If morels weren’t boss enough already, we’re making them even bossypants better with this morel cream sauce. Because what’s better than morels, cream, wine, and buttah? Nothing. That’s what, chicken butt.
Can you believe it? Morel season, I KNOW, and what better way than to start the season off with morel cream sauce? There’s something so mystic about morels. I’m not sure if it’s their unique appearance or unpredictable demeanor, but it’s something. They definitely have that “it” factor, and we go crazy for them—crazy like millennials over the Kardashians. Even if we, too, don’t quite understand why. Matt will spend most evenings hunting for them this time of year, and the guy can’t even eat them! He’s allergic. True story. Perhaps it’s because they bring in $20/pound wholesale, or because the man lives for hunting (hello, he made it his living), but he’s not alone.
We talk about them at work, on Facebook, and in our social circles. They conjure up newspaper stories, blog posts (oh hey, hi), and good ol’ barstool talk: Say, did ya hear about dem guys up in Rhinelander, eh? Ohhh yah, found 300 pounds. Saw the picture, myself. Up to here and as far as the eye can see. Yep, got $20/pound for the whole bunch. That’s a $6,000 payday, right der. Musta been a burn last year or somethin. Yah, somethin.
I mean look at us? Fascinated with finding fungus! It is fun though and they are quite spectacular tasting. I was about 6 years old the first time I experienced the elusive morel, and I’ll never forget it. My mom found one in our backyard and seemed both utterly excited and shocked. Oh my gosh, A MOREL! In our yard, no less! I couldn’t figure out what that woman was so jacked up about, but I did know she knew a thing or two about good food.
Still, I couldn’t help but wonder what she was thinking. We’re going to eat that? Didn’t she constantly tell me that the mushrooms growing in the woods were not the same as the mushrooms we buy at the store and to never, ever eat them. The thing looked like the opposite of anything we should be eating, but what choice did I have? She yanked that little guy out of the ground, fried him up in butter, and I suddenly understood her. My mind was blown that something so delicious just mysteriously grows without someone intentionally planting it. In our own backyard, no less! I became hooked on mushroom hunting for life. We later learned you’re supposed to leave some of the stem intact, so they come back the following year.
Or not. Because that’s the thing about morels. They’re finicky bastards. You can do everything right. Know the location of the most perfectly dying elm with just the right amount of bark that produced loads of mushrooms last year, and nothing. Stumped again, you son-of-a-biscuit! But just like hunting wild game, there’s no guarantee, and that’s exactly why we do it.
Until next time, my friends, go out and find you some morels. Fry them up in butter like my Ma or make this morel cream sauce. Unless you’re allergic. Don’t eat morels if you’re allergic. You WILL get sick. Trust me, I can predict things like this.
Morel Cream Sauce
- 4 cups morels
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup white wine or sherry
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- Fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- To clean morels, slice in half and remove any visible crawlies. Soak in salt water for at least 15 minutes. Rinse under running water. Place morels between a few layers of paper towel and press gently to remove some moisture.
- Heat oil in medium skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until well-browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add wine and reduce to two-thirds. Turn heat down to medium-low, add butter, cream, and parmesan and simmer for a few minutes. Add a squirt of fresh lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve over pasta, grilled meat of any kind, the options are endless 🙂