Tuesday, July 28, 2015

How to Dry Morel Mushrooms

If you're lucky enough to find morels then you probably know it's imperative to dry them asap or else they will mold. After all the hard work of finding and picking them, you want to preserve them for future use. Here's my fool proof, easy way to dry morel mushrooms. All you need is a small fan, baking sheet and cooking rack. I've found that dried morels have a more intense flavor than fresh picked and are super easy to re-hydrate. Simply soak in warm water for about 10 minutes and you have perfect mushrooms to cook with. Plus you have the bonus of the broth to use in your recipe. ~Audrey

 Thoroughly clean your fresh picked mushrooms by submerging in lukewarm water. Drain and repeat several times until you are satisfied. You will notice lots of dust, little twigs and even bugs in the water. This is normal. They are growing in the wilderness after all.

 Place on a cooling rack with a baking sheet underneath. The baking sheet will catch dripping water. Plus you can easily move them if you have to. My kitchen is small so I'm constantly juggling things around.

I arrange my mushrooms in the same direction with the stems facing the fan. I feel this helps them dry out faster.

Turn your fan on to blow just air. No need for heat.

 It takes anywhere from 6-8 hours for them to dry completely. 

 You will notice they shrink considerably. This is perfectly normal. 

Once dry, place in an airtight container. I use glass mason jars. When you are ready to cook with them, a good guideline to follow is 1/4oz of dried mushrooms equals 1oz fresh. 

Simply pour warm water over them, cover for about 10-30 minutes and voila, you have beautiful morel mushrooms to use in your recipe plus delicious broth.

 In Alaska, morels grow the summer after a forest fire. A fire swept through this area near Fairbanks, Alaska one year before I found mushrooms growing here. It's amazing how quickly new growth comes back.

 Here is a beautiful little "blondie." Morels range in color between light brown, dark brown or almost black. There's no difference in taste, just color. Just make sure the stems and mushroom head are hollow. 

Fireweed is one of the first things to grow back after a forest fire.

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