Morel Madness

Posted by on Oct 21, 2013 in Special Occasion | 0 comments

The garage sale was over.  The haul to Salvation Army was in process.  I wanted the day to be over and done.  We wanted to go to the sea.

When I was cleaning and organizing the "lighter leaner" cabinets I remembered two food gifts yet appreciated. 








A lovely box of saffron threads from my cooking friend, Linda (she walked the Camino de Santiago last spring).








Then there was nearly an ounce of dried morels waiting patiently for a spectacular duet, a gift from Todd, also known as the Orange County Cheese Guy. 








MP filled in the blank with ten soft fleshy sea scallops.








I wrote the chorus, hummed it a few times and the verses sang along in time.

Risotto is one of those dishes that soothes my soul.  There is no actual recipe.  It begins with a tentative map then transcends when it is ready.

Until then, stir, stir, and stir.








Begin by reviving the morels in 2 cups of boiling water.








A little browned compound butter and olive oil ready for the shallot and first addition of salt and pepper.  Remember to taste and season each layer.








Saute the shallots until they are sheer; then add 1 cup carnaroli  or arborio rice.








Let the stirring begin-coat all the grains well before








adding a glug of white wine.  It will begin to release a fantastic smell as it is absorbed.

You are adding enough liquid to be absorbed-- just to keep the rice from drying out-- before adding another ladle.  Have ready 2-3 cups more boiling water or stock to add when the mushroom liquid is gone.








Drain the mushrooms and begin adding the strained soaking liquid ladle by ladle.















This slow selective method is what creates the creamy texture.  The gentle simmer and stirring causes a friction between the grains.  Which is the reason you stand there lovingly for nearly a half an hour.








When the risotto is cooked, slice and stir in the prize plumped mushrooms and the saffron threads.








Behold the exotic~ you are almost there.








Stir in Parmesan or  Pecorino and chopped chives.  Stud the risotto with seared scallops and grab a fork and a fine heirloom napkin (the kind you have to iron).







Rich fancy woodsy mushrooms, plump rice, and mild star struck shellfish.

Phil Collins testified,

“Every heart that’s been broken

Knows these things must not go unspoken

Giving yourself, giving each other

The strength to lean on each other

I’ll be there for you; you’ll be there for me.”



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