Good Eats: Cooking With Morel Mushrooms
Morel season is underway and mushroom enthusiasts everywhere are scouring the woods hoping to find the delicacy appreciated around the world. Many people sell morels at grower's markets as they can fetch quite the price. But for the casual morel hunter, their mind is set on cooking them for their leisure. What are the easiest ways to prepare morels? Grab your pans and your aprons and let's dive into it.
First things first, cleaning the morels is a necessity. To clean them, place them under running water and make sure no bugs or dirt are hiding in any of the pores. The last thing you want is to bite into a nice crispy insect when you least expect it. Don't worry about any impurities, those will be gone once the mushrooms are cooked.
Morels are used to enhance dishes much like most other mushrooms in cooking. You can make gravies from them as well as use them in quiches. A morel mushroom cream sauce is a perfect steak compliment.
Two easy ways are commonly used to accentuate the morel’s distinct earthy, nutty flavor. The first of these is to pan-fry them; when it comes to morels, simpler can mean better.
First, combine flour with any kind of seasoning you want to use with the coating. Coat the morels in your mixture and toss them in a pan with enough butter until they are crispy and golden brown. That's it. It is that simple to bring out the best of this mushroom.
The second commonly used method is to sauté them. Sautéed morels make the most amazing garnish to any steak or hearty dish. The best part: it’s just as simple.
Firstly, place your mushrooms in a pot or pan full of slightly salted water for seasoning. Let them soak for 15 minutes, drain, and repeat. This helps to clean the mushrooms as well as soften them up so they can be sliced and cook more easily.
Next cut the mushrooms lengthwise into thin strips. In a skillet, melt butter and add your mushrooms. Stir until golden brown. If you want a healthier method, substitute olive oil for butter.
If you’ve been morel hunting for a while, you are probably familiar with these recipes. Looking for something a bit more creative and complex? Try a wild rice and morel mushroom risotto or a morel bisque.
Morel mushrooms are some of the best tasting wild mushrooms out there. With one of the shortest harvesting periods of any mushroom, it’s no wonder they are in such high demand.
Want something a little more exciting? For further inspiration on what to do with your morels, be sure to visit us at our Minnesota home cooking page on Pinterest.
Happy cooking, friends!