Monday, May 11, 2009
The Best Place to Find Morel Mushrooms
Morels! These mushrooms in a paper bag may not look very appetizing but we know these are a true prize!
They are the best of the best! Each spring local mushroom hunters impatiently wait for those first warm days for they know the morels will be popping. Those on the sandy soils of the Missouri River bottoms pop first! And that's good! However, those tend to be dirty with sand and with teensy bugs. Of course you can wash and rinse until they are clean. But the BEST morels come from the foothills. The slopes warm a tad slower than the bottomland soils so this makes them a second crop, so to speak. These are the best and the cleanest. Free from sand. And most years free from bugs.
We don't hunt mushrooms anymore but we have family and friends who bring us enough of a supply to eat a few tasty meals each spring. Look at these cleaned morels. They've been lightly rinsed and sliced through the middle and they're ready to cook!
Folks cook them different ways...a simple saute in butter...dip in egg and flour and fry till crispy...or dip in egg and cracker crumbs and fry. You can go online and find various recipes but everyone is in complete agreement that morels are wonderful. I've also used them in a creamy pasta dish. They're easy to store in the freezer...simply freeze on a cookie sheet, then place in a freezer bag for storage. They can also be dried and later rehydrated.
This morning we had a few with scrambled eggs for breakfast. Yum!
By the way, morel hunters are as close-mouthed as fisherman. They'll never tell you their favorite hunting spot. It's each man for himself when it comes to morel mushrooms. And we thank friend Mike and son-in-law Mark for keeping us supplied with these tasty gems!