How To Bread & Fry Morel Mushrooms - Cooking Wild Mushrooms
How to Saute Morel Mushrooms
Morel mushrooms have their own special flavor, described as “nutty” or “earthy.” These mushrooms are a delicacy, have a short growing season and aren’t easy to obtain fresh. Due to these factors, you may prefer to sautee them in just butter and flour so you can enjoy their rare and unique taste, which may be masked by other flavors. If you’d rather prepare them with a sauce, shallots and garlic in a broth base make a tasty companion for morels. Sauteed morel mushrooms are a side dish, so you can pair them with any meal.
Mushrooms with Flour and Butter
1 pound (450 g) fresh morel mushrooms (cleaned, trimmed and sliced) or 3 ounces (84 g) dried morel mushrooms (rehydrated)
1/2 cup (120 g) butter or margarine
Serves 10 to 12
Mushrooms in Garlic Sauce
1 tablespoon (15 mL) vegetable or canola oil
8 ounces (230 g) morel mushrooms (cleaned, trimmed and sliced) or 1.5 ounces (45 g) dried morel mushrooms (rehydrated)
1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons or 28.3 g)
1 medium clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon or 4.7 g)
2 tablespoons (30 g) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon (5 mL) soy sauce
1 teaspoon (5 mL) fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup (60 mL) low-sodium chicken broth or water
1 tablespoon (14.3 g) minced fresh herbs
Freshly ground black pepper
Serves 4 to 6
Washing and Cutting the Mushrooms
Soak dried mushrooms.Cut up dried mushrooms first, if desired, so that they will rehydrate faster. Place the mushrooms into a bowl of lukewarm water. Let them soak for at least fifteen minutes, checking them occasionally. Strain them through a sieve once finished.
- The mushrooms are ready when they feel soft and pliable, and don’t split easily when you bend them.
- If you want to save the soaking water, you can use it as a base for soup or sauce. Run the water through a coffee filter to remove any dirt.
Clean fresh mushrooms.Wipe the mushrooms with a soft brush or damp cloth to clean off dirt.Avoid washing them unless you can't remove debris otherwise. If necessary, rinse them lightly and quickly, then pat them dry. If you see signs of insects, you can let the mushrooms sit in a bowl of salted water for at least fifteen minutes.
- Washing morel mushrooms can result in soggy texture.
Slice the mushrooms.Cut the mushrooms lengthwise. Inspect them for any dirt or insects you may have missed (wipe them down again, if needed). Trim off the ends, as needed.
- Morel mushrooms are typically sauteed cut in half, but you can cut them in quarters or dice them, if desired.
- Don’t wash the mushrooms before refrigerating them, or they will absorb too much water and can deteriorate.
Cooking the Mushrooms with Flour and Butter
Toss the mushrooms in flour.Place a bowl of flour on your work surface. Wipe a mushroom with a damp paper towel. Coat the mushroom with flour by dipping and rolling it in the bowl. Set the coated mushroom aside. Repeat this for each mushroom.
Add mushrooms to a skillet with melted butter.Place a skillet over medium heat. Add butter or margarine and allow it to melt. Then pour in the mushrooms.
Sautee the mushrooms for three to four minutes.Occasionally stir them gently as they cook. The mushrooms are done when they are golden brown in color.
Serve the mushrooms and store the leftovers.Morel mushrooms pair well with red meat like venison, steak, bison and antelope.They also blend nicely with chicken and rice or a creamy pasta.If you have any leftovers, refrigerate or freeze them.
- Refrigerate cooked mushrooms no more than two hours after cooking them. Place them in shallow, airtight containers or sealable plastic bags for up to three to five days. If it’s past three days, look at them and smell them, and if you notice anything off, dispose of them.
- To freeze cooked morels, place them on a cookie sheet in the freezer and wait until they’re frozen. Then transfer them to a sealable plastic bag. You can freeze them as long as you like, but for the best flavor eat them within ten to twelve months.
- Reheat morel mushrooms under the broiler in your oven until they are crisped and heated throughout.
Cooking the Mushrooms in Garlic Sauce
Heat oil in a skillet.Pour oil into a skillet and set the heat to high. Wait until the oil begins to shimmer.
Add the mushrooms.Pour the mushrooms onto the hot oil. Stir the mushrooms and toss them occasionally. Cook them for about four minutes, or until they are well-browned.
- Leave the heat on high unless the oil begins to pop, in which case turn it down a bit so that it doesn’t spatter.
