Dried Morels Recipe

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For those fortunate enough to have an abundance of fresh morels, drying is an easy way to preserve them for future use. Since mushrooms are mostly water, they shrink considerably in both weight and volume when dried--a pound of fresh morels will weigh about an ounce when completely dry, and will fit in very little space.
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Ingredients
  • fresh morels, any quantity
Directions
  • To prepare: trim off any questionable areas. Small, clean mushrooms can be dried whole; larger ones, or any which may have grit or insects in them, should be cut in half lengthwise. Brush out any debris, and if necessary, swish briefly in cool water and then drain.
  • To dry: using a food dehydrator is ideal, but morels can be air-dried in a well-ventilated space with low to moderate humidity. Spread them out on a screen or drying rack where air can circulate freely. A fan blowing on the drying mushrooms will speed the process. Moderate heat also helps, whether from the sun, an oven with a pilot light, etc. Check progress occasionally, rearrange as needed for even drying and discard any that show moldy areas. Drying time can be from overnight to several days.
  • To store: if dried to brittleness, morels can be stored indefinitely in clean glass jars with tight fitting lids away from heat and light. If there is still some flexibility in the dried pieces, freeze them in heavy freezer-quality bags.
  • To use: cover dried morels completely with very hot water and let soak until soft --about 20 minutes (or reconstitute according to the recipe being used). Lift morels out with a slotted spoon so any grit is left behind. The soaking liquid is very flavorful, so use it in cooking the morels, if appropriate. If the liquid is gritty, strain it through a coffee filter or a cloth.
  • Remember, dried morels must always be cooked before consuming.
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