Friday, June 1, 2012

Enjoy Free Bounty

Do you enjoy free food when you find it?  When friends offer free food do you take it?  How about going out an looking, hunting or fishing for free food in the "wild"?  Well, we've always taken whatever has been given for us for food, but I have to say that this week's gift of found food has to top the list for us!  We were given fresh morel mushrooms!    What a gift and blessing, for sure!
Setting aside Mr. Right's want to just fry them in butter and eating them, I decided to look for a new recipe to spread out the enjoyment a little more.  My son let me know that he had some onion scapes read to harvest, too, so I was excited to find a recipe that called for chives, so I substituted the onion scapes instead, making another free bounty for our meal.
Here's what the scapes look like, garlic scapes taste even better than these, but they don't even have as strong of a taste as chives do.  Cutting the flower off the onion before it blooms encourages the plant to focus on the onion, so this actually helps the plant!
 The recipe that I adapted for this recipe can be found here at Cooks.com.  Instead of the asparagus in this recipe, I used large, fresh button mushrooms that were on sale (cheaper than the asparagus this week!).  To clean morels, soak them in lightly salted water for 2 hours.  Rinse and use as directed.

Morels & Buttons with Fettuccine

  • 1/2 lb. Button Mushrooms, washed and chopped
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 3/4 lb. morel mushrooms, stems trimmed, cleaned and cut in half lengthwise
  •  2 C. heavy cream (I used half and half, with heavy cream)
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 lb. fettuccine pasta
  • 1/2 c. fresh chopped onion scapes or chives
  • 3 tbsp. fresh grated parmigiana or Romano cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet over high heat, add butter and scapes or chives, heating until it just begins to brown. 

Meanwhile, start water boiling to cook the pasta.  Add pasta and cook to al dente.  Transfer to  a strainer and rinse with warm water.  Set aside until mushroom sauce is ready.

 Mix in flour and add morels and buttons.  Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. 

 Add cream, cooking until thickened, about 10 minutes.  Add lemon juice and zest.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer pasta to the sauce in pan and let it warm up briefly if needed.

 Sprinkle with fresh parmigiana cheese to serve.
Mr. Right is not crazy about eating meatless meals, but he even commented that this tasted so good, he'd go without the mushrooms!  I know it's a basic sauce, but his opinion was that it tasted  like a stroganoff and was so good, he didn't miss the meat in it!  Trust me, that's a huge compliment!

Hope you enjoy!  I just wanted to share how we try to Enjoy the Free Bounty during morel season - thanks so much to our good friends!  Check out those blogs I love to link up to.