Morelmania!

Ohhhh, you can all be sooooo jealous of me.

Why, you ask? Because of my good looks, glowing personality, overabundant intelligence? (Well, yes, all of those things but there is one more reason…)

That’s right, that’s my kitchen table, basking in the glow of a HUGE PILE OF MOREL MUSHROOMS.

I wish I could say that I hunted them myself, but alas, I’ve been informed by seasoned shroom-hunters that the Eau Claire area is lacking in the necessary loamy soil and lots of elm trees. We’re an oak-and-spruce kind of area. Sad face.

But I’ve got a great coworker who not only loves drinking and has a dry sense of personality, but ALSO has a brother who lives near the Morel Capital and likes to share the wealth. So I suddenly found myself with a dozen large beauties delivered to my cubicle, and I couldn’t be happier.

So I did what any morel-loving shroom-hunter would do- immediately cooked up a small, delicious batch of morel gravy and some bloody red meat to go with.

*When eating morels and you’re not sure if/how they’ve been “cleaned,” or if you pick them yourself, first soak them for at least 30 minutes in salt water. This will draw out any little friends who might be crawling around inside and supposedly can help neutralize some of the stuff that can cause… *ahem* indigestion when eating morels. Be sure to rinse really well, and don’t be afraid to soak overnight in the fridge if you’re grossed out by potentially eating tiny bugs.

There are tons of tips and recipes on The Great Morel, and though it’s a slightly dated-looking site, give it a shot if you’re truly interested in the tiny, succulent little sponges.

As for the recipe I use… it’s an estimate every time.

*I chop up the shrooms and sautee them in plenty of butter and salt and pepper for about 6 or 7  minutes on medium-high. I spoon the morels out onto a plate and leave the buttery yumminess in the pan.
*Then deglaze with white wine and reduce, stir in a hearty splash of cream and maybe a cup of beef broth, and a clove of minced garlic.
*Simmer for maybe 8 to 10 minutes, add in the mushrooms to reheat, and serve.
*Oh, and I like to garnish with scallions or green onions, or even minced shallots if I’m really daring.

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Filed under Side dishes, Spring, Vegetables

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