Ok, maybe not that glorious, but I’ll take what I can get. Food Junta has just secured our first honor for the narrative recipe I submitted to a contest on Marx Foods, a gourmet ingredient purveyor. While I didn’t win the contest (or the two pounds of fresh morels that were first prize), I was a finalist, and they did select my recipe put it up on their page about morels.
I found about the contest through a comment on this blog, and decided to enter just for fun. Reading the entries, I was struck by how elaborate and traditionally written the recipes were. As you all know by now, simplicity is the name of the game for me, but I have also been thinking a lot lately about how recipes are actually written.
I don’t have the patience to write out recipes as lists of ingredients with numbered steps, so I’ve been writing them as narratives with the ingredients interwoven. This is maybe not the best format if you need to make a shopping list, but I’m really becoming convinced that this is a superior way to write recipes. My friend sent me some Thai recipes (coming soon) written this way, and I found them much easier to follow than a “traditional” recipe format.
I’m interested to hear what people think. Has anyone out there tried any of the techniques I’ve described or others written in a similar fashion? How do you like it? Would you prefer steps 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.? Lemme know…
In the meantime, here’s the recipe. Props to my good friend Gordon Jenkins for teaching me this technique. And please excuse the flowery language. I don’t know what got into me.
Mushrooms en Papillote
Make those morels shine with this simple recipe that provides gentle accents to help the flavor of the morels explode:
For each serving, place 1/2 to 1 cup of roughly chopped morels in the center of a square of parchment paper. Dot with bits of HIGH QUALITY butter. Sprinkle with fresh rosemary.
Now fold the parchment square in half over the mushrooms and begin rolling in the open edges tightly to make a small, crescent-shaped envelope. (Think about those pre-packaged apple pies they sell in convenience stores. Shape it like that.) Pop the packets in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
This simple technique allows for really fancy-seeming presentation, as well. Place a packet on each diner’s plate, and let them slice it open. The steam will escape all at once, and they’ll be smacked in the face with buttery, mushroomy awesomeness.
Impressive, simple, and a great way to highlight the flavor of morels.