Turkey Hunting photo

In a normal year, we’d be right in the heart of morel season. But this isn’t a normal year. No matter where you live, everyone is complaining about the weather. Here in Nebraska it’s wet, cool, and we haven’t seen the sun since I don’t know when. South of here, it’s dry–as in Dust Bowl dry. And across the Midwest and South they’re battling tornados on a nightly basis.

But all this cold, hot, wet, dry, stormy weather hasn’t kept some folks out of the woods, eyes glued to the ground in search of spring’s fungal bounty: morels. I’ve even heard some reports of success, though they have been few and far between. I have some tentative plans to get out soon, if we get a break in the weather. I imagine a few warm days will get the dogwoods blooming, turkeys gobbling, and morels growing, reminding me of why I love spring.

It’s hard to beat the simple savory flavor of morels sauteed in butter, but there are a number of ways to put nature’s bounty to work in the kitchen. I like to make a fairly simple mushroom cream sauce that I can use to top wild turkey breasts, venison steaks, or even pasta.

Morel Cream Sauce

In a medium skillet, saute about a dozen cleaned morels, along with two cloves of minced garlic in a few tablespoons of butter. Throw in a generous pinch of salt.

After about 5 minutes, lower the heat and splash in a little dry white wine to deglaze the pan, letting it reduce by about half. (Don’t forget to splash a little in a glass for yourself.)

Off heat, slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of heavy cream and about a cup of venison stock (chicken stock works here as well).

If the sauce is a little thick, add more stock. If it’s too thin, put it back on the stovetop and gently simmer to thicken.

Add some tarragon or rosemary, depending on your preference. Salt and pepper to taste.