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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!).
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.
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!
This is an excellent hint as to my birthday meal:
N makes the best pumpkin pies in the world. She makes the crust herself, using techniques passed down through the generations. She uses pumpkin that she’s carved out of a real-live pumpkin and then cooked. She makes fun pastry decorations to sit on the top of the pie. She doesn’t over-flavor with cinnamon or all-spice so you can still taste the pumpkin.
I know there hasn’t been much activity lately, and I also know I haven’t cooked too much lately. But if there is one thing I do and enjoy, that thing would be eating. This past Sunday, I had been watching Barefoot Contessa making croques monsieur and realized that I had pretty close to the right ingredients. The night before, I had made some fromage fort, and AB had made garlic bread… I’m sure you can see where this is heading.
The first step was carving off a sizeable (sandwich-size) chunk of garlic bread, and applying the fromage fort.
Obviously, for a ham and cheese sandwich, the ham is necessary (I also threw in a layer of swiss, because the ham seemed lonely)
Next, I slapped the sammy together and placed it in a pan. (I smushed it down a little bit to try and get it to stick together)
I baked it for about 10 minutes, sprinkled some mozzarella on the top, and shmelted that slightly.
And then, I ate it.