November 11, 2009 | Vegetables
For those of you planning to cook the feast on Thanksgiving, it helps if you plan your menu in advance. To that end, I’ll be sharing some side dishes over the next week or so that I think would be nice – like this asparagus braised in butter with morel mushrooms.
If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that morels grow wild, you’re very, very fortunate. Here in Colorado, I rarely see them fresh, and if you can believe it, this scant 1/2 ounce of dried morels cost $15!
I like them to be really rehydrated, so I put them into a microwave save bowl with water and zap them for a couple of minutes. Then I put the whole thing in the refrigerator and let them sit overnight. When I’m ready to cook, I simply squeeze out the excess water. Don’t toss that incredibly rich mushroom water – it makes a great risotto!
Butter Braised Asparagus with Morels
18 asparagus spears, trimmed and sliced into 1″ pieces
3 tablespoons butter
1 large shallot, sliced
1 pound mushrooms, morels or variety, sliced
1/4 cup white wine
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter
Heat a large skillet over medium high; add butter and melt. Add shallot and cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally until mushrooms have begun caramelizing. While mushrooms are cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and blanche for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside. When mushrooms are nicely browned, add white wine to deglaze the pan, then add blanched asparagus. Stir together for one minute, then salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and stir in remaining tablespoon of butter. Serve immediately.