Every spring we would eagerly anticipate the phone call. We never knew when it was coming. Sometimes it came in April, sometimes in May, and sometimes in June. Grandma would call and tell my Dad there was a package coming for us bus parcel express and that he had better be there to meet it . My Dad would shout, "Grandma's sending morels!" The entire day was then spent in morel anticipation. Dad would take one of the kids out to buy the finest steaks money could buy, and to be at the bus station to get the morels when they arrived. No matter what time of the day it was, he'd then rush home and prepare a to-die-for steak and morel feast. When my Grandma got a little older and could no longer go hunting for morels, the roles shifted. Dad took the whole family out searching for morels every spring. (That's when fiddle heads, which are found in the forest at the same time as morels, were added to the morel feast.) Sometimes we were successful, and sometimes we were not; but when we were fortunate enough to find the elusive treats, Dad always packaged some on ice and bus parcel expressed them to Grandma. This recipe melds the succulent, addictive flavour of morels with the scent of springtime in the forest. It is a Canadian gastronomic delight!
Portion size6 servings
Credits :Kari Hughes
MAIN DISH (Spring Forest Skewers) Marinade: Break garlic bulb into cloves. Peel cloves and use a garlic press to crush them. Put crushed garlic in a bowl. Add wine and stir. Slice steaks thinly using a filet knife. Place steak slices in a shallow glass pan. Pour wine mixture over meat. Cover pan with aluminum foil, and marinate in refrigerator for at least one hour. This step can be done up to 24 hours ahead of time. Rice: Start cooking rice 70 minutes before dinner is to be served. Add salt to water in a large pot. Bring water to a boil and add wild rice. Simmer covered, stirring occasionally, for 50 minutes or until kernels just split open. Remove from heat and use the pot lid to drain any excess water from the rice.. Skewers: While wild rice is cooking, clean fiddleheads and morels. Place fiddleheads in a strainer and use cold tap water on the spray setting to rinse. Shake off excess water, then blot dry on paper towels. Do the same for the morels. Slice morels in quarters lengthwise. Remove steak slices from refrigerator. Pour off marinade and set aside in a bowl. Wrap a morel slice in a steak slice and skewer together. Next add a fiddlehead to the skewer. Repeat this pattern--steak-wrapped morel, fiddlehead, steak-wrapped morel, fiddlehead, etc.--until skewer is full. Fill each skewer in this manner. When all skewers are full, melt 1/2 c. butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Place skewers in skillet and saute uncovered until morels and steak begin to brown, turning frequently to ensure even heating. Add extra butter to skillet one teaspoon at a time as needed to ensure bottom of pan stays moist. When browned, remove skewers from pan. To serve: Add leftover marinade to steak and morel drippings in bottom of skillet. Bring to a boil to make 'morel au jus.' Spoon a serving of wild rice onto each person's plate. Place 2 skewers on top of each serving of rice. Drizzle with 'morel au jus.' Serve hot and savour the flavour! SIDE DISH (Cranberry Yams) Preheat oven to 350F. Rinse yams under the tap, and place in a shallow baking dish in middle rack of oven. Bake for 1 hour or until yams are soft when skin is pushed gently with a fork. While yams are baking, place cranberries in a medium saucepan. Add maple syrup and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat stirring gently until cranberries soften and skins break. Mix cornstarch with cold water in a liquid measuring cup with a spout. Pour slowly into cranberry mixture, stirring rapidly, until mixture thickens. Set aside. When yams are cooked, remove from oven and place one on each person's plate. Use a paring knife to slice each yam open down the center. Use a tablespoon to scoop some of the flesh from the center of each yam, and mound it on the sides, leaving an indentation in the middle. Fill the indentations with cranberry mixture. Serve hot. NOTE: If cooking both main dish and side dish, start yams baking before beginning to cook rice, and cook cranberry mixture while skewers are browning.
Sauerkraut and white wine give this meal a slow-simmered taste without taking several hours to cook. If you don't have kielbasa on hand, mild Italian sausage makes a delicious substitute.
Prep time20 minutes
Total time20 minutes
, halved lengthwise and cut in 1/2-inch thick slices
jar (750 mL)
Riesling or other
, cored and chopped
Per each of 6 servings: about
Total fat6 g
Saturated fat2 g
Total carbohydrate22 g
Using fork, prick potatoes all over. Microwave on high, turning once, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool enough to handle. Peel potatoes; coarsely chop potato flesh.
While potatoes are cooking, in Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat half of the olive oil over medium- high heat; cook sausage, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, about 2 minutes. Scrape into bowl. Set aside.
In same pan, heat remaining oil over medium heat; cook onion, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add sauerkraut, cloves, bay leaf, allspice, pepper and salt; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in sausage and wine; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until almost no liquid remains, 8 to 10 minutes. Add potatoes, apple and mustard; cook, stirring occasionally, until apple is warmed through, about 2 minutes. Discard cloves and bay leaf. Stir in parsley.
Dried figs, crunchy pistachios and chai-inspired? spices give these humble hermit cookies a sophisticated flavour. Look for dried Mission figs in the produce section of your grocery store. For best texture, choose the softest ones.
Portion size30 servings
Credits :Canadian Living: Holiday Baking 2014
1 1/2 cup
each ground cardamom and
each ground cloves and
each baking soda and
chopped dried Mission
chopped unsalted shelled
per cookie: about
Total fat6 g
Saturated fat3 g
Total carbohydrate14 g
In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy; beat in egg, cream and vanilla. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, baking soda and salt; stir into butter mixture until almost blended. Stir in figs and pistachios, using hands if needed, to form soft dough.
Drop by rounded 1 tbsp, 2 inches (5 cm) apart, onto parchment paper– lined rimless baking sheets. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in 350?F (180?C) oven until bottoms are golden, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes; transfer directly to racks to cool completely. (Makeahead: Layer between waxed paper in airtight container; store for up to 5 days.)
Every bite of these easy-to-make cookies will melt in your mouth. Go the traditional route and decorate with glacé cherries or use a piping bag and star tip to pipe the dough into pretty rosettes.
Portion size28 servings
Credits :Canadian Living: Holiday Baking 2015
1 1/3 cup
pecan halves (optional)
per cookie: about
Total fat7 g
Saturated fat4 g
Total carbohydrate8 g
In large bowl, beat butter until smooth. Beat in icing sugar until very fluffy and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch and salt; stir into butter mixture in 3 additions to form soft dough.
Drop by 1 tbsp, 2 inches (5 cm) apart, onto parchment paper–lined rimless baking sheets. Or roll into balls and use fork tines to flatten and make indentations on the top of each cookie. Or fill piping bag fitted with star tip and pipe dough into rosettes. Top with cherry or pecan half, if desired.
Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in 350°F (180°C) oven until light golden, about 12 minutes.
Let cool completely on pans.
(Make-ahead: Store in airtight container for up to 24 hours.) Change it up: Double-Chocolate Whipped Shortbread Reduce flour to 1 1/4 cups. Whisk 1/4 cup cocoa powder into dry ingredients. Before scooping, stir 1 cup dark chocolate chips into dough. Continue with recipe as directed.
Cherry Almond Whipped Shortbread Substitute vanilla with 1/4 tsp almond extract. Before scooping, stir 1/2 cup chopped glacé cherries into dough. Continue with recipe as directed.
Tip from The Test Kitchen: Customize your cookies by decorating with nuts, melted chocolate, sprinkles or chocolate-covered sunflower seeds!