Look at the lovely treasures my oldest son brought home for us!
Morel mushrooms are a real find and they are only around for a short period of time during the spring. The first time we tried to cook these little guys up it was an epic fail! I didn't know what I was doing, so we enjoyed a mouthful of gritty sand. Fast forward a few years, I am now able to serve up some savory morels that will melt in your mouth. They are a perfect side to steaks, burgers, and pastas.
I had to ask around the neighborhood and learn a few tricks before I was able to create a good morel dish. I thought I would share a few tips of the trade so you don't waste a valuable heap of mushroomy goodness.
Here are my favorite tips:
- Fresh is best! Prepare them shortly after picking or within a day or two.
- Store the freshly picked mushrooms in a brown paper bag in the refrigerator if you are unable to cook them right away.
- Cut the mushrooms in half to make them easier to rinse. The insides can be full of sand and they are hard to clean unless they are halved.
- Clean them gently. I use a colander and rinse them several times with "soft" running water. If you turn your faucet up high, it might break the stems and tops into small pieces.
- Rinse and rinse again. I always rinse them several times, because sand isn't very appetizing in your dinner.
- Let the excess water drain off or blot them carefully with a towel. I always let ours sit in the colander for a bit before I cook them so they are dry.
- Fry them! I like them sautéed in butter with a little salt and pepper. My son prefers to dip them in pancake batter and cook them that way. I have a friend who is adamant that you need to roll them in eggs and Ritz crackers before frying.
- Serve and enjoy!
Do you have any tips for cooking morels? Please share!