As promised to many of you this weekend, here is the recipe for Morel Mushrooms Poached in Beurre Blanc (white wine butter sauce). It’s an insane amount of umami swathed in Frenchy goodness!!
Morels, with their distinct flavor and firm texture, are particularly suited to poaching. The cavernous web of mushroom permits the sauce to seep into its walls, allowing the butter and wine to lend their richness to the mushroom’s dark spring woodsy flavor. Meanwhile, the morel infuses the sauce with umami goodness. It’s a win-win situation. Especially for the diner!
1 pound of fresh morel mushrooms
2 cups of good flavored white wine (such as chenin blanc or sauvignon blanc)
8 oz. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
salt, preferably truffle salt
freshly ground black pepper
- Clean the morels by removing any debris, then wash them in a basin of water. Add the morels to the water, swish them around gently but vigorously, let the water settle for a few seconds, then lift the morels out and place them in a collander.
- Meanwhile, add the wine to a saucepan that will accommodate the morels comfortably, not more than 2 deep. Turn the flame to medium and reduce the wine until 1/3 of a cup remains.
- Reduce the heat to very low and add about 1/3 of the butter. Whisk gently but steadily, incorporating and emulsifying the butter into the reduced wine. When the butter is nearly incorporated, add half of the remaining butter and continue to whisk. Repeat with the remaining butter. When all of the butter has been incorporated, quickly add a generous pinch of salt and several grinds of fresh pepper. Then add the morels. Increase the heat to about medium low, so that the morels are at a gentle but steady simmer. Simmer them for about 20 minutes, until they are fully cooked, and some of the liquid that the mushrooms have given off has reduced back into the sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings. Eat immediately, over rice, grains, or potatoes, tossed with pasta, or with a slice or two of worthy country bread. Leftover butter can be used to sauté more mushrooms or other vegetables. I rarely have leftover butter!