Sunday, August 26, 2012

Stuffed Morels

Okay, so it took me months to get around to posting it and morel season is over, but save it for next year.

6 White morels, cleaned and halved lengthwise

1/4 lb spicy breakfast sausage
pinch nutmeg
2 t chopped parsley
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
1 T butter

Splash dry sherry
1/4-1/3 C heavy cream
1 t dijon mustard, or to taste
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450.  Saute the shallot and garlic in the butter, then add to the rest of the filling ingredients and mix.  Fill the mushrooms with the sausage mixture, mounding slightly, and top with a sprinkle of panko.  The amount of filling that you need will depend on the size of the mushrooms, the ones I had were fairly small.  Place in a steel skillet and bake for 10-12 minutes.  Remove from the oven and remove the morels from the skillet.  Place the skillet over medium heat and brown the juices from the mushrooms if they haven't already browned, then deglaze with the sherry.  Add in the cream and mustard and bring to a simmer, season with salt and pepper.  Top the mushrooms with the sauce and enjoy.

Pad Thai

Okay, I finally got around to writing up my Pad Thai recipe:

Pad Thai

Pad Thai that Thai food staple of restaurants everywhere in the US...  This isn't that, the original author says it's the Pad Thai you'd actually get in Thailand, and it's something you'll probably decide is superior as long as you don't mind seafood.  This recipe isn't mine originally, and you should definitely go hit up because I'm not going to go into anything like the detail she does, but I have a few changes including those for the lazy, or ingredient challenged - her's calls for banana blossom, which I think I've seen once around here.

So to start, you're going to need a few implements:
a couple of spoons, spatulas, or the like, preferably at least one set up for moving and straining pasta.
A nice big flat bottomed skillet with some walls (I've never even tried this in a wok, it requires too much hot real estate for my round bottomed wok).  Cast iron is great, as is anodized aluminum; non-stick would probably work as you're never getting up to temperatures hot enough to damage the teflon.

Noodles: you need rice noodles, about 3mm wide, but there's some play in that.  Take half a pound of those noodles and dump them in slightly hot water (and a lot of it) for about half an hour.  Make sure you can take any of those noodles and easily wrap it around your finger, but that it's still unpleasantly chewy.  Then give it another 5-10 minutes in the water.  You'll also have a much easier time down the road if you break them up some so you don't end up with a tangled noodle ball while cooking.

The Sauce:
The blog calls for:
150g tamarind pulp
180g fish sauce
226g palm sugar
60g brown sugar
 This is a lot more than you're going to need for one batch according to this recipe, but the sauce keeps well.

Other stuff:
roughly 1.5 T of shrimp paste in soy oil (this isn't the block stuff you'd use in other Thai dishes)
roughly a cup of slightly crushed roasted nuts (peanut or cashew)
1/4 cup of sliced garlic chive greens (can be left out, but I like them)
slightly less than 1/3 C of small dried shrimp (the little tiny whole ones complete with eyes)
3/4 C extra firm tofu (preferably the extra firm unseasoned yellow stuff)
2 eggs, scrambled until just done in another skillet and chopped up (optional)
1-2 C bean sprouts
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
Thai chiles to taste, minced
1/3 C preserved daikon (sweet), chopped
1/2 lb of chicken or shrimp (if using chicken slice it fairly finely to make it cook more quickly)
Very finely julienned carrot as a garnish (optional, if you can cut it that finely)

Add vegetable oil to the pan over medium high; when a noodle sizzles in the oil you're ready to go.  Add the noodles and 2/3 C of the sauce, as well as the shrimp paste.

Keep everything moving around the pan, and once the pan gets back up to temperature another 30 seconds to a minute and everything should loosen up.

Add in the garlic, chiles, shallot, dried shrimp, tofu, preserved daikon, and shrimp or chicken; you may need to add some more oil.  Now is the important time, KEEP EVERYTHING MOVING.  You need to get the protein cooked, and make sure the noodles soften and loose that unpleasant chew; you may find that you need to add a little extra sauce or a little water.

When the noodles and protein are just about right add the bean sprouts and chives to wilt slightly.

Kill the heat, add the eggs, peanuts, and carrot and toss to combine.

Serve it up, you might want to include some dried red pepper, lime juice, fish sauce, or, if you're a bad person (and in this case I admit I am), some soy sauce on the side.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Made this one again and it was good enough that I felt it was time to post it.  If you wanted to play with it you might add some sauteed jalapeno or some cheese, but I love it the way it is.  If you wanted to add cheese you might want to decrease the sugar.

1/2 C butter, melted
2/3 C white sugar
2 eggs
1 C buttermilk
1/2 t baking soda
1 C cornmeal
1 C all-purpose flour
1/2 t salt
Kernels from an ear of sweet corn (if available)
oil or bacon grease to grease the cast iron pan

Preheat an oven and cast iron skillet to 375.
Mix the dry ingredients together, then add the wet ingredients and mix the batter together.
Remove the pan from the oven and grease the pan before adding the batter.  Bake for ~25 minutes.