Saturday, April 16, 2011

Morels the Ozarks Way

Morel mushroom hunting has been a spring ritual here in the Ozarks for as long as I can remember, and certainly well before that.   As a kid I remember my grandpa taking me along with other relatives to wander the woods in search of them.  Mom would fry up a mess or two each spring, then that was it until the next year.  As an adult it has become an annual tradition for my family as well.  We wander the woods near the wet-weather creek on the back of our farm each year hoping to spy morels peeking out from under dead leaves littering the forest floor.  I always have to re-train my eyes to discern them from their surroundings - they are masters of camouflage!

Fortunately, most years we are able to enjoy a meal or two of these wonderful morsels.  This year is no exception!

They look like cone-shaped sponges don't they?  Not very appetizing from that point of view I suppose, unless of course you've grown up like me and think of them as a once-or-twice a year delicacy.

Our tradtional Morel Supper isn't healthy, so if you have an aversion to lots of carbs and fats - look away! This isn't the way we eat most of the time, but for this special treat, we make exceptions!

First thing I do when we return home with a 'mess' of freshly picked morels is rinse them thoroughly, then soak them overnight in salted water in the fridge.  They won't last long so I always cook them the following evening.  First, I rinse them again, pat them to absorb some of the water, and slice them into halves or thirds.
Next I coat the morels with flour and a bit of salt.  I let this sit while I cook all the other dishes for the meal - we want those morels freshly fried and hot!  Biscuits are first on the list - we like them drop style...
Next I fry up either bacon or sausage (tonight was bacon) and then use the drippings to make a pan of white gravy - heavy on the salt and pepper of course.
Time to fry the morels!  I heat a frying pan with small amount of oil on high and throw in the morels.  Best to cook 'em fast so they don't turn to mush...a little crisp is best.
Supper's ready!  Not heart-healthy at all - but oh, how happy are our taste buds and tummies :)

post signature

1 comment:

junkermidge said...

Oh, I love mushrooms and mushroom hunting! Did it all the time as a kid, but don't anymore. Someday I want a cabin up north just so I can mushroom hunt, but here in MI it's in May. I didn't realize other areas of the country had them too. Enjoy -- you're cooking looks delicious!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...