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Old 04-04-2006, 02:20 PM   #1
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Question Morel Mushrooms

I recently had polenta topped with a morel sauce at a restaurant in S.F. OMG - I love morels. Does anyone have any recipes using fresh morels? They have some lovely ones at the store. Thanks

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Old 04-06-2006, 06:47 AM   #2
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nuttin special, usually saute them in a bit of butter and olive oil with fresh asparagus, or add to a pizza topping. If I have too many (usually not the case) I will dry them for use later.
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Old 04-06-2006, 07:16 AM   #3
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Morels in a store!!! Wow. How much?
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Old 04-06-2006, 07:51 AM   #4
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We have to trudge through the woods and pick them in my neck of the woods. None available in the stores.

I took a good chuck roast and cooked it on the covered grill last weekend. I sliced the rare leftovers and sliced them into very thin slices. I then made a beef gravy using a high-quality soup base, water, and cornstarch. I also added diced onion to the gravy before thickening. I took about 6 morels and minced them, then added them to the gravy and let cook for 30 minutes. Then, I added just a couple drops of truffle oil. Finally, I added the sliced beef and cooked just long enough to heat the meat.

Served this with smashed spuds for my wife, and steamed green beans, and made an open-faced beef 'n'gravy sandwich on whole wheat bread with green beans on the side for me. It was truly yummy.

I find morells a little strong to be eaten by themselves. I prefer to use their great flavor to enhance other foods, especially beef.

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Old 04-06-2006, 12:04 PM   #5
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We love morels, but HB gets chiggers so bad, he doesn't hunt them much anymore.
Most people around here eat them fried, as the main course. Soak mushrooms in salt water first, to get the varmints out...this won't hurt morels. Drain them, then dip them in flour, egg/water, then flour and fry in a skillet in a couple inches of vegetable oil until light golden in color. Do not over-cook as they are very delicate.
All you need to go with is a baked potato and small salad.

Warning: some people can eat a bucket of morels at a sitting, but some are less tolerant of them, and can experience some discomfort in the digestive tract. (Diarrhea, to be exact. ) If you've never eaten them before, go lightly the first time.
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Old 04-06-2006, 12:13 PM   #6
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Constance, you are so correct. Indeed, some of the morells picked by upers fall under the category, false morells. These are distinguished from true morells in that the cap edges are seperated from the stems. One such false morell, known around here as the beefsteak mushroom is tolerated by some people, but causes sickness in others. And there are people who can't eat either the true or false morels. It really depends on teh person.

True morells rarely cause trouble. But if picking wild, you'd better know what you are doing. Some false morells are dangerously poisonous, while others are mildly so. Again, whether you are pickling whitel or black morells, the cap must be attached to the stem for it to be a true morell. And for heaven's sake, pick up a good identification guid, with clear, colorful pictures of both good and bad varieties. They are plentiful and easy to obtain at most libraries, and on-line.

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Old 04-06-2006, 12:36 PM   #7
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Here's a good site for mushroom identification:

http://mdc.mo.gov/nathis/mushrooms/mushroom/edible.htm
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Old 04-09-2006, 06:49 AM   #8
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I have a friend who takes us mushrooming every spring; we'll be doing it next month. My favorite things to do with the mushrooms is stroganof or a red wine sauce (hey, they aren't mutuall exclusive, a red wine stroganof works, too!). Right now I have some venison in the freezer, already cooked in a red wine sauce. So the mushrooms will be sauteed in butter and added to the already made venison "stew" (meat, garlic, onion, and very tasty stock/gravy). Then I can decide whether to add sour cream or paprika or ..... I, personally, love to combine different kinds of mushrooms for a fuller flavor.

I'm a coward, I only eat mushrooms that experienced people (who have eaten them for years and lived to tell the tale) tell me are safe. I wouldn't try to do it myself.
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:46 AM   #9
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Morels are easy to identify once you've seen them, Claire. Check out this nice one:
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Old 04-09-2006, 12:07 PM   #10
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Someplace I've seen a recipe for stuffing morels with a crab dressing. You could batter and fry the smaller ones, but I would think the large ones would have to dipped, crumbed and cooked in the oven to get everything heated through. I think the delicate flavors would really compliment each other.
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