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Published: Tuesday, 6/5/2001

Mushroom Cream Sauce

4 ounces dried mushrooms (morels if you can find them)

8 cups chicken stock

1 cup shallots, freshly minced

1 quart heavy whipping cream

4 ounces butter, unsalted

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon thyme

1 tablespoon salt

Cook's note: If fresh chicken stock is used, replace salt with 4 tablespoons chicken base.

Soak mushrooms (or morels) in cool water to rinse out grit and dirt. Repeat until clean. Cover and simmer dried mushrooms in chicken stock until tender. Strain darkened stock through a towel and reserve.

Cut larger mushrooms into strips using kitchen shears. Leave smaller ones whole. Reserve for later. In a small, heavy stockpot, heat butter and saute diced shallots until tender. Dust with flour.

Add remaining darkened chicken stock and thicken slightly. Finish with heavy cream, add mushrooms and seasonings, then simmer for 20 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken. Taste to assure correct seasoning. Serve with Morel Mushroom Ravioli, pasta, or entr e of choice.

Yield: about 7 cups

Source: Jim Milliman, chef-owner of Hattie's, Suttons Bay, Mich.

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