baking · brunch · comfort food · easy · eggs · mushrooms · Sauces · vegetarian · Yummy

Eggs and Morels in a Cream Sauce

Cooking regular meals is kind of on the back burner right now, because my farmer’s market booth opens in less than 2 weeks! That means I’m baking like a madwoman, and bringing cookies/cinnamon rolls with me everywhere I go, along with a trail of flour and sugar. Want to be a taste tester? Perfect. But you have to come to me, because I’m chained to my oven. I made 2 batches of cookies today, one of which was a double batch. Due to the nature of that type of cookie, even the double batch only made 15ish cookies. FML. How does one price out cookies that require this much butter? I’ll just have to explain, “I’m sorry, ma’am, but this cookie HAS to be $12, as there is a pound of butter included.” I’m sure they’ll understand.

The morels need to be soaked, dried, and chopped.

I have one weekend left to practice and do “research.” Research means checking out the other farmer’s markets to get ideas and tips based on their bakers’ displays. The whole thing is pretty confusing, but I’m pretty sure that I’ll be okay as long as I don’t poison anyone. And I’m definitely staying away from peanuts. There are too many fucking people that drop dead at the mere sight of a peanut. I can’t be worrying about that shit. No one’s gonna die on my watch.

My eggs stuck to the bottom despite buttering my pans.

I took a mini break from baking to make this egg recipe, as my friend has literally been raving about it for years. She is completely obsessed with morel mushrooms. As you know, I’m obsessed with mushrooms in general (as proven here, and here, and, oh yeah, also here), but I’d never tried the illusive morel. Mostly because they’re only in season for 5 fucking minutes, and they’re expensive as fuck. Who pays $70/lb for a fucking mushroom? It’s madness. That being said, I did cave. No, I didn’t spend $70. But I did find them for $50/lb, and proceeded to purchase 0.31lbs. It was still more than I wanted to spend on a single grocery item, but fuck it. Luckily, it made me 1.5 recipes worth of what I lovingly refer to as “the mushroom thing.” T and I ate it for breakfast Sunday morning, and then split one for dinner that same night. Outside of a few snacks at my mom’s house, that was all I ate on Sunday. When you add the bread into it, that shit is fucking heavy. It looks like a relatively light meal, but don’t be fooled. Definitely serve one egg per person, unless you can handle tons of cream and bread.

I 100% feel like this could be made with any mushroom, and it would taste the same. I don’t get the superiority complex of morels. I mean, they’re fine. They taste like mushrooms, and mushrooms are delicious. They for sure don’t taste $70/lb good.

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Eggs and Morels in a Cream Sauce

1 cup morel (or whatever) mushrooms, roughly chopped

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 small shallot, diced

1 tablespoon butter, plus enough to grease the dishes

4 eggs

Chopped chives (as many as you want)

Salt and pepper

1 baguette (or any other good, crusty bread)IMG_20190609_091412.jpg

Preheat oven to 375. Dissolve about a teaspoon of salt in a large bowl of cool/room temp water. Add the morels, making sure they are fully covered, and allow to soak for 2-3 minutes. You can use your hands to move them around a little bit, as you want to make sure any and all dirt/bugs/etc are removed. These things are forged, not farmed. They could legit have bugs. Pay attention. After they’ve soaked for a few minutes, strain out the water and allow them to dry on a layer of towels/paper towels. I left mine for maybe 15-20 minutes. Chop your shallots and measure the ingredients while you wait.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add a tablespoon of butter. Coat the bottom of the pan. Once fully melted, add in the shallots. Cook the shallots for about 2 minutes before adding in the chopped morels. Saute until soft, and onions are translucent. Pour in the cream and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for one minute before removing from heat. Let everything sit for 5 minutes to thicken. While you’re waiting, crack your eggs into small baking dishes. The original recipe called for ramekins. I don’t own ramekins, so I used mini loaf pans. Use what you’ve got. No need to buy extra shit for one fucking recipe.

Once the cream is done resting, pour it over the eggs into the (greased) baking dishes, making sure to even out the quantity in each. Because I used mini loaf pans, I did two eggs in each one. This mostly worked out. I ended up having to bake them for a bit longer than the original recipe recommended, but it’s fine. Bake for 15 minutes. Top with chives. Serve with bread for dipping.

This would also be a bomb ass pasta sauce.

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What could be better than eggs, cream, and bread?

dinner · pasta · vegetarian

Kraft Singles and Creamy Mushroom Pasta

I wasn’t always a good cook. I used to eat things that I would never even consider now. In college, for example, I had very bad eating habits. And, no, I’m not talking about your typical ramen, easy mac, pizza, and too much booze problem (but I’m guilty of that, too). I’m talking about putting Kraft singles (errr… the generic kind, because, I was, after all, a very poor art major) on my spaghetti. I know. I was a fucking moron.

My roommate and I used to frequent the local Olive Garden in our pajamas (obviously), and I was obsessed with their five cheese marinara sauce. After awhile, I decided to make my own version. This consisted of jarred pasta sauce poured over spaghetti noodles, then microwaved with a cheese single on top. If that wasn’t bad enough, I would also take a slice of white bread, spread the top with margarine (gak!), sprinkle with garlic powder, and microwave it. It was practically the same as going out to a restaurant.

I was 19. It wasn’t my fault. My brain hadn’t developed yet.

The first decent meal I ever learned to cook was pasta, because, seriously, that processed cheese shit was not food. It started with shrimp scampi, and moved on to lasagna (which we’ll get into someday). But my absolute favorite pasta dish in the world is the creamy mushroom variety. It literally has all my favorite foods in one dish – cream, butter, mushrooms, basil. I keep thinking about adding onions or tomatoes to this dish, but, I’m telling you, it doesn’t need it. Just don’t do it. Keep it simple, and you won’t be sorry.

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So, I learned from the movie (and book/blog) Julie and Julia that you aren’t supposed to “crowd the mushrooms.” Clearly, as you can see in the photo above, I am not good at this. I just can’t fucking wait that long for the mushrooms to be done. I have no patience with mushrooms! And, look! Everything turned out okay…

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Someday I’ll experiment with not crowding the mushrooms, and let you know if it makes a difference.

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Creamy Mushroom Pasta

Lots of mushrooms (I probably used 2 cups, but wished for more)

1 cup cream

2 tablespoons butter (don’t use margarine – it’s not food)

Handful of basil

1/2 pound of pasta (whichever shape you like best)

salt and pepper to taste

1 clove garlic, minced

Parmesan (optional)

Boil pasta according to the directions on the box. Melt the butter in a large skillet, and saute the mushrooms over medium-high heat for a couple minutes, then add garlic. Stir occasionally, so nothing burns. Once everything has browned a little bit, add the cream, plus salt and pepper. Lower heat and simmer for a few minutes, while stirring frequently. The sauce will thicken a little. Remove from heat, and add chopped basil. Taste it to make sure there is enough salt and pepper. Spoon over pasta. Top with extra basil, and parmesan.

Don’t serve with microwaved garlic bread.