Morels in Cream

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A Canon of Vegetables

A Canon of Vegetables

By Raymond Sokolov

Published 2007

  • About

Pocked, rounded coneheads peek out of the duff and silently offer themselves to the sharp-eyed forager. These are morels, Morchella spp., premier mushrooms for the table. Unlike most mushrooms we eat (basidiomycetes, those club mushrooms with solid heads) morels are ascomycetes, sack mushrooms with hollow heads. They are foolproof to identify in the field. I once found four pounds in an afternoon, a very fine afternoon. Because they are hollow, you can stuff morels. Because of the odd and unforgettable apearance of their heads, you can use a couple at a time to garnish chops or a steak. But I love them so much, I want to make them the center of the story. So here is the most prized of all mushrooms cooked in the most fundamental way possible.


  • 1 pound morels
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Salt
  • 4 thin slices white bread


  1. Slice the morels in half lengthwise. Rinse out any sand or other matter inside the cavity.
  2. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet just large enough to hold the morels. When the foam subsides, add the morels. Lower the heat to medium and stir until the mushrooms give up their water. The sign of this is steam rising from the pan. Continue simmering until the water evaporates and the mushrooms begin to simmer in the butter. Stir-fry until the mushrooms are completely covered with butter.
  3. Pour in the cream. Bring to a boil, remove from the heat, and add salt to taste.
  4. Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a clean skillet. Cut the bread slices in half diagonally (into triangles). Fry them in the butter until they are golden brown. Drain on paper toweling.
  5. Place the fried bread triangles on four plates, two to a plate. Pour a quarter of the mushrooms over each plate. Serve.

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