Pheasant with ramps and wild mushrooms

Yield: 2 servings

Measure Ingredient
1 2 1/4 lb. farm-raised or wild, ready-to-roast pheasant; split in half
12 Ramps (both white bulbs and green leaves)
1 tablespoon Butter; melted
½ teaspoon Salt
⅛ teaspoon Ground black pepper
10 Fresh morels or other wild mushrooms
2 teaspoons Fresh thyme leaves or
½ teaspoon Dried thyme leaves
½ cup Dry white wine

GARNISH

Fresh thyme sprigs with -flowers (opt'l.) Heat oven to 350 F. Rinse pheasant and pat dry. Remove any excess fat from body and neck cavities.

Thoroughly rinse ramps; pat dry. Cut white bulbs from green leaves of ramps. Slice green ramp leaves lengthwise; set aside. Place bulbs in 8" baking pan. Place pheasant halves, skin sides up, on top of bulbs. Brush with melted butter; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 40 to 50 minutes or until fork-tender.

Remove pheasant from baking pan to 2 plates; keep warm. Meanwhile, in small skillet, combine mushrooms and thyme with drippings from baking pan. Saute until mushrooms soften - 3 to 5 minutes. Stir white wine and ramp leaves into mushroom mixture; cook 3 to 5 minutes. With slotted spoon, remove mushroom mixture to plates with pheasant.

Remove and discard any excess fat from liquid in skillet; serve liquid as sauce with pheasant. Garnish pheasant with thyme sprigs,if desired.

Nutritional information per serving: 67 g protein; 33 g fat; 18 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 721 mg sodium; 228 mg cholesterol; 677 calories.

Hayes writes: "Ramps (allium tricoccum) are wild leeks. In early spring, their broad green leaves and oniony aroma permeate fields and forest floors in the eastern half of North America as far south as Georgia. Morels are one of the few mushrooms that have defied cultivation. As a result, they are available only from early spring through early summer and can be very expensive." From Joanne L. Hayes's "The Wild Things" article in "Country Living." April 1995, Vol. 18, No. 4. Pp. 154, 156. Electronic format by Cathy Harned.

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