Saturday, May 28, 2011

Morel Feast!

Its Morel (Morchella esculenta) season here in southern Wisconsin – in fact, it’s already winding down, so unless you live north of us, this may be your last chance for a year to enjoy the smoky, beefy goodness of these fabulous fungi!

Last weekend we had our annual Morel feast. It was great fun!

On the menu: rib eye steak with a Morel red wine reduction sauce (for the sauce I adapt this recipe). Side dishes were: orange-marinated charcoal grilled asparagus, and a yam puree I invented myself. Here is the recipe for the puree (it is both paleo and can easily be made vegan):

Paleo Yam Puree with Pecans and Maple:

Ingredients:

6 medium yams

½ cup (approx) real maple syrup

½ cup (approx) coconut milk

½ cup (approx) chicken stock

¾ teaspoon curry powder

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

¼ cup pecan chips (finely chopped but not ground)

additional maple syrup to coat the chips


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and coarsely cube yams. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and curry powder. Drizzle with sufficient maple syrup to coat, and stir. Place in a cooking pan with raised sides, so that the yams are about two inches deep. Roast yam mixture for 1 hour, or long enough to get some browning (but not burning) on the material at the bottom of the pan. Open the oven and stir the mixture, scraping the bottom of the pan if needed, every 20 minutes.

For pecan topping: Place pecan chips in a small, non-stick pan (I used a miniature bread loaf pan). Stir in sufficient maple syrup to coat chips. Place in oven with yams and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring at least once. (This has to be watched closely or it will burn.) Most of the moisture should cook out, so that the pecans are covered with a maple glaze. Cool and harden in the freezer. A sort of pecan brittle will form, which you can break into individual chips with your fingers.

Take the yams out of the oven and add enough coconut milk and stock to be able to puree it with a blender (I use and immersion blender because I think it’s fun). Puree until smooth. Sprinkle each serving with the glazed separated pecan chips.

Serves 6 paleo eaters or 8 regular people.

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