Shroomin is a Springtime thing. I remember the first time that I fell into a Morel Mushroom Glory spot was during Turkey season. I was chasing gobblers all morning and was walking an old dirt road back to camp. I glanced to the right side of the road and lo and behold were literally hundreds of wonderful Morels! 10 feet off the road! Needless to say, I filled my pack and left some for the future.
The funny thing is that I never went back to that spot. My Turkey stomping grounds changed and I went elsewhere. Normally I find Morels in small clusters or scattered. The good thing about that Shroomin Hot Spot was that I came up with some great recipes.
Look for Morels in conifer forests. As the Earth warms, they begin to show up. After a burn year, Morels can be found in abundance. So are Turkeys. Morels can be different colors. I have found them black, gray, and yellow. Wet or damp areas can be good hunting, especially along sunny creeks.
The inner capped mushroom is hollow and heavily ridged and chambered. That is why I soak them in salt water to get rid of and insects. Bird droppings, mold, and harmful fungus can be on the Morels. After a quick soak, allow them to dry out.
Watch out for False Morels. They look similar but are poisonous. These false, look a likes, appear more brain like, and the cap hangs free from the stem. Do your homework to learn the difference. If you are not sure, don’t eat them.
This simple recipe may be my favorite. Start with 1 lb. of Morels, sliced in half from cap to stem. Rinse and dry. Use salt and pepper to taste. ¾ cup of milk, ½ cup of olive oil or butter, 2 eggs, 1 sleeve of saltines. Flavor infused Olive Oils such as Garlic oil or Blood Orange, can be amazing.
Smash the saltines and place in a plastic zip bag. Put the milk in a separate bowl. Heat the oil, or you can use butter. Now drop the Morels into the milk and then into the crackers. Fry lightly and enjoy. Don’t overcook these savory and tasty delights.
MORELS and ASPARAGUS
Mushroom season is also Asparagus time. Cut up 2 bunches of Asparagus into 1-inch pieces. Add to a fry pan with 2 tbsp. of butter. Begin to cook first. Spice with Montreal Steak Seasoning.
Use ½ lb. of cleaned and halved Morels. Cut up a spring onion and add to the mix. 2 cloves of minced Garlic also. Once the asparagus is getting soft, add the Morels and simmer for 10 minutes.
Writing about these mushrooms makes me hungry. I am so looking forward to Spring Turkey season.
For more Montana Grant, find him Shroomin at www.montangrantfishing.com.