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~ Culinary Q&A & Kitchen Therapy Too (5/20/11) ~

Culinary Q & A #2TGIF!!!  Kitchen Encounters had an absolutely wonderful past week! My friend Pat dropped by with a basket of freshly picked morel mushrooms, which prompted me to make and post my very special recipe for ~ A French Chicken Fricassee w/Morel Mushrooms ~, which you can read by clicking into Categories 3 or 21.  I can tell you, "this is not your grandmother's fricassee"!  

To view a short video/slideshow of this exquisite dish:

Download A French Chicken Fricassee w_Morel Mushrooms-Medium_2

PICT3141 Yesterday, Melanie's Kitchen had another shoot with WHVL-TV for my segment on their Sunday morning Center of it All show.  

I prepared my ~ Carolina-Style Pulled-Pork BBQ/Sandwiches ~, and, ~ Mel's Creamy, Crunchy Cole Slaw ~.  I have to tell you this was our "funnest" shoot so far, just because EVERYONE gets into "low and slow" Southern barbecue.  It was so much fun, it was even worth getting up at 4:00AM to get the pork started, which after that, is a 6-7 hour cooking process.  You can get my recipe for the pulled-pork by clicking into Categories 2, 10 or 17 and my slaw recipe by clicking into Categories 4, 10 or 17.  This is a menu that will keep you cooking outdoors from Memorial Day to Labor Day!

Kitchen Encounters got one great comment and one great question this week from two of my Facebook friends:

PICT2133 C. Patty says:  Mel, I cannot thank you enough for posting your tips for grilling steak for me.  I bought two T-bones last week and asked the man at the meat counter to cut them 1 1/2" thick.  I brought them to room temperature and cooked them, just as you said to do, and my husband Peter said it was the best steak he ever ate... or the best one I ever cooked for him!

A.  Kitchen Encounters:  Patty, there are many aspects to a happy marriage and grilling a good T-bone is one of them!


PICT3082 Q. Gill asks:  Melanie, my mouth has been watering ever since I saw your fricassee post.  I cook for myself and sometimes my brother and his wife. I like to cook, but I'm always afraid to substitute ingredients in a recipe.  I don't have access to morels and also can't afford their sticker price.  What do you suggest in place of them?

A.  Kitchen Encounters:  Gill any mushrooms you have or can afford will do just fine.  You always want to use white button mushrooms for the part of the recipe where you add them to the sauteing chicken.  As for other mushrooms to add to the sauce and garnish with, cremini would add a nice woodsy flavor to finish off the dish.  That being said, if all you have are white button mushrooms, use them in both instances.  On a side note, if asparagus is not in season, fresh or frozen peas are a great substitute.  Fricassee is more of a method than a recipe, so once you understand how it is prepared you can get relatively creative.  Fricassee comes from the French word "frire", meaning "to fry", and in France a chicken is usually cut into eight parts and fried, although veal makes an excellent fricassee as well.  Thanks for the great comment Gill and let me know how your fricassee comes out! 

PICT2797Have a great weekend everyone!  I leave you all with this picture of the beautiful morel mushrooms my friend Pat gifted me with.  I have a few left and I am looking forward to posting an omelette recipe either tomorrow or Sunday! 

Once again:  To leave a comment or ask a question, simply click on the blue title of any post, scroll to the end of it and type away!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipes, Commentary, Photos and Videos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2011)


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