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Old 05-06-2006, 02:09 PM   #1
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Morel Mushrooms

Can you believe that as hubby and I were meeting friends at our favorite thirst parlor for our usual Friday get-together, a man we know (not well), asked us if we liked morels. YES! He came back in with a grocery bag full of them that a client of his gave him. Said he didn't feel like cleaning them. Honestly, this is probably $75 worth at the going price IF you're lucky to find someone to sell them to you. Usually we go mushrooming ourselves, and are doing good to have enough for a meal or two. Right now I've halved and cleaned them, then put them into the oven at 350 for a half hour or so to cook them (with garlic, onions, S&P) to slightly dehydrate them. Some will go into stroganof tonight, the rest will be frozen. DOES ANYONE OUT THERE have a method of freezing morels? I'm afraid these may wind up rubbery. I don't can and don't have a dehydrator. I've never gotten such a bounty, and we may wind up getting more from our own hunting. Any ideas?

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Old 05-06-2006, 04:02 PM   #2
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Lucky you, Claire. Read that morels are usually good for stuffing. Can you make a big batch of stuffed mushrooms and freeze them (after they're cooked) to nibble on at a later time? Here's some info I found:

Freezing Mushrooms

Freezing is a fine technique for putting mushrooms away for a future day when none are growing. They can be frozen fresh or precooked. Some small caps may be frozen whole, after examining, cleaning, and completely draining them. Allow 20 to 30 minutes for draining. Larger specimens should be sliced or cubed into 1/4-inch pieces. Heavy plastic is acceptable for freezing, or use freezing containers. Matsutakes and the boletes are preserved beautifully this way, retaining their aromas and spiciness as well as their textures.

There are two methods of precooking mushrooms for freezing. One way is simply to freeze a dish made with mushrooms, such as a quiche, ready to heat and serve. The other is to sauté the mushrooms in butter or oil, or both, for 5 minutes before transferring them to a freezer container. Be sure to include the liquid remaining in your saucepan. Such food will keep well for 6 months.

http://www.mssf.org/cookbook/part_1.html
(This is a good read)

http://www.mushroominfo.com/care/care.html

Freezing Mushrooms:
Fresh mushrooms don't freeze well. But if it's really necessary to freeze them, first saute in butter or oil or in a non-stick skillet without fat; cool slightly, then freeze in an air tight container up to one month.
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Old 05-06-2006, 07:08 PM   #3
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I have a friend who lives way out in the boonies on 180 acres. She picks hundreds of morels every year.
She eggs, flours and fries hers, and freezes them that way. I'll have to ask her how she re-heats them, but I'd guess she puts them on a baking sheet in the oven, unthawed.

I'm sure envious. Kim doesn't pick them anymore because the ticks and chiggers eat him alive. He just so "sweet".
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Old 05-06-2006, 09:33 PM   #4
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Claire,

You can slice the morels, lay them on wire cake racks and put them in the oven on the lowest setting it will go. Keep the oven door propped open with something, so that the mushrooms will not cook, but will just dehydrate.

When they are completely dried (may take a couple of hours), hang them in a mesh bag in a dry spot, like over your furnace or in an attic, until you want to use them.

My Polish aunts taught me how to go mushrooming, how to dry mushrooms, and to use them in cooking. It is one of my favorite things to do.

Although, I have yet to find or taste a morel. One of my life's quests! :-)

Lee
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Old 05-06-2006, 10:06 PM   #5
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Try the web site
http://www.morelsgonewild.com/Home.htm

or
http://mushroompeople.chainreactionweb.com

for some really good ideas
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Old 05-07-2006, 06:19 AM   #6
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Thanks for the help. After semi-dehydrating them, it turned out to be a manageable sized bowl of mushrooms. I think I'll do a huge batch of mushroom sauce and freeze half of it.
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Old 05-07-2006, 08:25 AM   #7
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Although morels seem perfect for stuffing (they are hollow), the hollow space usually contains bugs and dirt! I think that if I get another batch from good freinds I may try it, although it will take more patience than I was willing to give to the vast volume I was given this time!
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Old 05-07-2006, 08:29 AM   #8
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QSis, as a kid my Oma and Opa (not really my grandparents, but freinds my parents made when we were stationed in Germany) taught me to go mushrooming. It is a very happy memory. Opa took us into the woods and taught us how to select mushrooms and which were and were not poisonous. Oma, of course, cooked them. I'd never trust myself with mushrooming except morels, which are pretty easy to distinguish. I've heard there are poisonous false morels, but haven't heard of anyone actually getting sick from them around here, and everyone who likes mushrooms eats them, so I'd know.
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Old 05-08-2006, 12:27 PM   #9
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We got a load of White Morel mushrooms in at work a few days ago. I didn't have my camera with me, but I did have my camera-phone. I captured an image of them. One of them is about the size of my HAND! I'm not sure how much the boss paid for them, but I know he paid in cash, as I saw him paying the guy that brought them in.
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Old 05-08-2006, 12:35 PM   #10
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Check out this one...
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