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Any great recipes for morel mushrooms?

s
sara722003 Apr 30, 2011 07:53 AM

My hubby just brought me an entire pillowcase full....I've never cooked with them before. Any wonderful suggestions?

  1. horseshoe May 13, 2011 05:44 PM

    My grandma in Kansas would bread and fry them like chicken. The first time I had them I thought this is the best chicken fried steak I've ever had.

    1. The Drama Queen May 11, 2011 03:06 PM

      I'm freaking over this thread. I LOVE morels and being from Michigan know that they're considered sacred. You can't imagine what people do to keep their "picking grounds" secret. I'll be leaving for Michigan in a couple of weeks but won't get there in time to get many morels since the season will be just about over. Dried morels are plentiful here in Las Vegas ($50.00 lb.) but they are NOT the same, never will be. Fresh or nothing. I envy the OP's "pillowcase full of morels." I'm thinking about you and your pillowcase. LOL

      1. m
        mateo21 May 8, 2011 09:52 AM

        Again, maybe a little late here, but fiddleheads are up this time of year here (Seattle area) and I love a morel cream sauce (butter, morels, shallots, nutmeg, maybe wine and some heavy cream) tossed with blanched and quickly sauteed fiddleheads. Yum.

        7 Replies
        1. re: mateo21
          sunshine842 May 8, 2011 02:45 PM

          oh. wow.

          Saw fiddleheads last month on vacation, but they were just a little too far unfolded to bother harvesting any.

          My kid thought I was yanking his chain when I told him it was too bad we hadn't been there the week before because we'd be eating them.

          1. re: mateo21
            h
            hppyheather May 8, 2011 02:52 PM

            I had a really wonderful dish at a restaurant last week that I believe was morels and fiddleheads sauteed in just butter with salt and pepper served over a grilled bread. It was simple and divine!

            1. re: mateo21
              s
              sedimental May 12, 2011 07:50 AM

              I am with ya! I love this time of year in the Northwest. I just had some first seasonal fiddleheads. Yum.

              A few years ago, I ordered many dump truck loads of shredded bark for my property. A few weeks later, morels sprang up EVERYWHERE in the bark. I thought I was dreaming. My bark guy said the wood was really fresh from a local private owners wooded acreage and that this has happened before.

              I ordered more last weekend....now I am out there every morning..waiting...hoping.... LOL

              1. re: sedimental
                c oliver May 13, 2011 06:31 AM

                That is an amazing story. Hell, I'd be buying it for the whole neighborhood :)

                1. re: sedimental
                  sunshine842 May 13, 2011 06:44 AM

                  mental image of Sedimental out there *sleeping* next to the bark.

                  1. re: sunshine842
                    c oliver May 13, 2011 06:49 AM

                    Ditto.

                    @sedimental: Did any of the ones from last year propogate?

                    1. re: c oliver
                      s
                      sedimental May 13, 2011 09:14 AM

                      No. It has only been a one time occurrence, but it has forever changed the way I look at beauty bark!

              2. PoppiYYZ May 8, 2011 08:18 AM

                Wow, a little late but I just saw this post. Morels just showed up in our part of S Ontario yesterday.

                The best way to eat them is just sauteed in butter, but with your large haul you can afford to go wild. In 2009 we had a bumper crop so we made Morel raviolis with a simple cream / butter sauce - heaven. Air dried the left over Morels by running a piece of thread through them and suspending them with a little space between them. Worked great.

                1 Reply
                1. re: PoppiYYZ
                  c oliver May 8, 2011 09:17 AM

                  OMG, morel ravioli sound amazing. Cool way to dry them too.

                2. m
                  MellieMag May 4, 2011 04:42 PM

                  My poor husband has gone hunting twice and brought home an empty bag. We put them in a light batter and fry them. But the first thing we've always done is to fill the sink with water with some salt added and run all the ants of the mushrooms. Then wash them clean. I sure wish we had some of them. Several years ago we had two big chicken mushrooms,hen of the woods,forgot exact name. One weighed about 40 lbs, the other 20. After you cut away the orange outer layer, the slices truly do look like chicken breast. With that amount, we ate them in everything. Eggs, fried taters, stir fries, you name it.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: MellieMag
                    c oliver May 4, 2011 04:45 PM

                    Never had any morels that needed washing.

