Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Brioche with Morel Sausage Cream Sauce

I can't resist online contests... but really only if they have anything to do with food or photography. When Marxfoods offered to send out dried morels to develop a recipe worth free FRESH morels I couldn't help but take the bait.

But then I had to decide what to make.
Risotto and mushrooms are so delicious, but way too easy for me. I've made risotto more times than I care to admit (once with brown carnaroli rice for a vegan friend. It took me 3 hours to get the rice to an edible texture) and I wanted the morels to really shine.

And then I thought about my morel experience. The only time I can recall having them was when I worked at Tria about, oh... 4 years ago? That brought on memories of working there and the other fabulous menu items we had when Tria was trying to be a gourmet restaurant in a gated community (the gated communities of MN are not exactly haute eaters and things have changed since then, though I still give them credit for trying. When we opened I recall an appetizer made with wild mushrooms and a cream sauce served over brioche.

Then I got to thinking. What if I made that concept but with only morels (instead of crimini and shiitake, hardly "wild" by my standards)... and then stuffed them with my homemade sausage...and added some sherry? Done! This would be my recipe!

If you know me professionally you know I'm a procrastinator (I try not be, I swear) and I didn't even get to edit my pictures due to my deadline (especially irritating since I spent 8 hours in a photoshop seminar today). I received my morels last Thursday and wasted my weekend on cooking pate and rabbit and cast aside my precious fungi until the realization hit that I had to have this blog post done by tomorrow! At noon!


Tonight I got down to business and created:

Brioche toast with Morel and Sausage Cream Sauce (an appetizer) Serves 2


1/4 lb free range ground pork
1 oz dried morels or 1/2 pound fresh morels
4 sprigs thyme
2 slices good brioche
1 cup cream
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 c amontiallado sherry

Marx Foods Contest

marx food contest

Rehydrate mushrooms in 1 1/2 cup of warm water for 30 minutes. Squeeze out additional moisture from mushrooms and reserve liquid. Rinse the morels and dry on a clean towel. Separate any large and/or very hollow morels from smaller and tighter versions and set aside.

marx food contest

Finely chop remaining small morels and mix with ground pork, 1/4 tsp salt, pepper and the leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme.


Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty. Soap was invented for a reason!

Heat olive oil over medium heat and add the sausage mixture.


Cook until just done and cool slightly.

Toss sausage with 1/8c sherry.

Using a dowel, skewer or the back of a wooden spoon, fill reserved morels with sausage being careful not to rip the mushroom.

Return the pan to medium heat and sautee your stuffed morels until browned on all sides.


In the mean time, heat a grill pan and toast brioche slices until just golden, then slice into quarters.


Remove the browned morels from the pan and add butter. Once melted add the remaining sherry and deglaze the pan, scraping up any remaining browned bits.

Add reserve mushroom liquid to the pan, being careful not to add the sediment at the bottom.



Reduce liquid by 3/4 and add heavy cream. Reduce by half.


Arrange brioche slices and morels on a plate and spoon cream sauce over both. Garnish with two sprigs of thyme per plate and serve immediately.


And that's it!


What do you think? I've made plenty of other recipes in the past, but I actually feel like this one is worth something. Also, I had it for dinner tonight, and I wish I could have had about 10x as many servings as I made. I'm also my own worst critic if that's any consolation to you. If you'd order it off a menu you should vote at marxfoods, starting tomorrow {04/16/09)at 12pm PST.

I'm sure I'll remind you to vote a few other times while the polls are open :)


De Nueva said...

I don't even like mushrooms, but it actually looks pretty tasty! Nice job!

Emily said...

Are you in need of taste testers? I will volunteer.

Erin said...

I will join Emily as a taste tester. This looks beautiful and delicious :)

Ben Skinner said...

I'm so bummed you didn't win! Of course everyone made a risotto. Yours was very original and looked delicious. I'm going morel hunting.

Kate said...

Thanks Ben!