Cooking Our Favorite Restaurant Dishes at Home
The arrival of fresh morels makes Spring Gothamist’s favorite food season. After reading Tom Colicchio’s technique for poaching morels in an excess of butter in Think Like a Chef, Gothamist has been making a version at home ever since. But to get a taste from the source, Gothamist made a reservation at Colicchio’s Craft after noticing them on the menu.
As with all of Craft’s menu, the morels came piled in a small sauce pot made for sharing. Their honeycomb texture had sure enough been poached in a buttery, creamy liquid. As with Gothamist’s version at home, the morels' earthy flavors had slowly permeated the butter and created an amazing morel sauce.
Pile the morels and some of the earthy sauce on a pile of roasted asparagus and you have yourself a perfect Spring dish (and go for a run tomorrow).
Morels and Roasted Asparagus
This dish is all about the morels. You can find fresh morels at Fairway, Citarella and Garden of Eden for starters. Be careful on quantity, as these little gems are pricey.
Ingredient Shopping List
Recipe serves two people.
1/4 lb fresh morels
1 pint half and half
1 stick unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bunch asparagus
Estimated cost of ingredients: $30 at Fairway
Make the Morels
Gothamist agrees with Colicchio – only rinse the morels if you taste them and there are a bit gritty with sand. Drop the morels in a bowl of water and lift out with your hands, drying gently with paper towels.
Put one tablespoon of butter in a small pot and bring to medium heat. Add the morels and season with salt and pepper. Stir and saute morels for about two minutes. Add about a tablespoon of chopped tarragon. Add ½ cup half and half to the pot and turn the heat to low. Lightly season again with salt and pepper. Gently simmer the morels until they begin to soften, about 6-7 minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and set aside.
You can make these and warm them up right before serving.
Make the Asparagus
Turn oven on to 475.
Hold each end of the asparagus and bend. Wherever it breaks naturally is what you keep for the dish, discarding the bottoms.
Place all of the cleaned asparagus on a foil lined sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and mix to coat. Place the asparagus in the oven for about 8-10 minutes depending on their thickness. Take them out of the oven and add a squeeze of lemon juice.
Get your morels back on medium heat to finish the dish.
Finish the Dish
Place a handful of asparagus on the plate. With a slotted spoon, add a pile of the morels on the asparagus. Add a few tablespoon of the morels sauce on top of the morels and serve warm.