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For Rural and City Living
Preparing and Storing Morel Mushrooms
Every spring, mushroom hunters flock to the woods in search of the morel mushroom. Morel mushrooms, like other wild mushrooms appear only in season and the sponge like caps can range in color from beige to black. Once harvested, morels can be cooked in a variety of ways, but as with most mushrooms, can only be stored for a limited time unless they are dried, canned or frozen.
What You'll Need
Storage bowls or containers
Paper or lint free cotton towels
Storing Fresh Morels
Rinse the morels under cold running water as soon as possible after harvesting the mushroom.
Slice each mushroom in half, lengthwise, and rinse a second time.
Place the clean mushrooms into storage bowls or containers.
Wet a paper or lint free cotton towels and squeeze out excess moisture. Lay the towel over the top of the morels.
Store in the refrigerator for up to one week. Wet the towel as often as necessary to keep the morels moist.
Melt approximately 4 Tbs. of butter in a heavy skillet. Sauté the morels in the butter until tender.
Sprinkle morels with seasoning salt and cook over indirect heat on the grill. Serve with hamburgers or steak.
Dip morels in egg and then into breadcrumbs. Deep fry in enough hot cooking oil until golden brown.
Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet. Add 1 Tbsp. minced garlic and sauté morels until done. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and add 1 cup red wine. Add 1 Tbsp. cornstarch and cook the sauce until thick and bubbly. Add the sautéed mushrooms and serve over noodles or steak.
Preserving the Mushrooms
Freeze the morels in zipper type freezer bags after cleaning. Dust the mushroom halves with flour to keep them from sticking together in the bag.
Dehydrate the mushrooms after they have been cleaned. Slice the morels to fit the dehydrator trays and dry for approximately 12 hours or until they feel like leather. Store in an airtight container.
Preserve the morels by canning. Pack morel halves tightly into canning jars. Add 1 tsp. salt to each jar and fill with clean water. Attach lids and rings and pressure cook for 30 minutes at 10 pounds pressure.
Words of Wisdom
If you have a dry, well ventilated area, you can string morels on thread and hang to dry naturally.
Reconstitute dried morels by soaking in hot water for 30 minutes. You can also toss dried morels into soups and stews, the cooking liquid will reconstitute the mushrooms.
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Kat and Kevin Yares
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