Crisp brioche rolls filled with creamy morel mushrooms
Keyword: Brioche, morel mushrooms
4small brioche rolls
4-6ouncesfresh morel mushrooms
1/4cupstrong homemade stock
3tablespoonsa good splash of dry sherry or cognac
1tablespoonshallotdiced 1/4 inch
Kosher saltto taste
Fresh water cress dress with lemon and oilto serve, optional
Preheat the oven to 250F. Using a very sharp, or preferably serrated paring knife, like a tomato knife, cut a square out of the top of each bun, then pry the lid off, trim off the excess, and gently hollow out the middle of each bun by flaking the inside with a fork.
You want to get as much of the guts of the bread out as possible without poking a hole in the sides. Remember, you're going to fill these with a creamy morel-gasm, which is very thick, but it's still liquid, and you want the buns to hold their payload until the guests chomp into the first bite.
Hollow out the buns, then put them in the oven on a cookie sheet with a rack and dry them out or 15 minutes. You don't want them very crunchy, they should stay tender on the inside, like a good crouton. From this point the buns can be done a few hours ahead of time or even the night before, and left in a breatheable container on the counter.
For the morels, clean them, rinsing quickly under cool water if needed and trimming the stems, leaving the morels whole if you can. If your morels are large, cut them into 1 inch pieces. Dehydrate the excess stems and save for another purpose.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in an 8 inch saute pan. Add the morels and shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until morels and shallots are just starting to brown lightly. Season the mixture to taste with salt, deglaze the pan with the sherry, and reduce by half. Add the chicken stock and reduce the mixture by half again, until only about 4 tablespoons remain.
Add the cream, and reduce again until the soup is nice and thick like a good cream sauce. Double check the seasoning for salt and pepper, then with a slotted spoon, divide the morels evenly between the buns, then finish by drizzling some of the sauce into each one.
Put the lids back on the buns, dress the watercress with salt, pepper, lemon and oil. Put the morel buns on a platter, with the watercress salad in the middle, along with four small salad plates and some tongs or a fork and serving spoon. Allow the guests to serve themselves. A little cold champagne wouldn't hurt either.