Pete Marczyk and Barbara Macfarlane do not leave their work behind when they leave Marczyk Fine Foods and head for their great old Denver house with a spacious kitchen. They often bring some of their market's best ingredients home with them and cook up a feast, and when they're not cooking at home, they're working with the staff at Marczyk to create recipes for the rest of us to enjoy, usually turning to Whitney Ariss, a home cook and the market's marketing project manager and events coordinator, for inspiration.
Spring ingredients, sadly, are already starting to dwindle, and now is most definitely the time to stock up on things like morels and ramps while you can still find them in the produce section of Denver markets. "Luckily, these two harbingers of spring taste really great together," says Ariss. "Morels, thanks to their delicate, nutty flavor, are allowed to shine against the gentle garlic flavor of cooked ramps," she adds. And to really accentuate the woodsy flavor of the morels, Ariss suggests serving them with "other mild, creamy or starchy things like polenta, pasta or in an omelet," the latter of which makes an elegant breakfast or brunch pleaser. Just keep in mind that morels can be toxic when they're raw, so be sure to cook them before you take a bite.
See also: Recipe Wednesday: Chocolate crackles
Ramp and morel omelet Serves 2
4 large eggs 2 tablespoons butter 1 container (about 1 cup) morels 1/2 cup ramps, chopped 1 ounce cheddar or Gruyère, grated Salt and pepper to taste
1. Crack the eggs into a bowl, season with salt and pepper and beat lightly with a fork. 2. Heat an omelet pan over medium heat and add the butter. When butter begins to sizzle, add morels and cook for five minutes. Add the ramps and cook for 30 seconds or so, until softened. 3. Pour in the eggs and stir to incorporate veggies. As the eggs begin to set, tilt the pan and lift the edges of the omelet to allow any uncooked egg to settle to the bottom of the pan. Cook for no more than a minute, then sprinkle the cheese over the eggs. 4. Using a spatula, fold the omelet into thirds. Tip the omelet onto a platter seam side down. Serve immediately.
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