Learn About Morel Mushrooms

Author: Chef Sydney

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What are Morel Mushrooms?

A morel mushroom, also called a Morchella, is a wild mushroom found in North America and Europe.  They are usually cone-shaped and have a hollow white stem and a textured brown cap.  The mushroom cap has a ridged, honeycomb-like texture that may be light or dark brown.  Morel mushrooms have a hearty, meaty texture and may feel spongy.  High-quality morel mushrooms feel firm and do not feel dry.

What Do Morel Mushrooms Taste Like?

Morel mushrooms taste meaty and nutty.  If the morel mushroom has a darker pattern on its cap, it has a stronger flavor.

Learn Morel Mushroom
Fresh morel mushrooms ready for cooking.

How Do You Eat Morel Mushrooms?

Eat cooked morel mushrooms as raw morel mushrooms can upset your stomach.  Don’t clean morel mushrooms until you’re ready to use them and make sure to clean them thoroughly.  Many people saute morel mushrooms in butter to bring out their natural flavors.  Other common ways to cook morel mushrooms include grilling or frying them.  Morel mushrooms flavor ravioli, risotto, and pasta dishes.  Use morel mushrooms to enhance creamy mushroom sauces and compound butters.

Where Can You Buy Morel Mushrooms?

Look for fresh morel mushrooms in farmers markets in spring to early summer.  Well-stocked grocery stores may carry frozen or dried morel mushrooms year-round.

How Do You Store Morel Mushrooms?

Do not wash morel mushrooms before storing them.  Place morel mushrooms in a paper bag and store them in the refrigerator.  Use the mushrooms as quickly as possible to enjoy them at maximum freshness.

Fun Facts About Morel Mushrooms

There are a variety of morel mushroom festivals in parts of the United States, including Michigan and Wisconsin.

Did You Know?

Morel mushrooms are incredibly difficult to grow on a farm, which is why foragers hunt for morel mushrooms in the spring.

Recipes Using Morel Mushrooms

Sauteed Morel Mushrooms

Sauteed morel mushrooms take little time to make and taste delicious. Heat butter in a skillet until melted. Add washed and dried morel mushrooms and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and top with sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Fried Morel Mushrooms

Bread your morel mushrooms before frying them for a crunchy treat. Dip morel mushrooms in a dry mixture of flour, salt, pepper, spices. Then, dredge your mushrooms in egg wash, then dip them in the flour mixture again. Place mushrooms in a single layer in a frying pan and fry in preheated oil. Fry until cooked through.

Stuffed Morel Mushrooms

Slice your morel mushrooms in half and put their hollow centers to good use. Common stuffings include crab, ricotta cheese, or cream cheese. To prevent overcooking the stuffing, make sure to cook the morel mushrooms before filling the centers.

Fettuccine Alfredo

Upgrade a classic dish with morel mushrooms. Before adding the mushrooms to the alfredo sauce, saute them with shallots until cooked through. Serve the sauce over fettuccine pasta and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.

Morel Mushroom Cream Sauce

Create your favorite mushroom cream sauce or gravy with morel mushrooms. Make sure your morel mushrooms are fully cooked before serving. Use morel mushroom cream sauce to top steaks, pasta, chicken, scallops, or pork chops.

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