I make all kinds of things with my morels, some of them take a bit of preparation, like roasted chicken with morels, morel quiche, or morels stuffed with morel sauce. But, when I come back fresh from a good hunt, my legs sore, and my little mushroom hunters heart excited to share the days finds with others, there’s two recipes I reach for that are quick and easy to share the days haul without spending hours in the kitchen.
The first recipe, fried morels, was one of the first recipes I put on this website, and it’s a good one. My girlfriends family prefers them without any sort of crust though, so when they’re coming over for dinner and I have a basket of morels that needs to be thinned, I make Morilles à la Crème.
Translating to nothing more than morels with cream, Morilles à la Crème is a French classic, and well worth the couple minutes it takes to throw together. This is a great dish to make for people before a dinner, and a good way to celebrate spring.
I struggle to think of things that make me more happy than watching my family members crowd around a small bowl of morels cooked in their juices with a splash of cream, wine, and demi glace, spooning the morels and their lugubrious juices onto slices of crusty baguettes, starting out their sampling timidly, waiting for everyone to get one in turn, the eating and talking eventually disintegrating into people fighting over the last few mushrooms in the bowl. My girlfriends mother usually bogarts the bowl at the end to clean it with her fingers, bless her.
Morilles a la Crème (Morels with Cream)
- 8 oz morels
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter plus more for the baguette
- ¼ cup green garlic shallot, chopped ramps, etc
- ¼ cup dry white wine or sherry
- 2 tablespoons demi glace optional* see note
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- Sliced wild onion greens or chives to garnish (optional)
- Cut the morels in half the long way, large mushrooms from the end of the season may be cut in into ¼’s. Swish the morels in water to clean them, then set out on paper towels to dry while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
- Cut the baguette into slices, spread with soft butter and bake, griddle, or cook in a pan until golden and crisp, then reserve.
- Heat the two tablespoons of butter in a non-reactive pan (stainless steel, etc) add the morels and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’ve given up their juices and the pan is nearly dry. Add the green garlic or other allium and cook for a few minutes more, then add the wine and reduce by half.
- If you’re using stock instead of demi-glace, add that now and reduce by half.
- Add the cream, demi glace if using, and simmer the mixture until the sauce is thickened and delicious. If you cook the mixture down a bit too much and it looks overly thick, adjust it with an extra splash of cream or stock and simmer for another minute or two until the morels look nice and saucy.
- Double check the seasoning for salt, adjust as needed, then spoon the morels and all their juices into a bowl, sprinkle with the chopped wild onion greens or chives, and serve with a spoon.
- Enjoy watching your friends and family crowd around the bowl spooning the mushrooms and their juice over the baguette slices.
Improvising on demi-glaceIf you don't want to use demi-glace here (most people don't have it around) there's a few things you can do.
- Make some really strong bone broth in a crock pot, then take a finished quart of it (unseasoned) and reduce it down to 1/4 cup. It won't be demi, but it will be darn close. Add a whole 1/4 cup instead of the two tablespoon of demi specified.
- Just add a splash of chicken stock. You may want to add some additional cream to give the sauce body here, but it's better than nothing.
- Skip the stock / demi entirely. Morels are fantastic all by themselves, and it will still taste great.