After a walk through the park with our friend Rachel, Zak and I decided to go to the grocery store and pick up some fresh fish and something fun from the produce section to enjoy for dinner tonight. I was extremely happy to find some lovely fresh morels and royal trumpet mushrooms for $15.99/lb. (and another awesome seasonal ingredient I’ll be preparing tomorrow!). I’ve been reading about both varieties of mushrooms, though especially morels, all over my frequently perused foodie websites but was scared off by the often prohibitively-expensive prices. By keeping the amounts somewhat modest, I was able to sample both of these treasures without breaking the bank. I adapted the mushroom portion of this recipe from Cleveland’s own Michael Symon’s Live to Cook, which my mom got me a signed copy of for Christmas a few years back and I’ve been slowly working my way through and absolutely loving.
The mushrooms were absolutely delicious, due more to the quality of the ingredient than my cooking skills. Both had a delicious, earthy flavor and gorgeous texture. The fish was delicate and balanced well with the rich mushrooms. Finally, the white wine sauce added a touch of sweetness that tied everything together. The only bad news here is that now I am officially smitten with mushrooms that tend to be way outside of my price range and available only for a limited time of year. Such is life, I suppose.
Lake Erie Perch with Seared Wild Mushrooms and White Wine Sauce
Lake Erie Perch and White Wine Sauce:
3/4 lb. Lake Erie perch fillets (about 4 fillets)
1/2 cup all-natural, whole wheat flour
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. paprika
2 tbs. canola oil
1/2 cup white wine (I used a Bordeaux Sauvignon)
5-6 sprigs thyme
1 tbs. unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Whisk together flour, dried thyme, paprika, kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Lightly dredge perch in flour mixture.
In a large non-stick pan add canola oil and thyme sprigs. Heat canola oil over medium- high heat until rippling. Add fish, being sure not to overcrowd the pan, and cook 4-5 minutes per side until golden brown and cooked through. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
Add wine to the pan. Bring to a boil and whisk in butter. Let reduce by half. Pour over fish and seared wild mushrooms (see below).
Seared Wild Mushrooms:
1/4 lb. morel mushrooms
1/4 lb. royal trumpet mushrooms (also sold as king oyster mushrooms)
2-3 tbs. olive oil
6-8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp. unsalted butter
2-3 tbs. freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano
Slice the royal trumpet mushrooms lengthwise so they are about 1/4″ thick.
Heat a 10″ cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for 20-30 seconds. Glaze the bottom of the pan with the oil. Lay in the royal trumpet mushrooms. Be careful not to crowd the pan. Sprinkle with kosher salt and add a few sprigs of thyme.
Sauté, turning the mushrooms once to brown them, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside on a plate. If necessary, add another tbs. or so of oil to the plan.
Repeat the process with the morel mushrooms, seasoning again with kosher salt and sprigs of thyme.
When the morels are cooked, remove them from the pan and place on the plate with the royal trumpet mushrooms. If necessary, add another splash of oil. Add the garlic cloves and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and the butter and stir to combine. Once butter is melted, the mushrooms are ready to serve. Top with grated cheese. [Note: I forgot the cheese in the picture. Oooops.]