As with most things I cook, this dish was conceived in the grocery store. Walking in the aisles of Urban Fare, looking for inspiration, I stumbled across some rare early summer time jewels not normally available in your every day produce section: fresh morels.
My first inclination for these brainy shaped wild mushrooms was to saute them up with fresh thyme, shallot, white wine, and finished into a nice cream sauce. Normally morels and cream are a wicked combination, but dried morels are really better for that type of sauce due to their concentrated flavour. Also – you can pick up dried morels any time of the year, so I wanted to do something that showcased the freshness of these rare beauties.
What I decided to do was based on a mushroom bruschetta, which is one of my favourite things to make and serve to friends in my kitchen. The concept is simple, fresh wild mushrooms tossed onto a hot and dry cast iron pan (it brings out the woodiness and beautiful umami flavour of the mushrooms); then quickly sauteed in a piping hot pan with a glug of oil and some shallot or garlic, fresh herbs, scallions, and julienned chili; then finished with a splash of whatever alcohol you may have available, sherry and white wine are my favourites. Of course, once the alcohol is reduced to a nappe consistency it’s taken off the heat and finished with a generous knob of butter. Keys throughout the process are to maintain a high temperature, and not to overcrowd the pan. Once autumn rolls around again, I will do up a post about a version I’ve made with fresh chanterelles over a fire pit during a surf trip in Tofino.
The brushetta in this dish consists of fresh morels, thinly sliced garlic scapes, roasted shallot, thyme, dry vermouth, and butter. Served with a simple pan roasted chicken breast and sauteed potatoes (which I take very seriously, and will warrant a post of their own in the future).
Official recipe to follow, but for now enjoy the food porn!