Transform your catfish leftovers or just make them into cakes from the get-go. This buttery seafood dish will have your mouth watering and you telling your boy...Read more
Fast, Easy, and Delicious…It’s the only way to cook up fresh morel mushrooms!
With simultaneous gobbling coming from two strutters fresh off the morning roost, I found myself army-crawling through a jungle of garlic mustard that covered the forest floor. Stick by stick, I removed any debris that had a chance of cracking under my weight and slowly crept closer to lethal range. Then out of nowhere, I instantly froze and could not believe what was staring me down just inches from my face!
Now stuck in a conundrum between the gobbling birds and what resided in front of me, I was forced to make a quick decision. After a brief wait, the turkeys had worked off across the alfalfa field and I was left lying on the dirt floor surrounded by a perfectly ripe patch of morel mushrooms!
The closer I looked, the more that appeared. It was already a great early morning in the turkey woods, but this was a true treat, especially considering it was the last day of turkey season. The only problem was where and how was I going to get these delicacies back to my car? There was a decent capful present, but not an overabundant patch by any means. As many hunters have done before, I removed my Camo Green Bay Packers hat and began filling up the bowl with morels.
There’s a lot of myths about the morel mushroom picking process, many of which don’t hold any merit. For instance, one commonly debated topic is if you should leave the “root” in the ground when you pick them. The answer is it doesn’t really matter. While it may seem like leaving the morel root in the ground would enhance the chance of more morels in future years, it’s not the case. Morels sprout from a spore, not a root . . . so picking them completely or snipping them above the ground makes no difference. Personally, I tend to pinch them off or cut them just above the ground level since it’s the fastest and cleanest way to harvest the mushrooms.
Secondly, the myth about having to collect and carry them in a mesh sack has zero merit as well. The thought behind this is that spores from the mushrooms will fall through the sack as you walk around, thus, “planting” morels for future years. It’s pretty well documented that by the time you find a morel the spores have already been displaced by the slightest of breezes. A mesh sack will, however, keep the mushrooms from getting soggy if you’re out collecting for a while.
Not that we’ve covered some of the common myths, here’s one of the best and simplest ways to take your morels from the field to the table.
1 – How to find morels
The first step is the hardest, but also a fun and rewarding activity. Basically it’s just like shed hunting, with the added bonus of eating your find. I found them entirely by luck this year. Morels typically grow around sites of disturbance and dead trees. Look for dead trees that are shedding bark, as this is a common stressor that causes the spore to sprout a mushroom. Key in on dead elms, ash, oak, and apple trees.
2 – How to pick morels
It’s a pretty simple process and you certainly don’t need to overthink what you are doing. Simply remove it from the grips of the Earth by pulling it up entirely, or by pinching or cutting it off just above the forest floor.
3 – How to clean and store morels
When it comes to storing morels, keep them covered in the refrigerator with a damp cloth until you’re ready to feast. It’s best to eat them within a day or two of picking, but they will keep for up to a week in the right conditions.
When it comes to cleaning the morels in preparation for the frying pan, you’ll want to rinse them thoroughly with cold water and use a basting brush or other soft bristled brush to gently clean out the pockets. Do this once with the entire mushroom and then repeat again after you slice them in half the long ways to clean out the hollow inside. By brushing them twice while rinsing, there’s no need to soak the mushrooms. However, if you want to be sure no bugs remain hidden in the small pits and cavities, you can soak them for an hour in cold water. Soaking them longer is unnecessary and will result in slimy and mushy mushrooms.
4 – How to batter the morels
After rinsing them, you can toss them directly in your batter of choice. The dampness from rinsing will allow the batter to stick before sautéing in butter. To keep things simple and delicious, simply toss your damp morels into a bowl of flour, cover evenly, and set aside for the frying pan.
5 – How to cook morels
In a frying pan, melt a half cup of butter and throw in two minced garlic cloves. Once the butter is melted and simmering, go ahead and toss the mushrooms in. Stir constantly to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. 3-5 minutes is all it should take to turn these battered mushrooms into golden bites of deliciousness.
6 – What sauce is good with morels
While you certainly don’t need any type of dipping sauce on these butter balls, different sauces can add a variety to your spread of wonderful hors d’oeuvres. I’d recommend a plain ranch sauce, Blazin’ Thai Teriyaki, honey mustard, or even a marinara sauce to compliment the butter battered morels.
If you’re questioning whether or not butter, garlic, and little bit of flour is all you need to make an unbelievably delicious meal of morels – don’t knock it until you try it. Sometimes simplicity is the key ingredient to making your taste-buds scream for more.
‘- 1 lb. Morel Mushrooms
– 1/2 cup butter or margarine
– 1-2 minced garlic cloves
– Spice or Marinade of your choice from Legendary Whitetails Griller’s Pack (Blazin’ Thai Teriyaki is delicious!!)
1.) Clean the morel mushrooms under cold water using a basting brush or soft bristled tooth brush right before cooking. Clean the pores as best you can with the brush, then slice in half the long ways, rinse again and then pat them dry.
2.) Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat with the minced garlic cloves.
3.) Lightly flour the mushrooms after pat drying them.
4.) Cook in butter 3-4 minutes or until golden brown, stirring constantly.
5.) Brush with a light coating of the marinade of your choice.