The Weekly Avocado

May 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

Mmmm, morels. I’ve had them a few times lately and can’t seem to get enough.  They pair great with all the spring veg: asparagus, peas & artichoke. Here are a few recipes that I’ve  really enjoyed, and as I always do, use it as a guide, feel free to add, take away, do what suits you…  Both are great for a tasty, healthy weeknight dinners, or impressive enough for guests and friends.

Ina Garten’s Chicken with Morels 

  • 1- ounce dried morels, soaked for 30 minutes in 3 cups very hot water
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • all-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 1⁄4 cup clarified butter
  • 1⁄3 cup chopped shallots (2 large)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 cup Madeira wine
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) creme fraiche
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lift the morels carefully from the hot water in order to leave any grit behind in the liquid. Rinse a few times to be sure all the grittiness is gone. Discard the liquid and dry the morels lightly with paper towels. Set aside.

Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Dredge them in flour and shake off the excess. Heat half the clarified butter in a large saute pan and cook the chicken in 2 batches over medium-low heat until browned on both sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to an ovenproof casserole.

Add the rest of the clarified butter to the pan along with the shallots, drained morels, and garlic. Saute over medium heat for 2 minutes, tossing and stirring constantly. Pour the Madeira into the pan and reduce the liquid by half over high heat, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the creme fraiche, cream, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3⁄4 teaspoon pepper. Boil until the mixture starts to thicken, 5 to 10 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chicken and bake for 12 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through. To make ahead, refrigerate the chicken and sauce in the casserole and reheat slowly on top of the stove.

Poached Wild Salmon with Peas & Morels

Ingredients:

  • 2 6-8-ounce center-cut wild salmon fillets (each about 1 1/2″ thick)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces fresh morels; sliced, stemmed shiitake; or other mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup shelled fresh (or frozen, thawed) peas
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives or 2 pea tendrils

 

Place salmon, skin side down, in a large high-sided skillet. Add wine, 2 tablespoons salt, and cold water to cover salmon by 1/2″. Cover pan; bring liquid to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, uncover, and gently poach salmon until just cooked through and barely opaque in the center, about 6 minutes, depending on thickness. Transfer salmon and 2 tablespoons poaching liquid to a plate; tent loosely with foil.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup salmon poaching liquid and peas and simmer until peas begin to soften, 2-3 minutes. Add cream and bring sauce to a simmer. Cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Using a spatula, transfer salmon, skin side up, to paper towels. Gently peel off and discard skin. Invert onto serving plates and spoon sauce over. Garnish with chives.
Recipe via Epicurious

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