I live in a conflicted household this time of year. Yep, the Tennessee vs. Alabama football game ! A three-time University of Tennessee graduate (’72, ’88, ’95), I married Ellen, an Alabama graduate X2. It doesn’t help that I was raised in Alabama and began college at Auburn. Oh well, last Saturday was the game, and for the fourth straight year UT was on the short end. However, the 3rd Saturday in October (now the 4th Saturday), as it is still called, is also the time of year for some great fungi !! I made this picture as a photo journal reminder, that win or lose, the next day may yield betterer fruit. The Sparassis were found Sunday, and the Hen of the Woods was found on Monday.
I saw this in the Oct/Nov issue of Garden & Gun magazine and tried it. It was from Chef Julia Sullivan at the Pinewood Social in Nashville. I made a couple of minor adaptations. I have to confess that my crust didn’t work as I would have liked – I made it too thick and it sagged, so here I’m recommending getting a store-bought pie crust, and then cutting the rounds to fit your bowls. I’m leaving her recipe out. I used my own Fall Mix of mushrooms as pictured to the left (Hen of the Woods, Lion’s Mane, Puffballs, Oysters, Chicken of the Woods & Lobster). Also, I could not find fresh cippolini onions, so I bought some that were marinated in a balsamic mixture at my local grocery deli bar, and then omitted the sherry vinegar. - worked great
1/4 lb butter, cubed
1 cup flour
4 cups mushroom stock (I used chicken broth)
3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
3 cups mixed mushrooms (see above)
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 parsnip, peeled and diced
4 cippolini onions, peeled and quartered (see above)
2 celery stalks, sliced diagonally into 1/4-inch slices
1 tbsp. sherry vinegar (see above)
1/2 tsp dried thyme ( I used ground)
1 tbsp. chopped parsley (I used fresh)
Sat & pepper to taste
6 rounds pastry crust (I will use purchased pie crust next time)
1 egg and 1 Tbsp whole milk for egg wash.
Melt the butter in a medium Dutch oven and gradually add flour over medium high heat, stirring constantly, to make a roux slightly brown.
Whisk in the cold stock/broth until mixture is creamy (If it’s too thick the pie filling will be gummy). Add more liquid as needed. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Dry sauté (sweat) mushrooms until all water is released and evaporated. Then add 1 Tbsp olive oil and pan roast until beginning to brown. Set aside.
Pan roast carrots and parsnips in 1 Tbsp oil until they are softened and begin to brown. Set aside.
Sauté onions until translucent and then add celery and cook until tender.
Fold mushrooms and veggies into the roux/stock (gravy). Adjust seasoning and let cool to room temp.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Whisk egg and milk for an egg wash
Gather six 8 oz. bowls, room temp
Cut pie crust rounds 1-inch diameter larger than bowl diameter
Brush each round with egg wash
Fill each bowl with 8-oz filling
Place rounds over each bowl, wash side town.
Carefully seal each crust to its bowl without letting the crust sag.
Brush tops with egg wash.
Place bowls on a sheet tray and bake 20 minutes.
Remove pies from oven and let rest 5-min.
Several years ago, Ellen and I had escargot and morel soup at a restaurant in Indianapolis – can’t remember the name of the establishment. Since then, I’ve been searching for a recipe. I seemed to remember it being the consistency of oyster stew, but all I found were cream soup recipes. Maybe that’s what we had.
So, this weekend I took the base for a cream soup and added my own touches, substituting morel rehydration water for some of the chicken stock, and ramp bulbs with their lower stem for garlic & scallions, and then added ramp powder. It turned out excellent, but it’s vey rich and filling, and makes a meal in itself. I served four 8 oz. servings - two for supper and two for lunch the next day. Realistically, with a meal, figure six 5-ounce servings
Note: I save my dried morel stems and grind them into flakes for later use. You make ramp powder by drying leaves in a dehydrator and then grind them in a small coffee grinder I usually use someone else’s grinder, like the coffee room grinder at work
I’ll make it again in the spring with fresh ramps, morel water ( from rehydrated morels) that I will freeze this winter, and then use fresh morels for the recipe.
2 cups chicken stock
15 dried morels, stems removed, rehydrated with 2 1/4 cups warm water for 30 min
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup whole milk
handful of ramps, chopped ( I used 8 small ones, frozen this spring, with tops removed)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 6-oz can escargot, drained and halved (2 cans if you like)
1/4 cup onion, chopped
6 tsp butter, divided 4 & 2
sea salt and white pepper
Chop morels into pieces same size as escargot.
Combine morel water, chicken stock, onions and morels in a pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
In another saucepan, melt four tablespoons butter over medium heat gradually stirring in the flour until smooth. Remove from heat and gradually stir in the milk and cream. Return to medium heat and cook stirring constantly, until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Stir mushroom- stock into sauce.
In a small pan, heat the remaining two tablespoons butter and add escargot, ramps, parsley; sauté for 2 minutes. Add to soup along with wine.
Adjust the “garlicness” by with garlic salt. Then add salt, pepper, and ramp powder to taste.