Spicy Morel Sauce for Meat and Poultry
Monday, 26 May 2008
DescriptionThe odd-looking morel does not have a cap but rather a fruit body about four inches long that is pittted and resembles a honeycomb. Since the darker the mushroom, the stronger the flavor, the morel is prized as one of the strongest mushrooms with its earthy and smoky flavor. It is related to truffles, but far more common. They are spring mushrooms, available fresh from April through June, although specialty markets will have them all year long in the dried form. They are easily rehydrated. Morels are particularly common in the midwest, and a festival is devoted to them in Boyne, Michigan. Since morels have never been successfully cultivated, mushroom lovers depend upon foragers. A word of caution: never eat morels raw, as they contain toxic helvellic acid, which is destroyed by cooking.
At a glance
1 1/2 cups
In a small heavy saucepan, boil the water with the sugar, without stirring, until a golden caramel color results. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the vinegar and balsamic vinegar down the side of the pan. Stir the mixture over moderate heat until the caramel is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
In a heavy saucepan cook the morels in butter, stirring, over moderate heat until liquid from morels is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Transfer the morels with a slotted spoon to a bowl and reserve. Add the shallots and the cayenne to the pan and cook, stirring, until golden. Stir in the wine and boil until reduced to about 1 cup, about 15 minutes.
Add the stock and reserved morel soaking liquid (if using dried morels) and reduce to about 1 1/4 cups, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and stir in caramel mixture. Add the morels to sauce with salt and pepper to taste. You can serve the sauce as is or processed in a blender or food processor.