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It’s that time of year again folks, my good friends at Marx Foods are back with their annual Morel Recipe Challenge and this year they’ve brought an interesting mix to the competition. All recipes must be baked in the oven, you can do what you want, include any ingredient but the primary method of prep needs to be in the oven.
I was torn on whether or not to join in on the competition but ultimately an idea popped into my head and here I am! Now stop, I know you are thinking but Susan, I’ve read here before you don’t like mushrooms what are you doing cooking with morels?
Mushrooms and I have an interesting relationship, as I’ve said many times (luckily) my adult palate has changed and I’ve come to appreciate the tastes and texture of this little fungi. Does that mean you are going to see me eat a giant portabella burger? Mmmm. . . probably not, I don’t love mushrooms that much, but I’m working on things.
On to the recipe that ultimately decided my fate on entering this competition – I had remembered back in the day my mom used to make these delicious spicy, herby, flaky, butter crisps. She didn’t make them often, but every now and then when we had guests over they’d come out. The entire house would smell amazing from the aroma of the herbs and butter baking in the oven and snatching a hot one would just melt in your mouth. I figured if I pulverized the dried morels that we were sent into the dough it could work pretty well.
I changed my moms recipe around a bit, switched out some of the spices she used and of course adding a generous amount of crushed morels. What we get is a slightly funky, spicy, herby, butter cracker. Exactly what I wanted.
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon ice water
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon za'atar seasoning
In the bowl of your food processor, place the dried morels and process until they are finely crushed. They will resemble little grains of sand when pulverized (note dust will come out of the food pro when crushing the morels)
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, crushed morels, finely minced garlic, cumin powder and cayenne pepper.
Using a pastry cutter, blend the butter with the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal.
Add the cold water, one tablespoon at a time until the dough forms together in a ball.
Divide the dough in half, flatten in a rectangle and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to one hour or overnight.
Once the dough is cold, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
Remove the dough from the fridge and flour two pieces of plastic wrap. Roll the dough in between the two pieces of plastic until it is 1/4 inch thick. Rotate the dough a quarter turn every couple of rolls with your pin for an even layer.
Peel back the dough from the wrap and cut it into strips 1/4 inches thick and then into 3/4 inch wide strips on the diagonal. Repeat with remaining dough.
Place the cut dough on your baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Remove from fridge and brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle the top of the crisps with the za'atar seasoning.
Bake for 20 minutes or until crisped and puffed.
Remove from oven and let cool completely.
Store between pieces of wax paper in an airtight container for up to 5 days.