Monday, April 26, 2010

Morel Season 2010

For the past 4 years now we have waited with baited breath for....morel season. Morels. *sigh* How we adore you!
And how hard you are to find! OK, I have more trouble than the average person. I can be standing literally within INCHES of these things and still not see them.Last year was a horrible year for them around here. This year? Fantastic! So far, Matt has gathered at least 2lb.
Yes, Matt has. He can spot them yards away. Yards! Seriously, he's a morel-spotting savant. So impressed. I actually have yet to step into the woods this year to search. Why? I can't find them anyway. And I can be at home, making Rosemary Flower Jelly instead.

Most of our haul we've been dehydrating for later use.

However, the first batch had a special purpose. We'd been waiting on the first batch to make Sauteed Morels with Cream (above). I've had morels with eggs (ick), morels fried in butter and served over steak (just ok). After having this classic French cream sauce with toast, I truly cannot think of any reason to have morels any other way. This recipe can be found on The Great Morel recipe site, and I HIGHLY recommend it.

Sautéed Morels with Cream

15-20 fresh morels or reconstituted dried, cut in half if large
1 large shallot chopped fine
1 large clove garlic chopped fine
2 TBS butter (best with unsalted)
2 TBS olive oil
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

Put olive oil in heated pan over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots, stir and sauté until softened but not brown. Add butter until melted then add morels. Stir and cook until mushrooms start to brown, about 4 min. Add chicken stock and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add cream and cook on low until reduced and thickened. Classically served on toast, but the best on grilled New York Strip steaks.


Kathleen Stoltzfus said...

Oh, morels! Love, love, love them! I haven't been hunting in years. Not sure they're in my woods, having never seen them there. But then, I always thought that they come out around mother's day. Perhaps they're early this year because of the early warmth?

My all time favorite way to eat them is to saute in butter, and have them on buttered bread. Hard to beat.

Jody M said...

They were pretty early this year, and the season seems to be extended because of the early warm spell followed by weeks of cool. Probably this coming warm weekend (near 90*??) will end the season....*sigh*

Mama Pea said...

Oh, I do love mushrooms! And would really like to learn how to harvest wild ones . . . but we don't know anything about it ourselves nor do we know anyone who DOES know which ones are good . . . or deadly! I admit to being overly cautious and quite afraid of making a BAD mistake. Enjoy your morels!

YD, sometimes with ♥Samantha and ♥June said...

I love mushrooms but a little nervous about harvesting wild mushrooms.

Jody M said...

Morels are among the easiest to start with because nothing really looks like them. There is a 'false' morel that looks vaguely similar, but morels are hollow in the stem and cap, falses aren't.

Angie said...

What lovely morels!

MAMA PEA -- If you want to learn more about edible mushrooms and morels, there might be a mushroomer club in your region that can teach you. I'd recommend looking online for such a club. Good luck!

Mama Pea said...

Angie - A very good suggestion. I'm sure if I just started asking around in our small community, I would be steered to someone who might be willing to teach me.

It's just one of those things that's been on my "Gonna Do As Soon As I Have Time" list (forever)!

Thanks for the push to do so!