Add minced shallots and garlic.Reduce the heat to medium-high. Cook the vegetables for about forty-five seconds. Stir constantly, until the ingredients become fragrant.
Add butter and the liquid ingredients.Pour in the soy sauce, chicken stock or water, and lemon juice. Cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the liquid thickens to a creamy sauce that coats the morels (about a minute).
Season the mushrooms.Remove the pan from heat. Stir in minced herbs of your choosing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve the mushrooms as soon as they are cool enough to eat.
- For example, you may want to use minced chives, parsley or chervil.
Refrigerate or freeze any leftovers.Refrigerate the mushrooms no more than two hours after cooking them. Use shallow, airtight containers or sealable plastic bags to store them in the refrigerator for up to three to five days.Freeze cooked morels by placing them on a cookie sheet in the freezer. Once they’re frozen, transfer them to a sealable plastic bag. Reheat morel mushrooms under the broiler in your oven until they’re crisped and heated throughout.
- If the morels have been refrigerated for over three days, look at them and smell them, and if you notice anything off, don’t eat them.
- You can freeze morels as long as you like, but for the best flavor eat them within ten to twelve months.
Acquiring Morel Mushrooms
Acquire morel mushrooms in-season.Morel mushrooms can be found across the US, but are most plentiful in the midwest.Their peak season is short, and the timing depends on your region and the temperature. Thus, for accuracy, check the overnight and daytime temperatures to find out when morel mushrooms are in season in your region, particularly if you plan to look for them growing wild.
- These mushrooms grow when the overnight low temperature is above 60 °F (16 °C) for at least three nights in a row, and will continue growing until the daytime high temperature reaches 80 °F (27 °C) to 84 °F (29 °C) or higher for three consecutive days.
- For example, in the midwest peak season is the last week in April through the first week in May. In Alaska, peak season is mid-June to late July. In other areas, morel mushrooms may be found as early as March.
Purchase morel mushrooms online or at a farmer’s market.Expect a hefty price, since morel mushrooms are a delicacy with a short growing season. However, purchasing them is generally safer and easier than hunting them down on your own. You can find dried morel mushrooms year-round, although they taste best fresh.
- For example, an ounce (30 g) of dried mushrooms costs about .95. Three ounces of dried mushrooms is the equivalent of about a pound (450 g) of fresh mushrooms.
- Fresh morel mushrooms typically cost between to a pound (450 g).
Pick morel mushrooms yourself, at your own risk.Some species of mushrooms resemble morel mushrooms, so be careful and don’t pick them if you’re not sure.Bring an experienced person with you if you’re new to picking mushrooms. Take a nylon mesh bag along to store the mushrooms in. Look in places where morel mushrooms typically grow.
- Morel mushrooms particularly like to grow near certain types of trees: cottonwood, ash, tulip poplars, oak, dead elm trees, and in fruit orchards that aren’t well maintained.
- Try checking in forests with rich soil, slopes that face south, and near riverbeds.
- Consult with at least two field guides to verify that mushrooms are edible before eating them. Then eat just a small bit and wait a full 24 hours to make sure there are no negative effects before you eat larger amounts.
Refrigerate fresh, unwashed mushrooms for two to three days.For the best taste, cook fresh mushrooms as soon as possible. If you must refrigerate them, wrap them in waxed paper or a paper bag. Refrigerate them between 34 °F (1 °C) to 35 °F (2 °C).
- Don’t refrigerate morel mushrooms in plastic bags, which can cause deterioration.
Before sautéing morel mushrooms, wipe the mushrooms with a soft brush or damp cloth to clean off any dirt. Don't rinse them or they may get a soggy texture. Then, slice the mushrooms in half lengthwise and remove any dirt or insects you may have missed before. Next, wipe down each mushroom with a damp paper towel, toss it in flour, and set it aside. When all of the mushrooms are coated, saute them in butter for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally until they are golden brown.
- Try serving morel mushrooms alongside other vegetables, such as white and green asparagus.
- Don’t eat raw morels, which can make you sick.
- If you’re picking your own mushrooms and you’re a beginner, bring an expert with you. Consult with at least two field guides to verify that mushrooms are edible before eating them. Then eat just a small bit and wait a full 24 hours to make sure there are no negative effects before you eat larger amounts.
- If you’re hunting for mushrooms in the wild, make sure to protect yourself from ticks. Wear socks, long pants and a hat. Wear bug repellant.
Video: The Best and Most Simple Way On How To Cook Morel Mushrooms
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