Morel Mushrooms in Sherry Cream Sauce

1 pound morel mushrooms

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup very dry sherry wine

3 tablespoons heavy cream

4 tablespoons ramps, chives or green onions, finely minced


Clean Morels: Fill kitchen sink with water and dump mushrooms into sink, swish around and let sit for 10 minutes or so, allowing the critters to crawl out of the insides. Swish around a bit more, and move to a kitchen towel, further inspecting for critters. Slice mushrooms in half and give them another bath if the insides look like they just came in from the wilderness, i.e., dirty and full of bugs (you are forewarned). 


Prepare Morels: Heat olive oil and butter in a large (preferably) cast-iron skillet over moderate heat, until sizzling. Toss in cleaned morels and cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Cooking morels to a beautiful caramelization takes a lot longer than store-bought mushrooms because of the higher moisture content. Morels will release a lot of water and at one point you'll most likely have a soupy mess, continue cooking out the water until they start to caramelize, be patient. Turn up the heat if you're getting antsy. 


Morel Sauce: Once the morels have taken on some brown color, have shrunk to about half their size and you've cooked down any water the morels released, season with salt and pepper and stir in garlic, sauté for a minute or two more. Deglaze with sherry and cook until reduced by half. Stir in cream and bring up to a gentle bubble. Scatter ramps over and season with additional salt and pepper. Serve with baked potato or pasta. 


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