If you have been searching for the best morel mushroom recipe, there are some things to keep in mind about this mushroom. You should know that morels can be prepared in many ways, and the way you do will affect the quality of your mushrooms and dishes.
What are morel mushrooms?
Morels are considered gourmet food because of their delicate and distinct flavor, as well their rarity. These fungi grow mostly in North America and Europe, but they are not easily grown at home. You can also buy fresh or dried morels, and they go well in many dishes.
This mushroom has a cone shape and a spongy texture. They are usually pale cream to black, but they have a hollow and cream-colored stem. Unlike other mushrooms, morels are easy to clean and require little preparation. You should be aware of false morels, which look very similar but are poisonous.
Why cook with morels?
These mushrooms are particularly delicate, so cooking with them has to be done carefully. I like cooking with them because they have an earthy flavor, almost nutty, that goes well with thick sauces, creamy meals, as the main dish, or as a side dish.
To prepare morels, clean them well, and then cut them into halves or quarters so the texture is softer. Be sure to leave smaller ones whole, otherwise, they can turn mushy.
Never eat raw morels, unlike other mushrooms, these can cause stomach aches and cramping. In this article, I will show my favorite morel recipes and how to prepare these mushrooms adequately.
Preserving your morels
Before you do anything else, I want to let you know the secret to saving money and eating well. Morels will not last long, as they are delicate mushrooms and they can absorb moisture easily. Since these mushrooms are not easy to come by and not cheap either, I suggest you start looking at ways to preserve your mushrooms and then prepare them for a later time.
Dehydrating morels is probably the easiest and best way to ensure your morels are always tasty. It does require some time and equipment, but it can pay off in the long run.
To begin, be sure to start with getting a dehydrator you like. Here are some of the best ones out there:
Magic Mill Food Dehydrator Machine
This is an expensive but powerful dehydrator that can dehydrate up to six trays of food. The adjustable timer makes it perfect for drying your morels, especially if you need to leave them alone for a while. All the trays and liners are dishwasher safe, making it much easier to keep your dehydrator clean.
Also, if you worry about burning or overheating, this dehydrator has protection that activates if the temperature is dangerously hot.
Here, you can find a powerful dehydrator with eight tray capacity. You can adjust the temperature and time from 95-158 degrees F and 0-24 hours of drying time. The trays are also dishwasher safe, so it makes your morel drying process much easier.
Since morels require about five to eight hours of drying time at 125 degrees F, you want a dehydrator that can withstand long hours, and that is easy to monitor.
This is another reasonably priced dehydrator that can keep the temperature between 96 to 158 degrees F. Although it is a bit less powerful, it is perfect for drying morels, particularly when you cut them in small pieces. This dehydrator can dry up to five trays, but they are not dishwasher safe.
If you need more space, try this dehydrator, as it is smaller. Your morels may take a little more time to dry here due to the lower power capacity.
This Chefman is a midpoint dehydrator that has a digital touch screen and has up to six drying trays. The temperature adjusts from 95 to 158 degrees F, and the time can be set up to 19.5 hours. It has 480W power, which is perfect for drying something like morels and other mushrooms.
Since you will likely be monitoring your morels, the window can be helpful without having to stop the drying process by opening the door.
I do not recommend you do this unless there is no choice. Oven-drying can be complicated when it comes to mushrooms because not every oven is the same. First, you will need an oven that can be set to a temperature between 120 and 140 degrees F.
Lay your morels on a baking sheet, making sure they are not touching. Arrange as many trays as needed without overcrowding your oven. This process will take between eight to 12 hours, and you do need to watch your morels at least twice during the drying process.
Want to try a morel mushroom recipe today? Check these out:
Stir-Fried Asparagus and Morels in Hollandaise Sauce
Nothing says gourmet and delicacy like morels and asparagus, but add this delicious hollandaise sauce, and you have got a perfect meal. I love serving this dish as a brunch delicacy, lunch, or dinner.
For this recipe, you can use 10-15 fresh morels, but dried ones work too. All you have to do is add water beforehand to rehydrate them. Use asparagus, bacon, Hollandaise sauce, poached eggs, garlic, and olive oil.
A morel quiche is unlike any other quiche you have ever tried before. Not only does it add nuttiness and density to your meal, but it also mixes perfectly with cheese. Serve this tasty dish as a breakfast item, lunch dish, or side dish for any dinner.
I use about one pound of morel mushrooms, which is the same as about 15-20 medium-sized ones. If you have them dehydrated already, you can use them as they are, or rehydrate them before you start cooking.
A morel shish kabob sounds weird, right? This is my favorite morel mushroom recipe because of the fact that this fungus imitates meat and adds delicious flavors. While you could serve this meal as a cookout dish, side meal, or main dish, you can also do whatever you want with these morels.
Make this recipe more vegetarian or vegan-friendly by swapping the bacon grease for olive oil or another vegetable oil. Serve it with your favorite side dishes, like grilled veggies and potatoes.
Fettuccine Alfredo with Morels
Nothing says dinner date better than a fettuccine Alfredo. Adding morels to this dish makes it more filling and complements the creamy sauce well. You will need around 1 ¼ cups (259gms) of morels, dry or fresh.
I like to add heavy cream and cognac to give the sauce an overall quick, but you can swap these ingredients for other ones you prefer. The morels are nutty and earthy, so they break through the heavy cream to elevate the flavors.
This morel mushroom recipe may become your favorite dish when it is cold outside. I make this dish constantly, even in the summertime. The morels are fresh in this dish, but you can skip the cooking process if you use them dry.
Morels, leeks, and potatoes make up the perfect soup combination. Skip your canned mushroom soup next time, and try this delicious cream of morel mushroom soup that takes just a few minutes to make.