Minnesota Morel Mania

Since my planned post was a giant snooze, thank god c stepped in with some food porno on her Facebook page. This time in the form of the mighty morel mushroom.

cynmorels2They stumbled upon what appears to be a forest of fungus on the way to visit family in Southern Minnesota. (What happened to Oregon morels? c&s usually put a pound on our doorstep… Did I miss the whole season?)

While some are getting partially dried then frozen for future use, some gave their life for dinner: lightly dusted in flour, sauteed in butter, shallots, Italian parsely, with a shot of heavy cream. “Died and went to heaven!” sez c. And today, more went into an omelette with shallots and mozzarella, with a fried tomato on the side.

Damn.

And I had oatmeal.

If anyone needs more recipes, here’s a site dedicated to “The Great Morel“. I’ve never had them battered and fried, but their platter of golden crisp morels looks pretty freaking amazing. And for something a bit more sophisticated, bb dishes up a poster child of spring, Morel & Fava Risotto. Oh the creamy deliciousness….

A few of the drying trays.

A few of the drying trays.

01
May 9th, 2009 2:02 pm

Are those giant pine cones or morels?? Holy crap, those are the biggest I’ve ever seen! On the fried morel note, last year Castagna CafĂ© was doing them as a side. I’d say a food addiction, but how many of those do i have already? I’ll let you know if I spy them there again.

02
Cyn
May 9th, 2009 4:12 pm

In previous years, we hardly got enough for a tasting. So we sauteed them in a little butter and shallots with a drizzle of sherry, to eat on toast. The sherry overpowers. The lightly coated and fried with a shot of cream method is a winner. If Scott didn’t have to leave for Finland this afternoon, we probably would have had one more meal, in egg wash and Panko…crispy little chips. Not to sound greedy but, perhaps there will be more next week?

And, BB, I may have slightly exaggerated their size with the old hold-the-’catch’-out-towards-the-camera-to-make-’em-look-big trick….

03
May 11th, 2009 8:06 am

Hey Cyn, “morels as big as your head”. Heh.

We can still tell they’re big by relating them to the size of the martini glass “foot” (a dimension we know in our sleep) in the background. And I thought Portland was the land of giant spring things.

04
Jill
May 13th, 2009 4:40 pm

Morels should be at farmer’s market about now…I haven’t been in several weeks so haven’t looked. There’s a guy at the PSU Saturday market who sells them at a fair price.

I’d like to learn how to dry them. I HATE buying dried morels at the store – they’re ridiculously expensive.

05
May 18th, 2009 4:48 pm

Denise-Just looked at your blog for the first time and wanted to comment on everything (not new) but chose this one. Have you had the sauteed mushroom appetizer at 50 Plates? While not morels, the mushrooms were under the influence of sherry, a ton of cream and served over lightly toasted challah bread. I’ll have to recreate it at home- the Hillsdale market still has all manner of wild mushrooms. Hope to see you soon! K

06
May 21st, 2009 12:34 pm

K: (Love the KatMad moniker, btw :)

Just had the mushroom toasts at 50 Plates. OMG…delicious. Why aren’t MY sauteed mushrooms this good? If you have any insights into the recipe, let me know. It was the tang that made them so special. (The shrimp and grits were pretty darn good, too.) Thanks for the tip, and I’m glad to have finally gotten there.

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