terre à terre

January 14th, 2013

mushrooms, black truffles and terre à terre;  mushroom soup with truffled straws

mushrooms, black truffles and terre à terre
mushroom soup with truffled straws

It became our holy grail; a sort of “Da Vinci Code” chase by default. I am not talking about a religious relic or an art piece. I am talking about soup. Over the holidays, the daily soup special on every Parisian menu seemed to be velouté de champignons (cream of mushroom soup). Miam ! The problem was this: by the time we headed out to eat, the mushroom soup was gone. It happened a few times. Even twice in one evening. Frustrated, we became obsessed (and I vowed not to cook for the week, at least I tried). Finally, we managed to get our rumps in gear earlier and we finally had the sought-after mushroom soup. As I watched my friend, a Paris first-timer, enjoy his soup, made with French butter and fresh cream, I was inspired to recreate it (a bit healthier and vegetarian) and combine it with another one of his new favorite things and that thought inspired this week’s simple pleasure: mushroom soup with truffled straws.

girl with mushroom earring Read the rest of this entry »

mushroom soup with truffled straws

January 14th, 2013


chefmorgan mush soup1

mushroom soup with truffled straws



makes ~ 32 ounces

what you need:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound sliced and trimmed mushrooms
⅓ cup sliced leeks (whites only)
½ cup sliced shallots
½ pound diced and peeled Yukon or Russet potatoes Read the rest of this entry »

braised black cod “ghost” in a black lentil “sky”

October 18th, 2012



ghostly fish in black lentil night sky (braised black cod on Beluga lentils with fresh thyme)

ghostly fish in black lentil night sky
(braised black cod on Beluga lentils with fresh thyme)

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vegetables first

November 24th, 2010

vegetables first

When you think of the Thanksgiving meal, vegetables do not immediately come to mind.   They are side dishes and the last thing to be eaten, if at all.   It is time to change our perspective and give vegetables their proper place in our celebration of the harvest.  This year, make vegetables a first course, a purposeful dish with importance as well as a preview of more (not the only) good things to come.

Vegetables first makes sense for several reasons.  Vegetables are good for us and their texture, flavor and colors balance the bland starchy, fatty foods to follow (i.e., the mashed potatoes, stuffing, and butter-basted turkey).    Additionally, eating a modest serving of vegetables first makes us less likely to overeat the subsequent things that are not so healthy (and if you are watching your caloric intake, this will help you keep your calorie consumption down as well).

Below are three recipes for your vegetable “first course”.   All are simple to make and if you do the prep work (the washing and cutting of the vegetables) the day before then you only have to roast the vegetables on Thanksgiving day (and at the same temperature you are roasting your turkey).

A couple of comments about the vegetables.  First, always buy vegetables with their tops on.  The tops of vegetables are the first thing to decline if the vegetables are old (which is why some markets remove the tops).  Second, do not feel committed to my vegetable suggestions but buy what is freshest in your market and take advantage of the various textures and colors of the season.  Lastly, if you cannot decide which vegetable first course to serve, make two.  It is no more work  (the vegetables are all basically roasted so you can put it all on the same baking tray) and it can make things fun.   For example, if you have 12 guests, give every other person (guests # 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11)  starter #2  with squash, mushrooms, and onions, and remaining 6 guests starter # 1 with carrots, turnips, and beets.   If you have a young child who is learning patterns at school this is a great way for them to practice their pattern skills by creating a pattern (i.e., ABABAB)  to correspond with plate assignments.

Keep the old traditions and add a few new.    I wish you and your family a happy and healthy Thanksgiving and, of course, je vous souhaite un bon appétit !


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truffled omelet with mushrooms

October 29th, 2010

truffled omelet with mushrooms and green salad

This recipe is another simple way to incorporate truffles into your cooking repertoire.   The omelet can be made for breakfast, dinner, or something in-between.  If you do not have truffles (fresh or canned), do not worry you can make this omelet with truffled butter and/or truffled salt.

Hen of the Woods mushrooms are my favorite mushrooms to use; however, I have listed some alternatives that are equally as nice.  It  is critical that you use fresh eggs.  You can tell an egg is fresh if the yolk is firm and bright yellow and the white of the egg stays together.  If the egg is old it will lose density and spread out thinly.

Serve the omelet with small, roasted potatoes (my favorites are ozette, Russian banana fingerling or red French fingerling) and/or a simple mixed green salad.  Squeeze some fresh oranges and you have breakfast or brunch.  Conversely, serve with red wine (or milk as the case may be as with my children) and the omelet is lunch or dinner.  If you want a snack, you can scramble the eggs instead of making an omelet and serve it on toasted bread for a tartine.  Versatile.  Simple.

Je vous souhaite un bon appétit !


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