Sautéed Morel Mushrooms in Cream Sauce

Morels are the truffles of the Midwest. They are heavenly morsels available for a very short time in the spring. Unfortunately, most people simply dredge them through egg and a breading and then fry them in butter. Although I admit they are fantastic that way and I have to make them that way first they are also a very versatile mushroom that lend an earthy goodness to many dishes. They also pair very well with fresh asparagus. Tonight I sautéed them and made a gravy and then served them over a grilled beef tenderloin steak.

Ingredients

½ pound or more of fresh morels cut length-wise in half or quarters if large
1 Large shallot minced
3 Cloves garlic minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ Cup chicken stock
1 Cup heavy cream
Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions

Heated olive oil in 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots, stir and sauté until softened but not brown. Add butter. When melted add morels. Stir and cook until mushrooms start to brown; about 4 minutes. Add chicken stock, bring to simmer and cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Add cream and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and cook until reduced and thickened.

Meatless Monday or just any time: Gemelli with Mixed Mushrooms and Thyme

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Sometime around 2003 a push was made to reintroduce Meatless Mondays: a campaign begun during World War II to help the war effort but today to help establish better eating habits which has since become a global initiative. I know many people who partake in Meatless Monday or have one day a week that the main meal of the day is vegan or less reliant on meat as do I. Here is a great meal for the Meatless Monday that is protein packed, full of B vitamins.

I paired this with an excellent pinot noir. My only wish is that I would have had more morels…

Ingredients

Coarse salt and ground pepper
12 ounces gemelli pasta
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (about 1 cup)
4 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, minced
½ cup Sauvignon Blanc (one that you would drink)
10 ounces baby bella mushrooms,  thinly sliced
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
4 ounces morel mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves only
¼ cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

Directions

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente; drain, and return to pot. Set aside. While pasta is cooking, in a small bowl, soak porcini in 1 ½ cups hot water until tender, at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallot begins to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add wine; cook until almost evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add baby bella and shiitake mushrooms. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and begin to brown, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add morels and porcini along with their soaking liquid (leaving any grit at the bottom of the bowl), morels and thyme to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid reduces by half, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer porcini mixture to pot with pasta. Add Parmesan and remaining butter, and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with more Parmesan.