fresh morels and my inner Tim Gunn

So Tuesday night my cousin Nick and his friend Josh were in town. They were here promoting a food distribution company that they and another friend of theirs have been trying to grow, called Keewaydin Organics  ( out of SE Wisconsin. Anyone who needs organic seasonal produce for their restaurant, you can call Fortune Fish Co. here in Chicago :) …it is my blog so I just had to get a short and shameless plug in there.

So they were here doing an expo for Fortune Fish where they were serving morels and they had extra so when I met up with them that evening they oh so were exceedingly kind and brought me some. I was thrilled, as you can’t exactly get fresh morels at the Jewel-Osco!

So…I had in my brain this idea of fresh pasta with sauteed morels and a little bacon. Fabulous right? I even looked up the flavor combo in The Flavor Bible and found that they were backing up my instincts…very gratifying…

Here is where it gets ugly though. Now, like everyone, I’m constantly doing substitutions in recipes but I definitely get dangerous when I get too far off script. I think I need Tim Gunn in my kitchen to remind me to “use an editing eye”.

I start by making the pasta dough… easy… I done this a few times now.  I had semolina flour but only 2 eggs and it called for 3 so I added a little butter and hot water to finish off the dough and put it into the fridge.  Even though I was worried, the pasta turned out just fine and I have more dough in the freezer for another day which is always nice. See! a successful substitution.

Unfortunately in the next step my instincts get the better of me…I always decide that I have to use things up… so my little bit of bacon turn into a little more than a little bit and because I had heavy cream in the fridge I decided to make a sherry-cream sauce, too. Penalty Flag!

sauteed morels and fresh linguine in sherry-cream sauce

Don’t get me wrong, in the end it was tasty,  just way too greasy and heavy which was slightly overpowering to the lovely earthy flavor of the morels  and the tender wheaty goodness of the fresh pasta.

The moral (or morel, ha!) is an easy one really, and one we all know well and forget to implement; keep it simple stupid (KISS). Besides you can always whip that cream and eat it with the last of the strawberries  and some bacon for breakfast tomorrow.

New resolution: Cultivate my inner Tim Gunn for good taste in fashion and food.

***That entire last paragraph is cheesy and horrible, and if I had an editor most or all of it would have been cut, but you know sometimes you do have to tell  your inner Tim Gunn to stop raining on your creative parade. This is blog anyway, I’ll edit it for the book ;)  j/k  There will not be a book!

2 thoughts on “fresh morels and my inner Tim Gunn

  1. Hey Jess,
    Great post. I made something very similar with some of my morels. I’m not ambitious enough to make my own pasta, though. I think sometimes the mushrooms just infuse the whole dish and therefore the flavor isn’t pronounced but adds a nice richness. Thanks for the shout out btw.

  2. Agreed. If you veer too far of course, well you pay the price. I usually like to keep my kitchen experiments on the simple side.

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