morsel [/ˈmɔːs(ə)l/] noun.
A small piece or quantity of food; a mouthful. Something very tasty and appetising. A treat or tidbit.
"I hate the word morsel," a woman I had only just met announced at an event a few months back.
Well, tie me down and stuff me full of chicken feathers. Her declaration surprised me, because I have always loved that word. Those who know me well will be aware that I use it (often) here on this little blog, and also did so in my former newspaper column, which spanned a decade.
Morsel is an excellent description for these bite-sized pillows of butter puff pastry filled with truffled portabello mushroom and Persian feta, and brushed with truffle butter.
I had the great pleasure of enjoying them at the launch of the Truffle Festival 2016 - Canberra Region, and they were prepared by my long-time friend and colleague, chef Andrew Haskins of 3seeds Cooking School.
I tend not to eat things made from pastry, because I usually find them 'heavy' and they seem to sit in the pit of my stomach. So I approached these with a cautionary nibble, and was so glad that I tried them. Truly, they are exquisite.
Peter was not able to come to the launch, but Andrew made sure that took a care pack home for him. Although he is not all that keen on truffle, he devoured these mushroom-filled pillows, licking his lips as he told me how good they tasted.
Andrew has kindly shared his recipe with me so that you, too, can enjoy them. If you can get your hands on some truffle during the season, do add these morsels to your winter repertoire.
PILLOW OF BUTTER PUFF WITH PORTABELLO MUSHROOMS AND TRUFFLE BUTTER
8 round discs of store bought butter puff pastry (approx 12 cm)
egg wash made with 1 egg lightly whisked with 1 tablespoon of milk
4 large portabello mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup Grape seed oil
a few drops of truffle-infused oil
4 teaspoons Persian feta
2 teaspoons truffle butter
Marinate the mushrooms in the truffle and grape seed oils for half an hour. Preheat your oven to 200º C.
Place a disc of pastry on a tray, place mushroom on top, then 1 teaspoon of feta and ½ a teaspoon of butter on top of this. Place the 2nd disc on top of mushroom. Bring the top and bottom pastry rounds together by crimping the edges together. Brush with egg wash and bake until golden, about 15-20 minutes.
15g freshly grated truffle
250g salted butter (softened)
Whip the butter in a mix master or stand mixer until light and fluffy, then add the truffle and mix well. Place the butter and truffle onto a piece of baking paper, which is on a piece of clingfilm, and shape it into a log. Tie the ends tightly.
Refrigerate for at least three days. The longer the truffle is infused the stronger it will be. Cut the truffle butter into pieces as you need it. It will keep for two weeks in the fridge, and will also freeze.
I attended the launch of the Truffle Festival 2016 - Canberra Region at 3seeds Cooking School as a guest, thanks to the hospitality of the organisers of the Festival, and chef Andrew and his lovely wife, Catherine. For more information about the classes on offer at 3seeds during the festival visit the web site.
Tell me dear readers, does the word 'morsel' make you squirm, or are you happy to use it with gusto? Are there other words that you cannot abhor? And what words do you love?
Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
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- Liz Posmyk
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.