Monday, June 30, 2008

Memorial Day Madness in the kitchen

So this past Memorial Day, I was home babysitting my loveable labs, who, like me, love food. To celebrate not having to work Monday, I decided to hit the farmer's market and pick up one of my favorite fresh foods of all time - morels.

Some people collect stickers, some people collect spoons from places they've been to, others collect corks, and even more collect shot glasses. Well, I seem to collect recipes. Over the years, I've torn out recipe after recipe, daydreaming about how, one day, I'll whip up some delicious, gourmet dish with the flick of a wrist, every night of the week.


In my big kitchen dreams.

But this particular Sunday, I was in a big kitchen...and craving a luscious, not-to-heavy, but a little creamy, morel mushroom sauce. So, I went to the books. Found a recipe here, a recipe there - but not exactly what my taste buds were screaming for right then and there. So, I bit the bullet and decided to come up with something on my own.

I started off with some minced garlic sauteing in butter. Then I added some chopped shittakes, chanterelles, and morels, and cooked until fragrant. I added a cup or so of white wine (right out of my glass), and let the liquid reduce by half. Then I added a 1/2 cup or so of farm fresh heavy cream.

Meanwhile, I had prepared my bunch of my asparagus, and had tossed it with olive oil and a sprinkle of Maldon salt. They were roasting in the oven at 450, and they smelled delicious. I pulled out my asparagus, and checked my pot of water - boiling! Time to add my spinach pappardelle.

I admit. I'm a pasta snob. Nothing quite beats fresh pasta. Or thick pappardelle cuts of pasta. If I was going to make this sauce, I surely had to splurge on the good stuff!

Just as my sauce was ready, my pasta was cooked. I drained the pasta, saving a little bit of water to thin the sauce, and added it to my pan of mushroom ragout. As I plated my dinner, I realized next time, I should have added stock, for a juicier sauce, and to have checked for parmigiano (I was out!!!). C'est la vie....

Topped with a little bit of basil chiffonade, and a couple of spears of asparagus - and that glass of white on the side - and my dish was complete! Bon appetit!

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