                    1. re: c oliver
                      rcallner May 4, 2011 04:50 PM

                      I've picked morels that were little buggy condos. Proof they're organic!

                    2. re: MellieMag
                      m
                      MellieMag May 4, 2011 06:04 PM

                      Anything that comes out of the ground in the woods in the Ozarks needs a thorough washing,be it mushrooms,in laws,whatever.

                      1. re: MellieMag
                        sunshine842 May 5, 2011 12:06 AM

                        LOLOL

                        I've seen some pretty dirty morels.

                        Even the ones I saw at the market here yesterday (5 Euros for 100g. Yike) -- needed a rinse before cooking -- they were more than a little gritty.

                        1. re: sunshine842
                          The Drama Queen May 11, 2011 03:08 PM

                          The morels I got in Michigan always needed a swish in water. I couldn't believe the little bugs that came out of the little hiding places.

                    3. pilotgirl210 May 4, 2011 04:18 PM

                      It's morel season here in Southern Oregon, one of my favorite times of the year. I make a very tasty mushroom soup using soy milk (got the recipe a number of years ago from the Farmer's Market). That's my favorite use for morels, but I like many of the suggestions already posted here. Will have to try to use them for something other than soup!

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: pilotgirl210
                        c oliver May 4, 2011 04:44 PM

                        We used to live in Grants Pass and got them at the Growers Market. Surely one of the things I miss the most :(

                        1. re: c oliver
                          pilotgirl210 May 6, 2011 11:23 AM

                          Ashland here, c oliver :=) I love to shop the Farmer's Market between Phoenix and Talent. Great local produce, spices, bulk items. Much cheaper than a regular grocery store.

                          1. re: pilotgirl210
                            c oliver May 6, 2011 12:02 PM

                            I stopped growing a number of things because I could get such good quality. Esp. Applegate asparagus and also those morels. And the best arugula. Oh, stop it...or I'll weep :)

                            1. re: c oliver
                              pilotgirl210 May 11, 2011 02:45 PM

                              Then I certainly shouldn't tell you about our local Frenchman *mushroom procurer extraordinaire* from the Jacksonville Inn who has black truffles in stock right now. Love how he stores them: Baby food jar, truffle wrapped in paper towel, placed inside jar and then jar filled with uncooked rice. Store in 'fridge, or better yet, freezer. I just plant a few things each year: a large deck container filled with herbs from chives to tarragone to rosemary to oregano, etc., and a huge container pot loaded with basil. Everything tastes better with basil :=)

                              1. re: pilotgirl210
                                c oliver May 12, 2011 04:53 AM

                                I've bought from him at the GP growers market. Just one little black truffle but I felt soooo special :)

                      2. rcallner May 4, 2011 03:29 PM

                        They're very nice sauteed with minced garlic and shallots, a little thyme, white wine and butter, s&p to taste, and incorporated into a fresh pasta with the season's other splendors, like asparagus or fiddlehead ferns, then sprinkled with a good parmigiano-reggiano.

                        1. tracylee May 2, 2011 11:52 PM

                          I saw them this past weekend at the Saturday Farmer's Market in Vancouver, WA, but didn't get any since they'd have to sit in the car for at least a day.

                          For awhile, years ago, I lived on a farm where morels grew wild, and my boyfriend's mother would coat them in a thin batter and sautee them. I was unable to re-create it at the time because I didn't know about the importance of having oil very hot.

                          1. j
                            jameshig May 2, 2011 04:05 PM

                            I'm a little late to the party, but morels do best when dried and reconstituted. I would dry and save them. They will store indefinitely.

                            As for what to do with them, morels do best with fat, especially dairy fat, so cheese, cream, and butter are their best friends.

                            I would suggest a strip steak with a morel cream sauce personally.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: jameshig
                              c oliver May 2, 2011 04:13 PM

                              I guess I have to disagree with you time and time again.

                              IMO, morels are certainly best fresh not dried. Can't even imagine an argument about that one.

                              I'm in favor of a totally minimalist approach with morels. So No dairy. A steak with a cream sauce doesn"t work for me. Sorry.

