I don’t cook full meals that often but when I do, I want them to be oh so delicious! Spring brings some of my favorite flowers to the garden and some of my favorite foods to the table. Morel mushrooms are one of my favorite things about spring and this year is a good year for them!
Let’s start with the first recipe…
Loaded Monster Morel Burgers
These loaded burgers are sure to impress! They’ll think they’re dining in an amazing steakhouse or burger joint. I prefer to use lean ground beef because it makes the best, meatiest burgers. And get your burger buns from someplace like a bakery so they’re extra good and fresh!
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 whole large, white onion, thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoons black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons stout craft beer
- 8 ounces, weight morel mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose Flour
- 2 tablespoons unsalted Butter
- ¼ teaspoons salt
- 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1-½ pound lean ground beef
- ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoons black pepper
- 4 ounces, weight smoked gouda, sliced
- 4 whole wheat hamburger buns
For the onions:
Heat a skillet and add the olive oil and onions. Cook for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft and starting to caramelize. Add the salt, pepper and brown sugar, and stir until combined. Then stir in 2 tablespoons of the stout, and cook until all of the beer is absorbed, about 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
For the mushrooms:
To clean the morels, start by cutting them in half. Quickly run under cool water, and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean their numerous little cavities and rid them of any grit. Dry them gently with paper towels or to get the most water and grit off rinse well and spin in a salad spinner. Place the mushrooms in a small bowl, and sprinkle in the flour. Cover with plastic wrap,and shake gently to coat. Bring a skillet up to temperature on medium heat, then add the butter. Add the mushrooms, and cook, stirring gently for about 7 minutes. Add the other 2 tablespoons of stout and cook until absorbed. Season with salt and parsley, gently stir again, remove from heat and place mushrooms in a bowl for later use. Meanwhile you can finish off the rest of the beer, or add some when you’re cooking the burgers.
For the burgers:
Shape the lean ground beef into four equal patties (should be 6 ounces each or make them BIGGER!), and indent the middle with your finger. Return the mushroom pan to the stove and bring it up to it’s highest temperature. You should have enough residual butter in there for the burgers. Turn on your broiler also.
While the pan comes up to temperature, season the patties with salt and pepper or your favorite burger seasoning. Add burgers into the hot pan. Sear the burgers for about three minutes on each side for a medium burger (longer for more well done), and place on a rimmed cookie sheet. Top the burgers with the sliced cheese, and place under the broiler until the cheese is just melted, about 1-2 minutes, depending on how melted you like your cheese. Remove from oven.
Split the burger buns, and build up your burger with the patty on the bottom bun, then top it with stout glazed onions and finally the mushrooms. Smother with barbecue sauce if desired. Top with the crown of the bun and devour the monster!
Now for the potatoes…
Crispy Oregano Smashed Potatoes with Feta and Lemon
This is such a unique and delicious combination of flavors. If you really, really love herbs like I do, don’t be afraid to experiment by adding other herbs or just adding more of the same.
- 2 pounds mixed baby potatoes
- 1/2 of a lemon, cut in half
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
- kosher salt and pepper
- 4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 6-8 ounces feta cheese sliced or crumbled
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
On a large baking sheet, toss together the potatoes, lemon, 1 tablespoon olive oil and a small pinch of salt. Transfer to the oven and roast 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when poked with a fork. Remove the lemon from the pan and then use the back of a spatula or a fork to gently press down on the potatoes, smashing them to about 1/4 inch thickness.
In a small bowl combine 3 tablespoons olive oil, the garlic and oregano. Spoon the mix evenly over the smashed potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parmesan. Return the potatoes to the oven and roast another 20-25 minutes or until golden and crisp.
Meanwhile, finely chop the roasted lemon (peel and all) and add to a small bowl along with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the basil, and a pinch of salt. Drizzle the potatoes with lemon mixture and serve with feta. Eat!
Oven Roasted Asparagus Spears
Originally from me!
