Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tough Luck Tuesday

It seems, for some reason, God wants me to stick close to home these days.  Once again, the weather shot down our plans.  This time it is preventing us from going up north to see our Traverse City family and watch Lili play one of her last regular season soccer games.

But for everything there is a season and evidently this Spring season is not going to cooperate with us.  So instead of sitting around complaining about the rainy and stormy Spring weather, I decided to enjoy the bounty we receive during this time of year.

You, my friends, are the winners in this scenario (or at least I hope you think so) because today I will be sharing three recipes with you.

The first recipe is one I included on my Weekly Menu for Try it Tuesday, Eggs Benedict.  Let me just say this.....I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT I WAS INTIMIDATED BY THIS SIMPLE LITTLE BREAKFAST ITEM.   I have never attempted to make Eggs Benedict, even though I love them and order them quite often when we go out for breakfast.  I don't know why I got the idea they were a difficult dish but I was sooooooo wrong.  If you can make poached eggs, toast English muffins, heat up some Canadian bacon and hit a button on your blender....you can make Eggs Benedict!!


My sister in love, Mary, who live in CA sent me this cookbook.  It is filled with recipes for eggs and is where I found the recipe for Hollandaise Sauce that I adapted for my Eggs Benedict today.

Eggs Benedict
adapted from eggs by Jodi Liano

2 English Muffins, split and toasted
4 eggs, poached (see recipe here)
4 slices Canadian bacon, lightly fried
2 egg yolks
juice from 1/4 of a lemon
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne pepper
6 T. butter melted

While the English Muffins are toasting, the Eggs are poaching and the Canadian Bacon is frying.  Place egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cayenne into a blender and blend at low speed for a few seconds, slowly start pouring in the hot melted butter as the blender continues to mix on low speed until the sauce thickens.  If it is too thick you can add a couple of drops of boiling water. 

Place a piece of the Canadian Bacon on each half of English Muffin and top with a Poached Egg.  Pour a generous serving of the Hollandaise Sauce from the blender over each.  Print Recipe

I told you here yesterday about the wonderful gifts of morel mushrooms and rhubarb we got from our friends Kim and Kurt.  So I am also going to share with you my recipe for Rhubarb Crisp and a new recipe I am trying for a Morel and Wild Rice Bisque.  Let's start with the Rhubarb Crisp.  I like making Crisps because they are easy, fast and delicious and I normally have all the ingredients I need available in my pantry.  You can use any fresh fruit that you like but keep in mind that rhubarb is tart so I use a lot more sugar than I would if I were using a sweet fruit.  I also add a few pinches of flour to the rhubarb because of all the liquid it will release.  When we were growing up, my folks had an orchard with many different fruit trees and this was one of the recipes my Mom had to use for the harvest.

Toss rhubarb with sugar, flour and cinnamon into a 8x8 baking pan.

Top with the crisp, which is simply a mixture of oats, flour, brown sugar and butter.

Bake until the fruit is tender and the crisp is brown.

Rhubarb Crisp

5 c. rhubarb sliced into about 1/2" thick pieces.
1 c. sugar
few pinches of flour (about 3 T.)
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. old fashioned oats
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. flour
4 T. cold butter

Toss rhubarb with sugar and cinnamon in an 8"x8" baking dish.  Place remaining ingredients into a food processor and pulse until crumbly.  Pour over rhubarb.  Bake at 375* for 30-35 minutes. Print Recipe

There is a restaurant in northern Michigan called the Rowe Inn.  It is very elegant and exclusive and I have had the pleasure of eating there twice in the 22 years Frank and I have been married and going up north together.  The recipe for the Morel Mushroom and Wild Rice Bisque comes from them and I found it in the Savor Michigan Cookbook.  This is a great cookbook, featuring recipes from many of our fine restaurants that we enjoy in Michigan.  I made the recipe almost exactly as written with a couple of minor changes.  I was using our own homegrown bacon which is thick cut so I only used 4 slices and  I probably could have gotten away with 3.  Next, the recipe only calls for 3 oz. of Morel Mushrooms.  That is because they are like GOLD here and their season is short so they are very expensive. But if you go Morel hunting and hit the jackpot or are lucky enough, as we are, to have a dear friend who shares his bounty go ahead and up the ante as I did and use 6 oz. of mushrooms.  I also used half and half instead of the heavy cream because I didn't have any heavy cream on hand.  I would recommend using the heavy cream.  My version lacked body.

Saute up the bacon in a dutch oven or soup pot.

When crisp, drain on a paper towel and set aside.

Cook the carrot, celery, onion and garlic in the bacon grease.

Saute the mushrooms in butter to add at the end.
I chopped the large mushrooms and kept the small mushrooms whole.

Morel Mushroom and Wild Rice Bisque
compliments of the Rowe Inn as presented in Savor Michigan Cookbook

6 strips bacon, chopped
1 c. onion, diced
1 c. carrot, diced
1 c. celery, diced
2 T. garlic, minced
1/2 c. flour
12 c. chicken stock
1 t. thyme
1 c. wild rice
3 oz. morels, sauteed in butter
3 c. heavy cream
2 T. parsley, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Saute bacon until crisp and reserve bacon, leaving grease in pan. Add the vegetables and garlic to the bacon grease and saute until crisp yet tender.  Add the flour and continue cooking for 3 minutes, then add chicken stock, thyme and wild rice.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat.  Simmer, covered until rice is tender, about 40 minutes.  Add sauteed morels, heavy cream, parsley and reserved bacon.  Heat through.  Salt and Pepper to taste.  Print Recipe

I am going to saute up the remaining mushrooms with onions to serve with steak tonight along with garlic mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus.  Then Frank and I are going to enjoy our night off by staying in with a bottle of wine and a movie.  Have a good night all.  I hope you are Thriving at Home as well.

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