So a couple weeks ago I was at Horrock’s and saw they had fresh morel and chanterelle mushrooms. They were just little guys, and they were SO expensive! But it was just about payday, so I figured I could afford a little grocery splurge. I bagged two dozen small morels and 36 tiny chanterelles. Then I just kind of started throwing stuff into my basket, not quite knowing what it would turn into.
Here are the baby morels. I used about half of them for this recipe. To prep them, I cut them in half and then submerged them in a bowl of cold water in case there was any dirt (or bugs!) tucked away in the little crevices. From what I read, this is the one time you actually want to put your mushrooms in water because morels are really hard to clean. After a short soak, I drained the water and then dried the morels between sheets of paper towel.
After snapping off the hard ends of the asparagus, I cooked it over low-medium heat in a couple spoonfuls of Magic Vegan Bacon Grease. After a few minutes I added the mushrooms. Now is a good time to get your orzo cooking – 1/2 C dry orzo, cook according to instructions on package.
While the orzo was boiling, I added 4 sliced green onions and a few cloves of minced garlic, to taste. Sprinkle with a little salt. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally.
Now, we need to make our creamy white sauce.
For this, I simply melted down a couple chunks of Teeze mozzarella in the plain (unsweetened!) coconut milk beverage. Then I added a touch of salt, a sprinkling of garlic powder, and a few shakes of black pepper. I’m not a huge fan of Teeze – it’s not bad, just not the best – and I sometimes regret cooking savory foods with coconut milk, but in this case it really worked.
The asparagus is more of a filler in this dish, so if you’re not a fan, you could use some other veggie. Carrots or parsnips would be nice, possibly peas, or you could go with a faux meat. Or just skip all that and have the creamy orzo and mushrooms. I loved the saltiness of the sauce with the earthy flavor of the morels. The chanterelles were good, but had a milder taste that didn’t pop as much. Maybe I’ll have to think of a different way to prepare the rest. Any suggestions?*
*Well, they’re all gone now since I wrote this two weeks ago and forgot to post it until now. I made this same dish again, but I chopped the chanterelles up finely just to make the dish a little meatier. I used carrots and broccoli for the veggies. I went back to the same store this past weekend to look for more morels, but they’re gone 🙁