the two of us, morille season, dieting without pain

reading through diet books and articles, I'm struck by how much exercise you get making all the fussy little dishes to create a three or four course meal so that the people who are slimming won't feel deprived. Frankly I find few things more depressing, at mealtime at least, than being confronted by a first course that consists of a few baby carrots, a frond of dill, 2 cherry tomatoes and half a pickle. I wouldn't give that to a guinea pig. So my approach is to say to the meat-and-potatoes guy who is a fan of my kitchen witchcraft, something along the lines of, look here, we can use up a lot of plates and pots for things that are not going to be worth the time and trouble, or we can just have one course and enjoy it. Being a born politician I know way ahead of time how he'll vote. And a shorter clean-up time is also worth considering.

So when it's just the two of us, which it has been this weekend since the Little House Off the Expressway has had its floors restained and refinished and we're walking around in so many layers of ill-fitting sweaters (gasp,open windows, gasp, open doors) we could have been Styled by a Stylist for a Photo Shoot, we decided to indulge ourselves with a few nourishing dishes. Or at least one.

We started by shopping at the Grocer Whose Entire Family Will Retire to a Tropical Climate Whilst We Are Still Slaving Away to Finance Same. Fresh Wild Morels (morilles) were $80.00 the pound. Fortunately, the morel is hollow, so what looks like a lot of food is really mostly air, and enough for 2 people is almost but not quite weightless. Can't imagine what a whole pound or half pound of these babies would look like. I carried them home in my hands, wanting to protect them from the plebeian other ingredients. Morels have a dark and almost wine-y flavor, and the key is not to have too many other ingredients in the dish.

Works for me.

On to butcher for a few slices of veal (medallions), a shallot. Home, blot the meat very dry.

Baby veal is very juicy, and we don't want to drown the mushrooms. The morels are tossed around with about half the shallot (chopped) in sizzling butter,

flamed briefly in brandy (no pic - safety first) heavy cream is added and it all simmers.

Meanwhile the meat is browned well on each side, pan deglazed with a splash of white vermouth,

and then the cream/morel business goes back into the pan while the meat finishes cooking.

That's all there is - some fresh asparagus

and something nice to drink.

Who needs dessert?


  1. Southern Belle Ph.D.April 19, 2011 at 9:31 AM

    I so enjoy reading about the foods you prepare as well as your dining out experiences. I envy your skills. Were you to want to lose weight, you could definitely do so in my home! My food prep skills are very limited although I do love to bake. When you are sharing recipes in the future, I wish you would share the recipe for the soda bread you made back on St. Patrick's Day. I recall you mentioned that it was great with only butter and a glass of white wine...yea!

  2. That looks delicious I am starving!

  3. OMG. I. Die. What an awesome indulgence and you made it look easy. Thanks for sharing!

  4. but without a starter, without a salad, and without a dessert to coordinate, it has to be easy... this is really all about the shopping! (or, since it's food, should I say, the sourcing?)


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