In an effort to glean every last ounce of flavor from the few precious True Morels I still have in my possession, I have chosen to showcase them in the most heavenly dish I can think of. A soufflé. I don't mean one that is loaded down with a million ingredients or spiked with a bunch of cheese. I mean, if I was using plain old button mushrooms then heck yeah; I would be adding Gruyere, Emmental or even Provolone to the mix. But I am keeping this eloquently simply, allowing the mushrooms to speak for themselves.
Remember, a soufflé is basically an enriched Béchamel with eggs added. The eggs are separated and the yolks are then beaten into the béchamel, after which the whites are beaten to stiff peaks and folded into the cooled béchamel. There is always 1 extra white, so you will have 1 yolk left over. I usually enrich my omelet the next day.
6 TB Butter, divided (plus extra for the soufflé dish)
8 oz Yellow Morel Mushrooms, finely chopped
1 TB Shallot, minced
4 TB Flour
1 cup Milk
1/4 tsp Fresh Thyme, or a pinch of dried
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp White Pepper
5 Large Eggs, separated
1 Egg White
pinch of salt (for the egg whites)
Soak the Morels in salted water for 30 minutes. (this will kill any insects hiding in the sponge)
Rinse them well and dry with paper towels.
Slice them in half, to check the insides, then continue to mince them and set aside, while mincing the shallot.
Prepare Souffle dish by rubbing it lightly with butter.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and bring a kettle of water to a boil on the stove.
Melt 4 TB Butter in a sauté pan, the quickly sauté the shallot and mushrooms.
Remove mushrooms from pan and add the remaining 2 TB butter to the sauté pan.
Add the Flour whisk until bubbly and it smells lightly nutty.
Add the milk and continue stirring until the mixture thickens.
Return the Shallot and morels to the pan along with the Thyme. (This creates a modified Sauce d'Uxelles)
Remove the pan from the flame and season with Salt and White pepper.
Separate the eggs reserving 1 yolk for something else.
Whisk the egg yolks until pale,
then whisk them into the Béchamel.
Cover with plastic wrap on the surface to prevent skin formation.
Whip all 6 of the egg whites together with a pinch of salt until firm peaks form.
Fold them into the cooled Béchamel d'Uxelles in 3 additions.
Pour into the prepared Souffle dish.
Place dish in a roasting pan filled half way with boiling water.
Bake for 60 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.
I really wish that I had done this in 4 separate 500 ml soufflé dishes, but I could not find mine. Even though I had to slice it in to portions, which causes it to collapse slightly, to serve it; it was still delicious! The morels were perfectly spotlighted by the light and fluffy texture of the souffle. It Screamed Morels, man.
I love it when a plan comes together. Woo Hoo!