Sunday, April 17

Morel mushrooms are kind of magic.

Morels are maybe the best part of spring, maybe. But every part of spring is the best part when I stop to think about it . Anyways, morels are magical tasting. They're like sponges and soak up all the cream and butter you could ever desire, which I guess for me is a lot, but no one else seems to mind either...
So when we saw them last night at the market I knew exactly what I would cook for dinner though my boyfriend was a little skeptical of their less than pageant queen looks (he's fallen for them now too though). They don't stay in season long where I come from so for two weeks we'd eat them most everyday and this sauce was my favourite way to have them prepared. I fried chicken breasts and served the sauce over them but it makes a wonderful pasta sauce too.

Morel Cream Sauce
serves 2

2 cups morels
1 1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup finely sliced shallots
1/2 butter
75g chevre
salt and pepper

Fry the shallots in 1 tbs of butter til they're translucent but not browned. Meanwhile remove the stems from the mushrooms and discard them.  Slice the mushroom in half if they're large.
Add the morels to the shallots as well as another 2 tbs of butter, continue frying 2 minutes. Add in the cream and stir slowly. Keep stirring in the butter as well. The cream will need to reduce a bit, but the heat should still be moderate, don't let it foam too much.
After about 4 minutes crumble in the chevre, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until all the cheese is melted into the sauce.  The sauce should be pretty thick so it will need to cook down a bit (approximately 5 minutes), it should coat the back of a wooden spoon well.
There it is!

For the chicken and the potato side dish pictured:
serves 2

2 chicken breasts
1 tbs flour
10 yellow finger potatoes
4tbs butter
5 peices bacon (stekflask again) cut into 1"slices
salt and pepper

Boil potatoes til soft.
Pound the chicken breast so they're a bit thinner and will cook more evenly. Anything solid will do for pounding, I put the chicken in a plastic bag and used an 8 ball. Season both sides of the pounded chicken breasts with salt, pepper and then sprinkle with the flour.
Pre heat oven to 400 F.
Fry the bacon til only slightly browned then remove from fying pan with slotted spoon, set aside. Fry the chicken in the bacon grease left in the pan, adding butter when necessary, til well browned on both sides. Place in the oven on a baking sheet covered in foil.  Bake approximately 15 minutes.
Add soft potatoes to the frying pan now and the reserved bacon and 4 tbs of butter.  Melt the butter and fry the potatoes for a couple minutes til they start to brown a little and are well coated with butter.
Remove the chicken from the oven and smother it in the cream sauce and divide up the potatoes.

It's easy and quick, and almost only one pot! Cooking everything in the rendered bacon fat is, I think, kind of the meals crowning glory. Oh, I'm hungry again now.

Music to cook by:  The Quiz by Hello Saferide

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