Morel mushrooms are in season now. These wonderful morsels are outrageously expensive at $35/lb if you can find them. They are not widely farmed so we pay for the fact that someone is out hunting for them. My lucky brother is currently in possession of a whole pound of morels. He requested this recipe.
Apparently morels proliferate in northwest Missouri where my father has a farm. One day I will go hunt for morels. That sounds more fun to me than hunting for deer which also happens on my dad's farm.
Anyway, if you happen to find or buy some morels, then try this recipe that I printed from the NYT on May 16, 2007. I made the dish a few days ago with some morels I picked up at WholeFoods. It is equally good with chanterelles or any other mushroom.
1/2 lb or so of morel mushrooms, trimmed ends
2 T unsalted butter, plus more for toast
1 large shallot, chopped
2 T white wine or vermouth
1/4 c. heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
4 slices of brioche or sourdough or any gorgeous bakery bread
1 T chopped chives
Fleur de sel or other salt
Clean the mushrooms by brushing them with a soft bristled pastry brush. Do not put them in water. Slice in half (longways) and brush again. The brushing is a pain but the mushrooms are gritty since they come out of dirt (funny how that happens). I didn't quite get all of the grit out of mine. Chop mushrooms into rough pieces.
Melt butter in a pan over medium-high. Add shallots and cook until soft, about 3 min. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add wine. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 5 minutes more. Uncover and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in cream, simmer for 2 minutes or until slighly thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Toast bread slices and spread with butter. Sprinkle with chives. Top with mushrooms. Sprinkle with more chives and sea salt.