Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 19th - Frisee and Morel Ragout with Prosciutto

Mushroom Hunting
In the past week, I have heard 5 separate conversations regarding mushroom hunting.  I know its morel season, but when did this get so popular?  And these conversations were really hush-hush.  Apparently everyone's got their own secret spot to look for morels. 

Surprise surprise, I'm not on the bandwagon.  First off, I'm too chicken poop to eat anything I find in the wild.  I'm afraid of either dying or having some weird (how's that Joy?) psycho-trippy reaction to it.  Second, these people spend hours looking in wooded areas and end up finding a mushroom or two.  To me, it's not worth it.  I can find better things to do with that time (like blog).
There were no morel mushrooms to be found in any of my local grocery stores, so I substituted oyster mushrooms.  Also, frisee is near impossible to find, so I substituted escarole (a close relative). 

Butter: had
Oyster mushrooms: $2.99
Shallots: $1.29
Chicken broth: had
Escarole: $1.79
Peas: had
Heavy cream: $1.99
Prosciutto: $1.74
Lemon Juice: had

TOTAL: $9.80


FAST: The ragout took about 15 minutes total.  That included prep time and cooking time.  It's really quick.

EASY: There is nothing difficult about this recipe except for finding morels and frisee.  If you substitute out the ingredients, the dish will still be delicious.  Chopping up the ingredients is not hard at all.

FRESH:  The bitterness of the escarole comes through as do the sweetness of the peas.  They really make the ragout fresh tasting.

OVERALL: I like it...a lot.  I pan fried some chicken thighs and it was so delicious.  There are so many different flavors going on, but they all work together.  The salty/meaty prosciutto, the woodiness of the mushrooms, the bitter of the escarole, the sweet peas, the bite of acidity with the lemon juice.  Yummy!!!  Garnish with a little fresh chopped parsley and you're good to go!!

Well, tomorrow we've got another Italian dish - a tuna salad with white beans.  Sounds like a nice light supper for summer.  See ya then!


joybjoyful said...

Thank you for spelling "weird" correctly! Nice to know you do listen to me once in awhile! HA!

nik.zimm said...

Oh, ya, mushrooms are big! Have been for quite a while. Remember, I gave Chef Paul of Vie a mushroom book last season? FYI, I just saw morels at the farmer's market in Chicago last week. And my brother-in-law goes (or used to go) picking. When you wash them a whole lot of bugs crawl out of the holes. I may be able to do without that!

Morel Fan said...

I can understand your caution regarding wild mushrooms. When I would go camping and find some rare wild mushroom which i knew was a superb delight, to me, that is, my wife would always turn up her nose and wait for me to turn blue and drop over after ingesting, which never happened, as i only cooked those i was 100% sure of. Regarding morels, i don`t think you've fully lived without tasting them at least once.. You can find dry morels for sale on ebay.. why not order an ounce and give them a try? You won`t regret it!

SuperStar Chef Mark said...

Thanks Morel Fan. Maybe I was a little too hasty...I'll try and search out dried morels on the internet. I'll keep you updated!