Pan Fried Morels


This Saturday marked the first outdoor Dane County Farmer’s Market of the year. AB and I excitedly ventured to the capitol square, and joined the throngs of people jostling from stall to stall.

Breaded Morels

The highlight of this trip (as we missed out on the spicy cheese bread we consumed religiously last summer) was definitely the Morels. I don’t think we’ve had morels since we paid a ridiculously high price for them right after we moved to Maryland 6 years ago! The morels at the market weren’t cheap, but definitely worth the rare treat.

We bought a half pound, took them home, and soaked them in salt water for a few hours. Morels are mushrooms, yes, but they don’t soak up water like a button or portabella might, so soaking them is a good way to encourage any earthen or insect hangers-on to relax their grips.

Frying Morels

After soaking, AB dredged the mushrooms in egg and then flour with a bit of Lawry’s. I had a ridiculous amount of butter ready in the pan, and dropped the morels in. I turned them each a few times, to ensure full browning. I drained the butter after the second batch in the pan, as I have a tendency to increase the heat- you don’t want the butter to burn, or the taste will be off.

Fried Morels
The result is deliciously rich nutty mushroomy morsels. We don’t expect to see morels again this season, but part of the fun in eating them is the rarity, and it allows us to enjoy the decadence of butter frying- NOT something we usually do!

As a footnote, we went to the old fashioned for brunch on Saturday after the farmer’s market. AB ordered a morel scramble, but we’re pretty sure they hadn’t soaked the mushrooms long enough– there was definitely some grit in there. Soaking is key!

Pickled Red Onion

Pickled Red Onions

Another post, another pinterest find… This time, pickled red onions from Umami Girl. I made these Saturday for a BBQ we had Sunday, so they had about 18 hours steeping in the fridge. I used thyme and rosemary, and probably nowhere near a 1/2 cup, but had filled the jar with onions already so no more herbs would fit! These onions were a hit, especially with the brats, and we have plenty left over to enjoy over the next few weeks.


Tortilla cooking

I saw this recipe on Pinterest a few weeks ago, and Pinterest objections aside (Spam! How is there so much spam?) (Attribution! People pin and repin and like and forget that content comes from somewhere!) I was excited to try these. The only modification I made was using a cast iron skillet instead of non-stick- oh, and I didn’t have enough olive oil, so I used about 1T olive oil and 2T canola.

Cast Iron Pan

The tortillas were easy to roll out, although next time I’ll try to get a bit thinner- my last two were much thinner than the first two!



We ate the tortillas with green peppers and onions that AB sauteed, shredded leftover beef roast from Sunday’s crockpot, and cheese & salsa. The tortillas were delicious, and hopefully they’ll hold up– the recipe made eight, but we only ate half of them (because, well, eight tortillas is a lot!).

Homemade Pizza!

Last Friday, AB and I made homemade pizza! We used this recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day for the
crust, then used cheap jarred pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella, pepperoni, and parmesan! We don’t have a pizza stone or peel, but floured the pan to ensure a clean removal. The crust is the real star, flavorful and with an excellent crumb. The dough makes enough for two pizzas in our pan, so we had the second pizza Wednesday- long after the leftovers were gone. The dough was still excellent five days in the refrigerator later, and the second pizza was as good as the first. :)

Pork Fried Rice

Pork Fried Rice
Last night for dinner, I made Pork Fried Rice. It was my first time making fried rice of any sort, and I think it turned out tasty! I worked partially from this recipe from A Sweet Pea Chef, although I forgot to get mushrooms, and made a few more modifications. I used leftover pork from a roast AB made earlier this week, and cooked the rice Thursday night. I used canola oil, as I have a tendency to ignore the lower smoke point of olive oil, and cooked diced carrots and green onions first, then after about 3 minutes I added ginger and peas, then shortly after the rice and pork and soy sauce. Cooking the egg in the same pan was a bit tricky, but it’s a quick process. We added sesame seeds before serving, and I wish I had toasted them

The meal was well received, and I had the leftovers today for lunch. I plan on making this more in the future!

Spinach and Shrimp Pasta

Supplies: 2 slices hard salami, oil to coat frying pan, 1 bag fresh spinach, 2 cups shrimp de-tailed, 1/2 box large shell pasta, gorgonzola cheese, optional lemon juice & minced garlic.

Dave and I saw a shell pasta salad with spinach in a local market and instead of buying some decided we could make a much better version ourselves.

salami fry! While waiting for the water to boil for the pasta, heat up oil in a large frying pan. Once hot add sliced or diced salami and a bit of garlic. This gets the flavor of the salami into the oil.

If the shrimp is frozen you should defrost it during this time by running it under warm water. Then take the tails off.

Cook the pasta and don’t burn the salami.

Adding lemon juiceAdd the bag of spinach, shrimp and juice of half a lemon to the frying pan and cover when the pasta is about 4 minutes from being cooked.

Drain the pasta and add a small handful of gorgonzola cheese. Toss with the wilted spinach, shrimp and salami.

yum!The shrimp seem to be hiding in this pic but I swear they’re in there.

If you wanna make a veg version of this I think it’d be good with halved cherry or grape tomatoes!

Challah french toast

The very best way to eat slightly old challah is to have N come to your house and use it to make french toast. She dips it in egg with a little vanilla and cooks it in a cast-iron skillet until it’s golden brown and delicious. challah.jpg The secret to delicious challah french toast is the toppings you provide. A few suggestions:  Syrup- just like pancakes, a high quality syrup makes all the difference. Remember that Grade B syrup is actually better than Grade A syrup if you like a dark, hearty flavor. Grade A is generally lighter in both color and flavor. syrup.jpgFor this morning’s creation we included cottage cheese as a topping option since it paired so well with the central topping: cranberry sauce made with brandy. It’s an N family recipe with raw or frozen cranberries cooked with brandy, sugar, and citrus zest.  If we cook a pound of cranberries we can’t eat them all at one meal. They keep in the freezer very well, although they don’t freeze solid. We heated them before adding on the french toast.  The other suggested topping is fresh fruit. Usually I like banana slices with walnuts on french toast. The week we made this challah there was a sale on mangoes at the grocery store and the co-op had some good looking kiwis available. They were cut the night before and sprinkled with lime juice before they were covered and refrigerated.fruit.jpg     A delicious combination with a little bit of powdered sugar on top:challah_eaten.jpg 

Homemade Pizza

N and I made homemade pizza a few weeks ago. The dough recipe was from the cookbook “The Enchanted Broccoli Forest” so I won’t reproduce it here. I will tell you that the recipe is dough for two pizzas and I used it all for one to get a delicious, thick crust. I upped the baking time about half an hour and it all worked out. The crust was great- done in the middle and thick as breadsticks on the outer rim. I used Muir Glen canned crushed tomatoes, which are my favorite canned tomatoes. We’re able to order cases of them from the Pocatello co-op for a very reasonable price. Cheese was mozzarella simply sliced, not shredded. You can buy better quality mozzarella whole and shred it yourself or save time and just slice it thinly. Pizza assembled but uncookedAfter it’s been cooked:cookedpizza.jpg