One of the things that I always look forward to in spring are the morel mushrooms. Morel mushrooms are not cultivated and I do not know the first thing about how to hunt for them so I have to pay a heavy premium to enjoy these spring treasures. Even so, given the mushroom fanatic that I am, I try to enjoy some at least once a year and hey, its ok to indulge every once in a while!
This past weekend when I came across them at the farmers market I did not hesitate to pick some up even though they were not on my meal plan this week. I had been impatiently awaiting their arrival and I already had several recipes lined up the first of which was for some morel mushroom and asparagus eggs benedict. Eggs benedict normally consists of an English muffin topped with ham, a poached egg and hollandaise sauce but I envisioned this version starting with some nice multi grain toast topped with the in season fresh local asparagus, a poached egg and creamy morel mushroom sauce.
This recipe is really pretty easy to make despite the fact that it looks so decadent. All you have to do is toast the bread, steam, grill or roast the asparagus, poach an egg and make the mushroom sauce. The mushroom sauce is the heart of this dish and I wanted it to really show case the morel mushrooms and so I kept the sauce pretty simple without adding any strong competing flavours. The sauce starts out with some shallots and garlic followed by sauteing the mushrooms in butter. Next the pan is deglazed with a bit of white wine to ensure that no flavour is left on the bottom of the pan and then finally some cream is added.
I had pretty high expectations for this dish and it did not fail! This has to be my new favourite morel mushroom dish! I really like the way the morel mushroom flavour came through and things only got better with the runny egg yolk. The juicy asparagus worked its magic by helping to cleanse the palate so that you are ready for that next bite of creamy morel mushroom sauce.
Morel Mushroom and Asparagus Eggs Benedict
Toasted multi grain toast topped with juicy asparagus, poached eggs and a decadent creamy morel mushroom sauce.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large shallot, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme, chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 8 ounces morel mushrooms, halved or quartered depending on size
- 1/4 cup white wine, or broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 slices multi grain bread, lightly toasted
- 12 spears asparagus, blanched
- 4 poached eggs
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Add the shallot and cook until tender, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the butter and let it melt.
- Add the mushrooms and cook until they release their moisture, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the wine or broth, deglaze the pan and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the cream and simmer until it thickens, about 2-3 minutes and reduce the meat to minimum.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and reduce the heat to medium.
- Swirl the water in the pot.
- Crack an egg into a bowl and pour the egg from the bowl into the water. Repeat with another egg.
- Let the eggs cook until the whites are set but the yolks are not, about 2-3 minutes and fish them out. Repeat with remaining two eggs.
- Place the toast on plates, top with the asparagus, poached eggs and creamy mushroom sauce.
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