Morels With Calvados
Morels and apples seem made for each other and, in fact, they are—the best place to track the mushrooms down is in abandoned apple orchards. Each spring, I make this recipe with the first morels that come in. The voluptuous flavor of the morels snaps to attention when bathed in apple brandy. Try to ignore the cholesterol factor, for the cream adds a vital, velvety note. You can also serve it as a side dish for chops or a steak, or turn it into a hearty meal tumbled over fresh fettuccine.
Selecting and storing morels: Look for dry, unbroken specimens. The aroma should be of freshly turned soil. White streaks usually mean mold. Place morels in a shallow woven basket loosely covered with paper towels. Store on a wire shelf in the refrigerator for up to one week. When morels go out of season, use dried ones, calculating about one ounce of dried for four ounces fresh.
Makes 6 servings as an appetizer
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 pounds morels, trimmed, cleaned, and sliced lengthwise in half
- Fresh lemon juice
- Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup Calvados
- 1/2 cup heavy (or whipping) cream
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
- 6 slices buttered, toasted French bread, for serving
Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the morels and cook, stirring, until the morels give up their liquid, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
When just a few drops of liquid remain, remove the pan from the heat. Immediately pour in the Calvados and let it bubble until mostly evaporated. Then add the cream, and return to the stove. Boil over medium-high heat until the sauce is of coating consistency, 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in the tarragon and spoon onto individual plates, each garnished with a slice of buttered and toasted French bread.
Recipe reprinted with permission from “The Mushroom Lover’s Mushroom Cookbook and Primer” by Amy Farges. Published by Workman Publishing.