Ew! I'm not making that!
This week's Double Take challenge with feature a different recipe on each blog. Tabitha and I have a list of many of the recipes from the all-new ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, and we've rated them: Yes or No. (It actually even gets a bit more complicated than that b/c I also rate what Hubby will eat.) All items marked Yes by both people have to be made at the same time, but all items marked No can be made by the other person at any time. We will feature these recipes every-so-often, and here is the first one! (Do you like the title?)
The Yukon Gold Mash with Morel Sauce from the section Meatless Mains (page 283) caught my eye pretty quickly. I knew Tabitha wouldn't want to make it and Jason wouldn't want to eat it, so that meant I could make this one with my mom, too. She loves mushrooms as much as I do. (Hi Momma!)
This entrée has three parts: roasted portobello caps, mashed potatoes, and a morel mushroom sauce. But, of course, it's not made in that order.
Start with the sauce: rinse and drain your dried morel* mushrooms to remove sand/grit/dirt. Add boiling water and let sit for a few minutes. Remove the morels with a slotted spoon and strain your mushroom broth into a bowl (see picture below). Reserve broth. Chop mushrooms and set aside.
I placed a coffee filter in a fine mesh sieve over a bowl, and it worked quite well
Sauté finely chopped onions and coarsely chopped mushrooms (I used sliced and then just broke up the big ones with my spatula in the pan). Once browned, add morel pieces, a healthy dose of port, and some balsamic vinegar. Simmer a bit, then add the reserved mushroom broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer a bit longer. In a small seal-able bowl, combine flour and water to make a slurry. Hand it over to someone to shake shake shake until the mixture is smooth. Be sure to thank your shaker (Thanks Dr. Pops!), then add the slurry to the mushroom mixture, stirring constantly until the sauce is thick and smooth. Add half-and-half, then season with chopped fresh sage, salt, and pepper. Cook a few minutes longer, keep warm while you make the potatoes and mushroom caps.
Mushrooms = Food Heaven
Next is the potatoes: Of course, the recipe asks you to peel your potatoes, but I'm not made out of time, so I might have skipped this step. Though, more accurately, I ordered Momma to skip this step. That's how you know mashed potatoes didn't come from a box: the skin pieces. So Momma just chopped them, and then we boiled them (start them in cold water so they cook evenly) in water for 20 minutes. While they're going, prepare your mushroom caps.
Mushroom Caps: Drizzle portobello mushroom caps with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in a hot oven for 15 minutes, turning once.
You can tell I was more interested in the sauce than the rest of the meal just by looking at the pictures!
Finish the potatoes: Sauté fresh garlic in butter until golden. Add milk, salt, and pepper, then bring to a simmer. Drain your potatoes, add the hot milk mixture, and mash with a potato masher until smooth.
Assemble your dinner: spoon mashed potatoes into the caps, top with morel sauce. Garnish with fresh thyme.
Thoughts: the portobellos were just there. They didn't add any flavor to the meal, just a small bit of texture. A complete waste. I still haven't figured out a way to make them shine. Perhaps more seasoning? Perhaps the grill instead of the oven? If you have any thoughts on this one, please share! The mashed potatoes were just so-so. They were strong on garlic (and I like garlic) and had too much liquid. If you have a favorite mashed potato recipe, use that one. I love garlic mashed potatoes (and always make them that way for Hubby), but I normally just use a bit (okay, a ton) of garlic powder and it's perfect. I also never melt my butter or heat my milk. And I get perfect potatoes every time. Go figure.
You can just make out the steaks on the plate in the background.
Now about that morel sauce. Well, it get it's own paragraph. Morels are expensive. Around the world. Twenty grams in Germany will set you back 10 euros. One ounce (28 grams) in Atlanta will set you back $20. This recipe called for 1.5 ounces. Yep, thirty bucks worth of mushrooms. If you LOVE morels, by all means use them, but I thought they seemed a bit lost in this sauce. You can buy a dried mushroom mix for soups (the mushrooms are mixed, and for soup, I'm not talking about dried soup mix here) for $10 an ounce, so do that instead. You'll still get a mushroom broth from rehydrating the mushrooms, and you'll get the complex flavors of the mushrooms for the sauce. Yum, and much cheaper. But I'm not done talking about the sauce yet. It's tasty. And made a ton. I had some for lunch the next day. Yep, I ate it like soup, because it basically is a cream of mushroom soup. Perfect-o! I like my cream of mushroom soup heavy on the sherry, so I might add an extra splash of sherry in the future, but I'm more likely to make the sauce as a soup than make this recipe again.
Make-again-as-mushroom-soup-or-using-my-own-mashed-potato-recipe: 2 votes
It-was-fine-I'll-eat-it-again-as-long-as-you-also-grill-me-a-steak-too: 2 votes
To see Tabitha's recipe that I didn't want to make (Peach-Congealed Salad), head on over to Double the Garlic!
* I first learned about morel mushrooms from Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle. It's a must read for everyone interested in food! This book is the reason I started gardening in Winston-Salem (obviously I was interested in gardening beforehand, but this book gave me just the push I needed). But I also think all books by Barbara Kingsolver are must reads!
What is your favorite foodie book? Do you have a favorite Meatless Main?
My beautiful Lorelai (she's staying with her grandparents while we're in Germany). She's just so darn cute (even if she is sitting on the freshly folded towels)!