Thursday, April 22, 2010

Missourah Morel Madness...I Have It...

One more thing to cross off my Bucket List!
I have found my first morel mushroom ever! It was simply thrilling!
Can't you see how hard they are to spot?

Earlier this week, mom, dad and I spent a delightful afternoon and evening with my cousins and spouses at Cathy and Tom's MO farm that's located east of Columbia and along the Cedar Creek. Tom had brought us a mess of morels earlier in the week that he'd picked at the farm. Because of that, my other cousin Curt and I were both determined to go morel hunting as well, though neither of us had a clue how to do so. We were hoping Tom would give us some pointers. He did: "Just look for a brown wrinkled thing sticking up out of the brown leaves." So off the three of us went on our morel adventure. It hadn't rained since last week and Tom said this could have a big effect on the number of morels there were to be found. This proved to be true. Tom almost immediately found two (which he sent home with me) while Curt and I continued to look in vain. Just when I was about to quit, I looked down and saw Mr. Morel, above, plain as day! And that was the end of that. Not one more did any of us see. Curt was not at all happy he didn't find one as well and has vowed to return to the farm after the next rain.

My morel in all its glory!
The greenery you see clinging to the bottom are fiddle head fern babies.

Because of the lack of rain, the morels were beginning to dry out. Mom told me to trim the bases and put them in a ziploc bag full of water. We refrigerated them overnight and the next morning they were perfectly plump once again.
And tonight's meal? A sauce made with just-picked asparagus from my parent's garden), just picked morel mushrooms and cream over pasta. Don't you wish you could join us? 

 Below are photos of that huge first mess of morels Tom brought us. Recipe is included as well:

Morels split in two, washed dried well and ready to be sauteed.

Our first batch was simply sauteed as is over medium high heat in half unsalted butter and half canola oil - about 3 tablespoons each. We turned the morels once and cooked them about a minute or so on each side. While you usually will drain most things on paper towels after they're done, don't do that with morels! You want that buttery flavor to come through with each bite. Keep them warm until ready to serve (which should be as soon as possible).

Our second batch we did the more traditional way. This time the morels were tossed in flour and then the excess well shaken off.

Again they were sauteed in the butter-oil mixture and turned once.

Just sit yourself right down, take a bite and be transported to flavor heaven!

In the above photo, the plain morels are on top - and it looks like someone's been snitching more than a few - and the flour coated morels are on the bottom. While both are delicious, I really do prefer the plain morels. Why coat even a tiny bit of the flavor with anything? I wish I had more time to stay for the next rain so we could go morel hunting again. After tonight's pasta it will be another year before I'm able to once again enjoy morels in all their glory. This eating seasonal thing is really irritating at times!


expect wonderful flavors!


  1. I would love to taste them both ways but I agree .. why mess with the best?

  2. I'd love to be sitting down to these with you. I will trust you on the deliciousness.

  3. I have never heard of morel mushrooms ~ and I am curious. I enjoy mushrooms...but am wondering what the texture is like...spongy ? So now I have something else to add to my bucket list!

  4. Never had morels (that sounds bad) but they look delicious.

  5. You did not invite me!!!!

    They do look delicious...we have only got to go mushrooming one time and my daughter found two. I suppose they are all gone by now. Not sure.


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