                              1. re: c oliver
                                hill food May 2, 2011 05:55 PM

                                generally I would agree with you c, but with this embarrassment of riches, heck the OP can go over the top crazy with them. a morel cream sauce on rare (almost raw) steak wouldn't be bad, just from my perspective would feel wasteful. but also from that perspective they ain't getting any fresher and maybe drying what's left would be better than a moldy lump in a paper bag. in a few months a tepid consomme with leeks and a poached quail egg might be just the thing (served of course in impossibly dainty Chinese teacups)

                                1. re: hill food
                                  sunshine842 May 2, 2011 11:16 PM

                                  yeah -- I'd be eating them fresh til I fell over, but with that many, eventually you have to do something to be able to keep them.

                                  1. re: hill food
                                    c oliver May 3, 2011 04:47 AM

                                    My disagreement with jameshig was the statement that morels do best when dried and reconstituted. I took that at face value; that he prefers them that way to fresh. Also the cheese and cream part. Good? Yes. But equal to butter? Not for me. But certainly to each his own. I adore that consomme mental picture.

                              2. monavano May 2, 2011 02:37 PM

                                Here's my recipe for braised chicken thighs with morels and ramps in a white wine cream sauce. You can find it on my blog
                                http://houndstoothgourmet.com/braised-chicken-thighs-with-morels-and-ramps-in-a-white-wine-cream-sauce/
                                and, I'm pleased to say, in One Big Table by Molly O'Neill.
                                http://www.amazon.com/One-Big-Table-f...

                                Braised Chicken Thighs with Morels and Ramps in a White Wine Cream Sauce

                                Serves 4-6

                                Ingredients

                                8 chicken thighs with bone and skin
                                2 Tablespoons olive oil
                                3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
                                8-10 morel mushrooms
                                bunch ramps, about a dozen, trimmed at each end and rough chopped
                                1 1/3 cup dry white wine
                                1 cup low sodium chicken broth
                                1 teaspoon dried marjoram
                                1 teaspoon dried thyme
                                2 cloves garlic, crushed
                                1 cup half and half or light cream
                                Salt and pepper to taste
                                Flour for dredging
                                Directions

                                Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

                                Heat a large dutch oven over high heat.

                                Generously salt and pepper chicken thighs on both sides. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

                                Add olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter to heated dutch oven. When the oil begins to shimmer, add chicken to the pan. Do not overcrowd the pan. Allow chicken to brown for 4-5 minutes on each side. Transfer chicken to a platter.

                                Reduce heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon butter to the dutch oven. Add morels and ramps. Sautee for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and continue to sautee for an additional minute. Transfer vegetables to the chicken platter.

                                Increase heat to high and deglaze with white wine. Reduce to a strong simmer and allow wine to reduce by a third. Add chicke stock, thyme and marjoram. Return chicken and vegetables to braising vessel.

                                Place dutch oven in lower third of the oven. Braise for 90 minutes.

                                Remove chicken from the dutch oven, skim fat as needed with a large spoon, and add cream. Serve chicken with sauce over top.

                                I suggest serving this dish over egg noodles or parsley potatoes.

                                1. perk May 1, 2011 04:20 PM

                                  This month's Food & Wine had a recipe for a scallop salad with warm mushrooms and zucchini.
                                  Pretty sure it called for morels...if not, you could certainly use them. It had a lemon anchovy vinaigrette. I made it as a starter for a dinner party....very nice.

                                  1. chefj May 1, 2011 03:58 PM

                                    Just made some last night.
                                    Pan Roasted Chicken with Morels,Bacon and Green Garlic. Really a great combo.
                                    With such a large haul you can use them anywhere you normally use Mushrooms. I have used them in Pastas, Rissoto, Sauteed with Herbs as a app. or side dish, with Peas and Mint,Jäger-Schnitzel and Cream soup. If you have large ones they are good for stuffing.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: chefj
                                      chef chicklet May 4, 2011 04:54 PM

                                      oh chefj, your pan roasted chicken and morels, bacon, green garlic sounds wonderful!

                                      1. re: chef chicklet
                                        chefj May 4, 2011 05:14 PM

                                        It really came out great.

                                    2. HillJ May 1, 2011 10:57 AM

                                      If you have the means to dry some of the morels, I would def do that. Dried you'll have many possibilites...and for alot longer.

                                      Fresh, I'm also in the saute and enjoy category. Mushroom quiche, heavy on the mushrooms or a mushroom filled popover speaks to me as well :)

                                      Enjoy!

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: HillJ
                                        s
                                        sara722003 May 1, 2011 06:15 PM

                                        So thankful to all those responses. I made a dish tonight with filets and 'shrooms, but like others had warned, they are too delicate to eat with strong other flavors. Sauteed a couple of pounds in butter, with some sea salt and pepper, a tiny amt of garlic, and will try this sauce with some milder dishes soon.

                                        Thanks so much for your ideas!

                                        1. re: sara722003
                                          c oliver May 2, 2011 05:15 AM

                                          I'm so jealous. A couple of POUNDS. Sigh. I've never had enough to go crazy but I did make a black trumpet mushroom risotto that was wonderful.

                                          1. re: c oliver
                                            hill food May 2, 2011 02:28 PM

                                            that was my first reaction as well, I mean that's just a ridonkulous amount.

                                            1. re: hill food
                                              c oliver May 2, 2011 02:39 PM

                                              We used to live in Southern Oregon and there was a vendor at our farmers market selling morels in the spring. I no longer have that available and I want to weep :) Just read your post to Bob and he LOL'd.

                                      2. c oliver May 1, 2011 10:19 AM

                                        I do nothing more than saute in butter with s&p. One of the food gods greatest gifts.

                                        1. sunshine842 May 1, 2011 12:44 AM

                                          this is a first-class case of Keep It Simple, Sugar.

                                          Sauteed in butter and garlic is the best.

                                          A old friend used to make a very light, simple beer batter and fry them.

                                          With that many, you could make an ethereal cream of mushroom soup.

                                          There's a *stellar* mushroom ragout in the '97 version of Joy of Cooking.

                                          1. goodhealthgourmet Apr 30, 2011 08:01 PM

                                            http://www.chow.com/search?query=more...

                                            1. a
                                              Anne Apr 30, 2011 07:43 PM

                                              Mmmmm. Love them chopped/sauteed then made into an omlette with good blue cheese. A good way to use a LOT of them is to sautee in BUTTER , then add chicken broth & white wine. Simmer until reduced a bit. Add a little grated nutmeg and black pepper. Put thin slices (either pounded or sliced in half horizontally) of chicken breasts in a buttered pan and top with the morel sauce. Bake at 350 about 25 mins. or until done. Serve over rice.
                                              Another way is to have them on pizza. Use a whole wheat pizza crust. Top with a brush of olive oil, sauteed morels, blue cheese (we like Stilton), and walnut pieces, then bake as usual. That's what we're having for dinner tomorrow!

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: Anne
                                                hill food Apr 30, 2011 08:19 PM

                                                Anne: chicken and rice would be good, personally I'd shy away from the cheese and nutmeg (but that's me) to elaborate on my post I wouldn't use them with beef or pork, may as well use a year-round supermarket thing for those - why waste a seasonal treat on that? using them in a risotto or Alfredo-ish white sauce pasta sounds good. are haricot verts showing up yet?

                                                1. re: hill food
                                                  alanbarnes May 1, 2011 05:35 PM

                                                  I find that a touch of cured pork - maybe a little bit of prosciutto or Jamon Serrano - plays nicely with morels. But it should be an accent, not the focus of the dish. A little fresh thyme is nice, too. A while back I had a dish of sautéed morels topped with a poached egg - not a combination that would have occurred to me, but it worked well.

                                                  1. re: alanbarnes
                                                    hill food May 1, 2011 06:22 PM

                                                    I can see a little Serrano, that would be good, I was trying to warn away from a dish like stroganoff or some such.

                                                    1. re: hill food
                                                      alanbarnes May 1, 2011 06:48 PM

                                                      Agreed.

                                                    2. re: alanbarnes
                                                      c oliver May 2, 2011 05:14 AM

                                                      I like the egg idea alot.

                                                2. hill food Apr 30, 2011 06:32 PM

                                                  whoa that's a serious amount, hope he's a good mycologist. use them soon or freeze/dry. just a simple saute in butter or EVOO and a bit of garlic or shallot is glorious. they have a delicate flavor so don't pair them with anything that might overpower them, keep it simple and direct.

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