Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fines Herbes Ranch Dressing

I have been experimenting with classic herb combinations: Herbes de Provence, Fines Herbes. There is a reason these combination have been used for centuries, they work and have stood the test of time. Fines Herbes is a blend of parsley, chives, tarragon, and chervil. Fine Herbes is great with chicken, fish, soups and stocks, salads, and very notable with egg dishes. Note: I love Penzeys Spices and am using their spelling.

2 cloves Garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/3 cup Buttermilk shaken
1 teaspoon White Wine Vinegar or Champagne Vinegar
1 tablespoon Flat Leaf Parsley minced
1 tablespoon Chives minced
1 tablespoon Tarragon minced
1 tablespoon Chervil minced

Add all of the ingredients in to food processor fitted with the steel blade, pulse several times to completely combine. If the dressing is too thick, add more buttermilk 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time until you have the desired consistency.

Makes about 1 1/3 cups

If the garlic is not finely minced you may want to combine the garlic, salt, and pepper in the food processor first, pulse a few times and then add the remaining ingredients. This recipe uses all fresh herbs.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Fried Morels

Morels/Fried Mushrooms, originally uploaded by chrisfreeland2002.

...or what Newsweek calls "Hillbilly Haute Cuisine"...

What you see above is exactly how I've always eaten morels - fresh out of the fryer, drying on paper towels, sprinkled with salt - YUM! I know there are all kinds of amazing recipes for the spring woodland delight - sauteed in butter with pasta, in a cream sauce, and heck even a duxelle, but growing up we had 'em floured and fried. That's how I want morels.

And that's how I prepared the AMAZINGLY generous gift Chris Cozzoni's parents gave me on Thursday, when they presented me with a beautiful batch of morels foraged from local Missouri woods. I've updated the batter a bit, but it's still an easy preparation - clean and slice the mushrooms, dip in egg + Tabasco, roll in flour+corn meal and fry. Simple. Delicious!


10 large morels - must be fresh, not dried & reconstituted! Seasonal only!!
2 eggs
Dash of Tabasco
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup yellow corn meal
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

If you've foraged them yourself:
Slice morels in half, or quarters for large 'shrooms. Brush off soil and bugs and things. Soak in a sink full of salted water (it kills the little slugs. eww, sorry, gross, I know) for 15 minutes. Using a net scoop the morels out and lay on paper towels to dry. Follow below.

If you've purchased fresh morels:
We'll assume the morels have already been brushed down and all soil and woodland critters removed. Slice them and soak them in a small pan of lukewarm water for 5 minutes, until slightly spongy. Remove to paper towels to dry. Follow below.

Heat FryDaddy, or large pan with 3"+ of oil.

Gently blot the morels with paper towels to remove excess moisture. In a shallow dish, lightly beat two eggs and a splash of water and 2 dashes of Tabasco (or to taste). In another dish, combine flour, corn meal, salt & pepper. Dip morels into egg, then into flour mixture. Shake off excess and set on baking sheet.

Fry morels until golden, turning often in oil to ensure even frying. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle liberally with kosher salt. Serve immediately.