BRAISED MORELS WITH ASPARAGUS AND CHERVIL
1 - 1/4 pounds morel mushroom
2 cups chicken broth, or low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 3 tablespoons water
1/3 cup half and half cream
10 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, divided
Tabasco sauce drops
20 large stalks asparagus
1 shallot, chopped
1/4 cup chervil leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
Carefully check over the mushrooms: trim off stems. Halve larger mushrooms. Brush clean or submerge briefly in cool water if gritty. Pat dry.
Take the least attractive 4 ounces of mushroom and add it to the chicken broth. Simmer, covered for 20 minutes. Reduce to 1 cup. Strain the sauce. Stir some of the hot broth into the cornstarch slurry and return to the heat, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Stir in the cream. Allow the sauce to cool slightly. Stir in 4 tablespoons cold butter, one tablespoon at a time to create a light emulsion. Season with Tabasco to taste.
Trim off the top 2" of the asparagus and simmer in boiling salted water until just tender. Cool immediately in iced water. Reserve.
Melt the remaining butter in a large skillet. Add the shallot and cook slowly until wilted. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread the warm sauce over a serving platter. Arrange the mushrooms over the sauce and arrange the asparagus around the platter. Chop and scatter the chervil over the mushrooms.