Morels with Quail Eggs and Bacon

posted in: Cooking, Savory | 15

morel plate

As a blogger living in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve arrived.  You cannot be a blogger worth her salt and not make mention of morel mushrooms. It simply isn’t permitted. If you were living in Alba, Italy it would be imperative to wax lyrical about the wonders of truffles. In London you’d have to find a way to do a bang-up write-up of bangers and mash.  My friend in South Korea tells me eating small, live octopus is de rigeur for the truly initiated.  Here in the Northwestern part of the United States, it’s morels.

quail close up

Fried up, chopped up, loved up or served up just about any way you can imagine, morels are the defining marker of a true (forgive the use of the following word) foodie.  They possess several characteristics that make them tres chic to us rain-addled fleece-covered Washingtonians waddling along slug-stomping in our Wellingtons.  First off, they are elusive and seasonal.  Secondly, they grow wild. Third, you typically have to hike to locate them. Fourth, they taste suspiciously of the terroir from which they hail.  And fifth, when you slice them into two hemispheres, each side looks suspiciously like a kayak. Pacific Northwesterners cannot get enough of kayaks.

quail egg bacon

I jest, I jest, but truly, I do love morels, and I can’t wait every year, for their season to roll around.  Even if you do have to hunt them in mukluks rather than Manolos.  I picked up a healthy handful at the farmer’s market the other day to serve as an appetizer. With morels, simplicity is key to letting the fertile flavor of the mushroom shine.  That’s why I didn’t want to overcomplicate this dish with frills like excessive sauce or even a starch to lap it up. The morels themselves can act as a firm base to balance the rest of the flavors of the appetizer, and yet still steal the show.  In this instance, I pan-fried them and served each half with a sous vide quail egg, a smattering of Parmigiano Reggiano, some homemade cubed bacon, and a touch of thyme.  It has to be my favorite way to eat morels.  If you do this, be prepared to join the clean plate club in about three seconds flat.

slivered morels

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15 Responses

  1. what good is food without bacon it is like salt so try it

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  5. what a beautifull and tasty starter,
    great execution!

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  7. Mushrooms are the best food in the world and quail eggs are the best bite of egg one can get. What a perfect morsel!

  8. Homemade cubed bacon? Totally! You’ve dished up a very sleek and sexy plate here.

  9. You are right – leave out the starch – keep is lucious. Nice work.

  10. marisa miller

    Out past Alpental. Go get piles. Wish I could show you. L.A. has nothing to forage but citrus and avocados. Not as grand.

  11. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Linda M Nicholson, Linda M Nicholson. Linda M Nicholson said: {NEW POST} Morels with Quail Eggs and Bacon […]

  12. @Brian @ A Thought For Food
    And you could always just leave off the bacon fairly safely without missing too much- you’ve already got your protein with the egg! Hope you try them.

  13. I don’t eat meat, but THIS I would eat. Morels are wonderful, quail eggs are wonderful… I can just imagine how delicious these are.

  14. Heston

    I am A LOT in love with this appetizer. Great post!

  15. This is creative to the max. I expect a bounty of morels this weekend, so I’d love to give it a try.

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