There’s no real recipe or measured out ingredients here. It’s one of many ways to have asparagus, one of my all time favorite vegetables. I love to have it roasted because then it has more texture and depth of flavor with a little crunch. The hemp seeds in the recipe are nice because they add a little crunch and some nutty flavor.
- extra virgin olive oil
- black pepper, course ground
- hemp seeds
- smoked paprika
- garlic, crushed
Preheat the oven to about 450 degrees F.
Wash the asparagus and cut off the ends if needed. On a large baking sheet, spread out the asparagus and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and lots of black pepper. Add a fairly generous amount of hemp seeds. Sprinkle on a little paprika and add a little crushed garlic. Using your hands or a spatula, stir asparagus so everything coats it evenly.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender but slightly crispy. Plate it up and enjoy!
And now dessert!
Blackberry Lime Cake
This cake is SOOOO delicious! I love how it isn’t too sweet, but it isn’t sour either. The frosting is a little different and you just have to watch what you are doing and follow the instructions closely, but this recipe is so worth the effort!
For the Lime Cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons organic lime zest
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Blackberry Reduction:
- 12 ounces fresh blackberries
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
For the Blackberry Buttercream:
- 6 egg whites
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons blackberry reduction
For the Assembly:
- 12 ounces fresh blackberries
- edible flowers (such as micro pepper, alyssum, pansies, violets, violas, and micro mint) washed and dried
Make the Lime Cake:
Preheat oven to 350. Butter and lightly flour three 8″ round pans. Line with parchment paper circles. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Zest limes and whisk into flour. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine milk and lime juice. Stir to combine and set aside for milk to curdle. This is similar to making homemade buttermilk. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high using the paddle attachment. Beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
With the mixer on low, add eggs one at a time. Mix well after each egg. Add vanilla extract and mix to combine. Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Do not over mix. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl and the mixer blade.
Divide batter evenly between the three 8″ round pans. Bake for 25-27 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove to wire rack to finish cooling.
Make the Blackberry Reduction:
Combine blackberries, sugar and lime juice in a pan over medium heat. Cook 10 to 15 minutes until the juices are bubbly and the berries are soft enough to smash with the back of a spoon. Press the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl to remove the seeds. Use the back of your wooden spoon to really press as much pulp through as you can. Scrape the underside of the strainer to get all of the accumulated blackberry pulp. Discard seeds and return strained puree back to the pan.
Cook on medium, stirring with a wooden spoon, until reduced to only a few tablespoons, about 10 minutes. Pour into a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pushing the plastic down to touch the blackberry reduction so that a skin does not form. Allow to cool.
Make the Blackberry Buttercream:
Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk until combined. Place bowl over a pan of simmering water to create a double-boiler. Whisking constantly, heat the egg mixture until it registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. Carefully transfer the bowl onto the stand mixer.
Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg white mixture on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes until the bowl is no longer warm to the touch and the meringue is fluffy, glossy and holds a stiff peak. Switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, slowly add cubed butter and mix until incorporated. Add vanilla extract and whip on medium-high until silky and smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add blackberry reduction and whip again until incorporated. The buttercream may look like it’s broken at some point. Keep mixing until it is completely smooth.
Assemble the Cake:
Place one layer of cake onto serving plate or cake stand and top with about one cup of blackberry frosting. Repeat with second cake layer, more frosting and then last layer of cake. Crumb coat and frost cake with remaining frosting.
Decorate with additional blackberries and edible flowers. Start by laying out blackberries in a crescent shape, spacing them close together but not touching. Tuck in small sprigs of the micro mint here and there, but not everywhere. Next, add the alyssum, using only the top blooming section of each sprig. Add a few extra berries for height if needed. Fill remaining small holes with the micro pepper blooms.
Reserve extra berries and blooms to adorn individual slices when serving, if desired.
There you have it, a complete meal idea! What recipe or recipes should I try next??? Make sure to pin it if you like it!