There's nothing more exciting during Michigan spring than morel picking in the woods. Last year was my first year going mushroom picking and I dare say I was a bit skeptical at the beginning. When it comes to mushrooms, I am always terrified that they would turn out to be poisonous. In order to avoid that I relied on Google (I know, crazy!). There are a lot of websites with pictures that distinguish between true and false morels.
These exquisite mushrooms are quite difficult to spot. They hide amongst dried leaves and are mostly found in moist areas around trees.
A true morel has to be hollow inside from top of cap to bottom of stem, the bottom of the cap has to be attached to the stem, cap has to be full of ridges and pits, cap has to be longer than the stem, the stem has to have bumps both inside and out, and the stalk is usually lighter in color, ranging from sand, yellow, or grayish (michiganmorels.com).
In order to prepare my morels for cooking I soaked them in water and salt overnight. This assures getting rid of the unwanted bugs that might be hiding in the nooks and creases. The following day I strained the morels and washed them with clean water and then dried them on paper towels.
morel scone recipe (makes 8 scones)
1 cup all-purpose baking flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons blue cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons parmesan, shredded
1 tablespoon dried caraway seeds
1 tbs fresh tarragon, finely chopped
1 tbs fresh dill, finely chopped
1 tbs fresh chives, finely chopped
1 tbs fresh lovage, finely chopped
1 tbs fresh marjoram, finely chopped
8 tablespoons salted butter (1stick), room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk (or as much as the dough takes)
1 egg white, lightly beaten
fresh dill or tarragon springs, to decorate
2 teaspoons coarse truffle sea salt
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
In a bowl whisk together the flours and baking powder. Add the blue cheese, parmesan, caraway seeds, chopped tarragon, dill, chives, lovage, and marjoram and mix until incorporated. Crumble in the butter and rub it into the flour mixture using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Gradually add the milk and incorporate into the dough (add gradually, and only as much as needed to keep the dough together).
Roll the dough into a circle onto a well floured surface (I use parchment paper that I then place on the baking sheet tray under the scones). Cut the dough into 8 equal triangles, brush with egg white, place half a morel on top, brush with egg white again, then decorate with fresh dill or tarragon leaves, and sprinkle with the coarse sea salt.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until the scones begin to brown around the edges.
This gorgeous more plate is from https://www.instagram.com/facturegoods/
I cooked the remaining morels over an open fire, in combination with garlic, oregano, and black pepper. They came out to die for.