Wisconsin Morel Mushrooms
In the spring of the year, the Woods of Wisconsin (pun intended) provide us with a wild delicacy. Morel Mushrooms are found wild all across the northern part of the US and southern Canada. Depending on the rain and temperature in the spring, we have people who walk the woods all over Wisconsin and “hunt” morels for us. These people are called shroomers. Weather conditions have to be just right for morels to grow. Some years they are plentiful, other years we’re disappointed. We believe Morel Mushrooms have a distinct flavor like no other mushroom! It’s just too hard to explain... you need to try them to discover that delicate taste.
Cleaning Morel Mushrooms
We clean our morels by rinsing them in cold water. It’s easier to clean them if you cut them lengthwise. Since morels are found in the woods and are earth grown, you will find dirt and foreign particles, which may include bugs. Don’t be alarmed or disgusted, this is part of nature. We soak the morels in a bath of cold sink water to allow any foreign particles to emerge. You can add salt to the water which would help clean the mushrooms, but the salt may detract from the true morel flavor. If you are not cooking your morels right away, drain the excess water and keep them covered with a damp towel and refrigerate. This prevents them from getting mushy.
Cooking Morel Mushrooms
We sauté our morels in butter. We use a heavy fry pan at medium temperature and sauté them in their own juices uncovered. As the juices cook off, we add salt, pepper and butter to slowly sauté them. Cook until tender. You may have to add more butter as they are sautéing. We love to serve them with steak, pork chops or chicken.
Some people like to sauté them in egg batter and cracker crumbs with butter, salt and pepper. Others love to flour, salt and pepper them and sauté them in butter.
No matter how you prepare them, they are definitely a delicacy!