Welcome to “Le Morel“, a virtual restaurant and the result of the current 5 Star Cooking Club challenge.
[5 Star is a band of about 25 fearless food bloggers who take on monthly culinary challenges prompted by the evil twins, Natasha and Laz <just joking. No vote-pandering is involved with these challenges. We do it for ourselves. We do it for the love of our art. We do it for fun. And, we do it for the pleasure of our readers.]
So, come on in and take a seat while I introduce you to the other cooks in the Le Morel kitchen and entice you with our 3-course morel tasting dinner.
Two months ago, the cooking club was broken down into teams of 3. Our directive was to create a virtual restaurant with a secret theme or seasonal ingredient — and, of course, to do our creative best. My team pretty quickly decided on morels which were just coming into season. The name was a no brainer after that and we democratically decided that I’d do the first course (called L’Entrée in France), Jessica La Plat Principal, and Laz Le Dessert.
Being the zealot that I am, I did this dish more than a month ago and have had to ‘sit on it’, anxiously awaiting the big reveal today.
Mademoiselle, Monsieur, tonight’s menu, sil vous plait.
Isn’t this a great menu? Don’t you just want to see how each dish was made?
For your first course, we have morel 3 ways … (1) a morel and caramelized onion raviolo in (2) morel broth with shaved asparagus and a (3) morel-salted sweet butter.
I must tell you that my first recollection of tasting morels was nothing less than otherworldly. It was during one of those ‘expense account Wall-Street lunches’ at an exclusive midtown restaurant in New York. I had Cream of Morel soup for the first time. O Mon Dieu!
So when my team picked ‘morels’ as our theme ingredient my mind immediately went back to that soup. But this is a culinary challenge and I wanted to do something different.
Morels ♥ cream and butter.
They also pair nicely with other Spring vegetables like asparagus. So why not sweet onions? I thought it might work and it did!
The morels were woodsy and chewy,
the onions sweet and creamy.
The broth was light and flavorful
and the butter … well, it’s butter and it rounded everything out.
Raviolo Butter: Mold sweet butter with apple corer, grind 1 small dry morel and mix with coarse salt, coat butter in salt, and press in asparagus tip. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate.