Our long time neighbor, Kenny, dropped off one of the best presents the other day...morel mushrooms (shown below.)
While out walking around his 4 acre yard he found some morel mushrooms under an old white pine tree. He picked some and cooked them right away but then also gave us enough for our family. What a great neighbor, right?
Kenny just happen to stumble upon these delicious little delicacies, but there are many people who actually go out and "hunt" for them. If you know someone who goes out, ask them for some advice, but remember, just like secret fishing spots, they probably won't tell you the best spots. You will have to do some hunting of your own.
What and Where to look for Morels
Morels grow in nearly every part of our country. The mid-west and especially Great Lakes region is one of the best areas for producing morels.
Take a trek out into the woods or nearby park and start looking. Look for an area with dead or dying elm trees, old apple orchards, ash, poplar and pine trees.
Southern hillsides with some exposed areas have been known for good harvests.
What to look for
Be sure to know what you are looking for. Get familiar with pictures of morels (there are false morels.) Morels are pretty easy to identify with their strange look. Morels are a fairly safe bet when it comes to mushrooms. Obviously there are mushrooms that are toxic, but morels are some of the safest.
The best times are early to mid April through mid June, but it depends where you live. There are many factors but generally when daytime temperatures are 60-70 degrees and night time temps not below mid 40's. Also when there is good ground moisture.
Sliced up and cooking on our stove, we used butter and onions
The recipe below is from thegreatmorel.com
King of the Plate (Morels with Flour)
Morels (bunches of ’em)
Butter/Margarine (3-4 tbsp’s)
Frying Pan (non-stick is good…iron skillet is better)
Flour (1/2 cup or so)
Salt/Pepper to taste.
Melt butter/margarine in frying pan (don’t overheat it!!!!!)
Coat Morels in flour (either in gallon ziplock bag that has flour in it or using a plate covered in flour)–coat the cleaned morels well with flour. Sautee mushrooms (gently) in butter/margarine. Salt and pepper to taste. Eat.
I have introduced a dozen people to the mighty morel with this tried and true recipe — which lets the mushroom be king of the plate. All of them have become converts and a few reported a nearly religious experience! Serve the mushrooms with homemade bread (warm) with butter and you have a meal better than any that has ever been served to royalty.
There is no better use of a morel then when it is covered in flour and sauteed in butter and eaten. I wouldn’t have them any other way!!!!
Courtesy of Jim from Imperial