Morel mushrooms are one of nature’s best delicacies. Enjoy these tips and recipes for cooking morel mushrooms.
How to Find Morel Mushrooms
Morel mushrooms are a somewhat rare treat. The season is short and conditions have to be just right to find them. Some chefs will pay local hunters $20-30 per pound for morels! Check out my post for tips on hunting morels.
Once you have collected a bunch of morels you probably want to enjoy them with your dinner and there are many ways to prepare them. Morels can be used in place of other mushrooms in just about any recipe but they have such a meaty flavor that I enjoy them sauteed in butter and served on their own.
photo by George P. Macklin. CC by SA 2.0 via Flickr
How to Prepare Morels for Cooking
Collecting morels in a mesh bag is the first step to preparing them for cooking. This will naturally let some of the dirt and bugs escape while you are walking through the woods. The nooks and crannies of morels are magnets for bits of dirt, tiny bugs, and even slugs so cleaning your morels is a must.
I like to look over the mushrooms and check for any slugs. They will sometimes wedge themselves into the folds of the morels. You can pick them out with your finger, a pair of tweezers or a toothpick.
Next, you will want to rinse your mushrooms to remove additional loose dirt or bugs. You will probably find ants and even small spiders. This is normal and is why you want to rinse the morels well.
Some people swear by soaking morels in saltwater for several hours to overnight. I am NOT one of those people. I prefer to fill a small bowl with water and just swish the mushrooms around in the water for a few minutes. Remove the mushrooms and dry them well with a towel or in a salad spinner before proceeding with any recipes.
How to Eat Morels
Morels must be cooked before eating them. If you have ever experienced a tummy ache after eating morels, it is likely that they weren’t cooked enough. That being said, morel mushrooms can be used in place of other mushrooms in just about any recipe. My personal favorite way to enjoy them is by sauteing them in butter until they are cooed through and the edges are just a little crispy. But there are many ways to enjoy morels!
Morel Mushroom Recipes
These recipes offer several great options for enjoying the flavors of spring in morel mushrooms. If you don’t have any morels simply swap out your favorite mushroom and enjoy!
1-2 Cups of Flour
Garlic Power, Onion Powder and Cayenne Pepper to taste
1/2 Cup milk
Salt and pepper
1 Stick of butter
Combine flour, garlic, onion and cayenne pepper in a bowl. In another bowl, combine the eggs and milk. Heat the butter in a skillet until hot. Dunk the mushrooms into the egg and milk mixture and then dredge them in the flour. Repeat the process for a thicker coating. Place them into the hot skillet and pan-fry for 3-5 minutes on each side until they are golden brown. Remove them to a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy them while they are still hot.
Morel Mushroom Sauce
This sauce is perfect for serving over a fried, breaded pork cutlet or pan-fried trout, crappie or whatever the river or lake is offering up. It’s also great poured over pasta or rice.
3 Cups morel mushrooms (slice larger ones)
3 Tbs. Butter
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/2 tbs. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. seasoning salt
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups whipping cream
1 Tbs. dijon mustard
Melt the butter and saute the mushrooms until they are cooked through and beginning to crisp on the edges. Add the onion, parsley, pepper and seasoning salt. Add the wine and cook until the wine is reduced by half or more. Lower the heat and add the cream and dijon mustard. Bring to a slow simmer until the sauce thickens in about 10-12 minutes.
Simple Sauteed Morel Mushrooms
Morels have a rich beefy flavor and sauteing them in butter is a simple yet delicious way to eat them.
Melt butter in a pan. Toss in a bunch of cleaned and dried morels. Saute until cooked through and the edges begin to crisp. Enjoy on their own or as a side dish.
No matter how you decide to eat your morel mushrooms, they will be yummy!
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