Cooking and Freezing Morel Mushrooms


They’re like the Hope Diamond. For the few weeks that wild mushrooms grow, and as hard as they are to find, we take no chances on our cooking method.  People describe the taste like a “steak.”  I for one, don’t care for steak, and believe that a mushroom tastes far better than “steak.”  There is no flavor to compare. That said, this is not the food you like to experiment with, and try

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something new.  That is, unless you find 3,000 of them.  Then, you’ll be freezing them.  God, I can only hope that will happen to me someday. I only find handfuls each year, and given that all six of us fight over them, I stick with the pure and simple method of frying mushrooms that has been handed down from my Grandmother, and probably from her Grandmother.

One my sons likes the mushrooms so much that he has sought to learn the method; now he now knows exactly when the mushrooms come off the skillet, giving him first dibs at eating.

The method for frying wild morel mushrooms:

  1. Soak mushrooms in salt water for no longer than ten minutes.  This releases the bugs from the cavities of the shrooms.
  2. Pat mushrooms dry with paper towel.
  3. Sprinkle flour and salt together on a pie pan or plate. It’s a tradition that we use my mom’s rose-patterned 1960 plates, as she was an expert at finding and frying mushrooms.
  4. Dredge the mushrooms through the flour.
  5. This is the point where you stop right here, if you have 3,000 mushrooms.  Now, you put them into the freezer container of your choice, and freeze.  The best way is to freeze the delicate mushrooms on cookie sheets, and once they are frozen, transfer them to ziplock freezer bags so that they won’t freeze in one big clump. Each time you want to fry them, you pull out the ones you want individually, as if you are picking them all over again.
  6. Melt real butter in a cast iron skillet.  I add a bit of extra virgin olive oil to keep the butter from scorching.
  7. Fry floured mushrooms in butter until they are golden.

Eat as soon as you can hold them without burning your hand.  This varies from person to person.

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4 comments on “Cooking and Freezing Morel Mushrooms
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