Morel Time!

Treasure of the forest!

Treasure of the forest!

Every Spring my brother in law monitors the weather to determine the best days for hunting for the illusive morel mushroom. He says there needs to be a fair amount of rain followed by cool (not cold) nights and a few warmish (but not hot) days. Usually Missouri Spring is full of such days, but this year while we’ve had some wet, we are very short on warm days. I was thrilled to get a text with this picture

My nephew, junior morel hunter

My nephew, junior morel hunter

It takes a lot to distract me from cute kid pictures—but I zeroed right in on the prize. They’d had a successful forage! They’re tough to find and puny and unless there are more succesful hunts, this is my entire haul for the year:

Yum!

Yum!

but I’m ready to have a mini feast!

So far my favorite has been to bread them and saute in butter. I use the very detailed and precise recipe from The Great Morel which goes something like, dredge them in flour and saute them in butter and add salt and pepper to taste.  I usually add a bit of thyme.  The only drawback to this recipe is it tends to incite a feeding frenzy and unless I defend carefully while I’m cooking, they are gone before I get done.

I recently acquired the book Cooking Wild in Missouri

Courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation

and there is a recipe for creamed morels that is calling out to me to try this year.

Mushroom Lover’s Creamed Morels

  • 2 cups morels
  • 2 tblsp butter
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 pint cream
  • salt and pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons Marsala

The directions say to saute the shallots in the butter for a few minutes and then add morels.  Cook for a few minutes and add the cream and simmer for a few minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.    Serve wtih bread.

I think I need to make a big hearty loaf of bread if I try this–though I’m concerned that I may be a bit shy of 2 cups and there may not be enough to go around—hungry teens in the house means no matter how much I cook there is never enough!

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2 thoughts on “Morel Time!

  1. My husband will be so jealous when he reads this. Every year he tries to find morels and has never had any luck. Long ago, in a field far, far away, I found morels the first time I looked, but my luck disappeared and I’ve never found any more. This year, my husband bought a pound of morels from Pendleton’s Country Market in Lawrence, Kansas.(He had to reserve them.) Those morels, though, were from farther south, because it’s been so cold in northeast Kansas. He dusted the morels with flour and then fried them in butter. They were delicious and disappeared quickly.

    Thanks for the recipe!

    • You’re welcome! My brother in law definitely has the gift of “morel sight”. I keep asking if I can come along but I’m not sure he wants to reveal the location! Apparently people are very secretive of their picking spots when they find a good one.

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