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Markethouse Hosts Monthly Cooking Demo Dinners

By Amy Cavanaugh in Food on May 27, 2012 8:00PM

Photo: Amy Cavanaugh
How often have you left a great meal at a restaurant and wished you could recreate the dishes at home? A monthly dinner series at Markethouse will teach you how to work with an ingredient so you can harness its full potential in your kitchen. We recently attended the May dinner, which focused on one of our favorite ingredients—morel mushrooms.

Chef Scott Walton served up an excellent menu that included lightly battered tempura mushrooms, pork marrow morel butter to spread on toast, a rich wild mushroom and morel terrine made with pickled ramps and foie gras, and a colorful plate of butter poached lobster with corn pudding, morels, and peas.

While we were eating and sipping the wine pairings, Walton talked about how morel season in the Midwest (which should be in full bloom now) has been compromised by the 80 degree days we experienced in March. To source enough mushrooms for the dinner, he called all his producers and wound up with morels from Michigan, southern Indiana, and the Pacific Northwest.

To prepare morels, Walton soaks them in water four to five times to pull out dirt and other things (like bugs) that get trapped in the mushrooms' honeycomb-like exterior. He changes the water until it is perfectly clear. Once cleaned, the morels can be stored in the open air on a towel, otherwise they'll quickly grow mold.

It was a fun and informative dinner and the demo line-up for the next few months is solid. On June 6, the class will focus on sausage, as Markethouse has a strong sausage program. The July 18 class will take place in the garden and focuses on corn. August 15 is root vegetables and September 19 is tomatoes. The demos are $45 and include dinner and drink pairings. Visit Markethouse's website for more details.