Sunday, May 10, 2009

Two sauces

Two sauces I've been working on that I should document... Neither are especially original, but they're both very easy to make, and pack a lot of great flavor.

First: Morel Cream Sauce

As you may know, we are in the waning days of morel hunting season. I happen to know that this part of Missouri produced a bumper crop of morels this year because I met two guys in the supermarket who bagged about 7 lbs. Yes, seven. I was standing in the mushroom section a few weeks ago when these two guys walked up to check the price on the dried morels, which was $10/oz. They were like dude! I suggested that they were so expensive because morels are rare and delicious. They were like yeah, we just collected about 7 lbs of them. I was like what? Then he pulled out his phone and started showing me pictures, like the one with the mushroom cap bigger than a PBR can. Sadly, they wouldn't sell me any, but they did graciously invite me to a pot luck where they planned on unveiling them.

Anyway, I went ahead and bought that box of dried morels, as well as a few fresh chicken breasts, a bottle of Louis Jadot Chardonnay, some shallots, and some cream...

You need:
- 1/2 pint of cream
- 1 bottle of white wine
- 1 oz dried morels (or 4 ounces (?) fresh)
- 2 shallots
- olive oil
- 1/4 tsp of minced garlic
- some kosher salt
- Guldens Brown Mustard

  1. Dice 2 shallots fine, sauté in olive oil with 1/4 tsp of minced garlic.
  2. Wash dried morels thoroughly, and then soak them in lukewarm water for 3-4 mins.
  3. Loosely dice the morels, then squeeze them lightly to get rid of the excess water, and put them in them pan, along with about half the bottle of wine.
  4. Add kosher salt and Guldens Brown Mustard. The amount of mustard is important. It is definitely an important flavor in this sauce, but you don't want it to be at the forefront. It is third in line to the mushrooms and the wine, I would say... maybe even less. Put in no more than two good sized squirts... probably should be about 1/12th of a cup.
  5. After reducing by 1/3, add about 1/2 pt cream, and reduce by about 1/3 (or to taste).

Serve with rice or grilled chicken breast, or steak, or whatever. It's awesome.

Second: Honey Chile Sauce

For some reason today while I was walking through the supermarket, I suddenly decided I am going to start eating a lot of fish. I bought a fresh cod filet and a flounder filet. Earlier I had bought some honey simply because mine was pretty much crystalized. So when I got home, I noticed that I have like 4-5 different kinds of chile powder, so I decided to do a honey chile sauce. It is perfect for fish, because it gives it a nice sweet-hot zing without adding any fat.

You need:
- Honey
- Ancho chile powder
- New Mexico chile powder
- 1 shallot (or 1/2 yellow onion)
- 1/4 tsp minced garlic
- ground coriander (or maybe fresh cilantro, but I haven't tried that yet)
- olive oil

  1. Dice the shallot fine, sauté in olive oil with 1/4 tsp of minced garlic.
  2. Squeeze in as much honey as you want sauce (say 1/4 cup). Add equal parts ancho chile powder and New Mexico chile powder (about 3/4 to 1 tsp each), and perhaps the same amount of ground coriander, or probably a bit less.
  3. Let this stuff bubble for a couple minutes, then it's ready.

There are dozens of ways to develop this simple sauce even further, or even just alter the basic ingredients. Serve with grilled or pan seared whitefish (like cod). Also good with rice, and probably grilled chicken or pork ribs.

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