Morels on Toast

Package of dried Morel mushrooms (about 10 pieces)

3/4 cup chicken broth (canned broth is fine)

1 tablespoon butter

1 shallot

1 tablespoon brandy or cognac

3/4 cup heavy cream

Toasted good white bread


If using fresh New England Morels,

of course, skip the soaking you would do if using dried mushrooms.

I skipped the shallots and cut back the cream. I added some fresh grated nutmeg while the mushrooms were cooking.

Because the morels are very wet, saute morels sliced into "rings" very hot, add cognac, and about a 1/4 cup of cream with a bit of salt. The cream will disappear and just coat the mushrooms somewhat.

I used about 8 large mushrooms for this. Serves 2 as an appetizer or side dish.

Soak Morels in chicken broth until they are soft, at least an hour. Strain broth through a coffee filter. Set aside mushrooms and broth. In a medium sized sauté pan gently sauté finely diced shallot, add the broth and cognac and reduce by about half. Add cream and cook until sauce seems thick enough, taste for salt, then add morels and cook a minute or two longer. Make white bread toast, trim crusts, cut in small triangles, serve on warmed saucers. Makes 2 portions, but you can stretch to 4 if serving enough other stuff. You can also make a lot more in a batch, but they are very expensive. This is great with any dried mushrooms. Experiment. Note: adding the cognac early allows the alcohol to cook off leaving the good flavor. This holds true in most recipes calling for alcohol. This recipe is wonderful adapted as a sauce for veal scallops or cutlets. Just use the skillet you used to sauté the cutlets for the sauce. The pan drippings will loosen and add more flavor to the sauce. Serve cutlets with the sauce and mushrooms poured on top.