.
  • Buttering the ramekins will prevent sticking and sugar will help the souffle rise.
  • Whip the egg whites until you get perfect peaks.
  • After adding the egg yolks, be sure to whip continuously to ensure that it does not scramble.
  • Bake in a water bath for more even cooking.
  • Don’t open the oven after you put the souffle in until its done, otherwise, it will fall.
  • If you want the souffle to have the visually-appealing height above the ramekin, fill the batter to the top of the ramekin.  (Our souffles does not have the height since the batter was distributed evenly between ramekins.)
  • After making the batter and putting in the ramekin, you can cover it with saran wrap to bake another time.  Be sure to seal it with the saran wrap to prevent a skin, then refrigerate.  I have done this and tastes the same!
Blog site, giver’slog, has a wonderful post with great souffle making tips and informative pictures at http://www.giverslog.com/?p=10642.  A great Google find. Also, the post has a chocolate souffle recipe that looks delicious.

For the Love of Souffle, Part 2: The Souffle Cooking Attempts

My dude (aka boyfriend) surprised me on my birthday with chocolate souffle personally made by himself.  This was an awesome, thoughtful surprise since he knew my love for souffle.  (See “For the Love of Souffle, Part 1: The Eiffel Tower Souffle” post.)   He bought the ingredients, ramekins, and a sifter, and cooked it all by himself for the first time and then surprised me with the finished product.

Gotta love that.  I was ecstatic.  Now, I have to admit it wasn’t the best souffle.  In fact, its the second worst souffle I have had taste-wise BUT I was beaming smiles.  I ate every bite of the souffle that was not light or airy clouds of chocolate.

 

It was rich chocolate pudding instead.  My dude suspects that it needed to be cooked longer and the egg whites were not the right soft peaks consistency. Chuckle.  The chocolate “pudding” souffle was a special surprise.

The souffle cooking attempts doesn’t stop there.  Inspired by the Eiffel Tower Souffle we had on our Vegas trip, my girlfriends and I also made souffle for the first time.

I was excited to make the goods in anticipation of enjoying light airy goodness with my gal pals.  After some group googling, we decided on simple recipes for banana and chocolate souffle.

We followed the recipe directions.  The banana souffle looked delicious rising in the oven…

The results wasn’t pudding, but the opposite.  Think banana biscuit.

The chocolate souffle did not fair so well either. Think stale flat chocolate bread.

Another chuckle.  These are the worst souffles I have ever tasted. I am not sure what we did wrong.    My novice suspicions is that we may have over-whipped the egg whites and cooked it for too long.  I am sure we missed other nuances as well.

While our souffles were not a success, we did have fun at our souffle cooking attempt! Fun interaction and laughter with great friends!  And, fortunately, we had other food to chow on.

Despite these souffle creations of pudding, biscuit, and stale bread, I would not be discouraged from making souffle.  I have learned recently that souffle can be successfully made and enjoyed.  Stay tuned “For the Love of Souffle, Part 3: The Souffle Cooking Success”.