Why This Recipe Works
- The hollow core and deeply ridged surface of a morel mushroom makes it the perfect vessel for sauce and egg yolk.
There's not really much to say about fried eggs with ramps and morels sautéed in butter (and a little bacon fat), other than that, with the exception perhaps of a perfectly fresh everything bagel with cream cheese, it's my favorite breakfast.
I suppose I could mention that the first time I tried morels, ramps, and bacon together was when I was a green, never-seen-a-morel-in-my-life line cook at No. 9 Park in Boston. The chef de cuisine was kind enough to not just personally demonstrate how to cook them but to actually serve me a whole plate for a family meal. He did it with easy, practiced hands, rendering the bacon fat with a little water, sautéing the morels until they were just crisp around the edges, searing the ramps so the whites browned and the green leaves became charred and crunchy, mounting the whole thing with butter and lemon juice, then pouring it all over a crisp-edged, molten-yolked fried egg.
It's also probably worth talking a bit about why morels and ramps make such a sublime pairing. There is the whole "what grows together goes together" thing, and both morels and ramps have extremely short spring seasons. But that's not the real reason. The reason is that ramps, more than any other allium I can think of, have a way of releasing their flavor into whatever fat (whether it's bacon fat, butter, or olive oil) you're cooking them in. Meanwhile, there is no mushroom—perhaps no food, period—that is better at absorbing those flavors than a morel, with its hollow core and deeply ridged surface. The bacon—well, it's bacon, which needs no explaining.
I cook my morels, ramps, and bacon essentially the same way I was taught all those years ago, although I do like to add a little butter up front to get some of that deeply browned butter flavor. I also add the tiniest splash of soy sauce along with the lemon juice at the end, to boost the savoriness of the mushrooms.
Everything about this dish is quick. The season is quick, the preparation is quick, and quickest of all is the eating.
How to Make Extra-Crispy Fried Eggs
Fried Eggs With Ramps, Morels, and Bacon
Eggs, ramps, and morel mushrooms sautéed in butter (and a little bacon fat). What could be better?
4 ounces (100g) diced bacon
6 ounces morel mushrooms (about 3 cups; 160g), cleaned, trimmed, and cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, divided
6 ounces ramps (about a dozen ramps; 160g), root ends trimmed, white bottoms separated from green tops
1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) soy sauce
1 teaspoon (5ml) fresh juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon (15ml) canola oil
2 large eggs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 slices hearty buttered toast
Sliced fresh chives, to garnish
Heat bacon along with 1 tablespoon (15ml) water in a medium cast iron or stainless steel skillet over medium heat, stirring, until water evaporates, bacon fat renders, and bacon is completely crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a bowl and set aside.
Return skillet to medium-high heat until lightly smoking. Add morels and cook, stirring and tossing frequently, until barely starting to brown, about 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon (15g) butter and cook, stirring, until morels are nicely browned but not burnt, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
Add ramps and cook, stirring and tossing frequently, until whites are browned and tender and greens are crisp in spots, about 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons (30ml) water, soy sauce, lemon juice, and remaining tablespoon butter. Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat canola oil in a medium nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add eggs, season with salt and pepper, and cook, occasionally using a spoon to baste hot oil over the whites to help them cook, until whites are set, edges are crisp, and yolk is still runny.
Place a slice of toast on each of two plates. Top each with a fried egg. Return morel/ramp mixture to high heat and stir in bacon. Cook over high heat until liquid reduces to a creamy, emulsified sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon morels and ramps over and around fried eggs. Sprinkle with chives and serve.
10-inch cast iron skillet or 10-inch stainless steel skillet
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 49g||63%|
|Saturated Fat 19g||95%|
|Total Carbohydrate 26g||9%|
|Dietary Fiber 5g||18%|
|Total Sugars 5g|
|Vitamin C 17mg||85%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|