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More on Morels

Posted in Uncategorized by sndybeech on August 20, 2010

Recently I’ve had a problem with my sauteed morels getting all hard and dried up in the cooking so I consulted a mushroom vendor at the farmers’ market. As I mentioned in the corn soup posting, I don’t wash mushrooms, just brush them well. This  vendor told me to always wash morels by giving them a brief soak. Now I’ve only had one time when I found I’d cooked them with enough dirt in to notice (they were a bit crunchy that time!) but I took her advise to deal with the dryness and it works! Perhaps it’s only a seasonal issue–it’s really late, apparently, for morels. For weeks now, the mushroom vendors have been warning this maybe the last week they are available yet there they are again the next week and the next. Or maybe it’s just how much rain we’ve had lately–sometimes I’ve bought morels that felt kind of wet but not lately. Then, of course, when I keep them in the frig for a few days before cooking they dry out further. This is as good a time as any to remind you never to store mushrooms in plastic–makes them get all slippery and soggy!–a paper bag in the frig is the best way to go.


Essence of Corn/Essence of Summer

Posted in Uncategorized by sndybeech on August 9, 2010

A couple of weeks ago I had a bowl of corn soup with morels at the Irving Street Kitchen, a recent addition to the Portland’s Pearl District dining scene. There were only two small morels but the soup was amazing–essence of corn, essence of summer.

Good corn is finally in at the farmers’ market so I went online looking for ideas on how to recreate the soup. Fancy, fancy with a multitude of ingredients that would taste of much more than corn. Finally I found what I was looking for on Epicurious. It’s easy and fabulous hot or cold. I cut it down using three ears of corn for 3 ½ cups of corn and had three generous servings. I sauteed six good size morels in butter for the garnish. It takes under an hour to make–allow more time to chill if you want to serve it cold.

Fresh Corn Soup

Serves 6 (about 7 cups)

8 cups corn kernels
6 cups water
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or whatever you like for garnish

Cut the kernels from the cobs by holding each ear upright and cutting downward. Don’t worry about being messy or cutting kernels in half. Keep cutting until the cob is bare. You will get anywhere from 2/3 to a cup or more of corn from each ear

Simmer corn with salt in the water, covered, 20 minutes, or until very tender.

Purée soup in batches in a blender until very smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). As each batch is puréed, pour through a coarse sieve, pressing on solids, into a saucepan if serving hot or into a metal bowl if serving cold. It will keep up to three days covered in the frig.

Reheat soup, stirring, or chill it by setting the bowl in a larger bowl of ice and cold water and stirring, or if you have time just put it in the frig. If soup is too thick, thin with water.

Serve sprinkled with chives, morels sauteed in butter or anything else that sounds good to you.

A note on morels:  I never wash mushrooms. Remove any dirt with a brush, knife, towel etc. I always cut the morels in half to brush out the inside because their stems are hollow and sometimes things get inside such as little worms eating their hearts away. Once I even had a live ant.

Originally from August 2000 Gourmet magazine by way of Epicurious