Updated: Feb 5, 2021
The elusive and renowned Morel mushroom. Often hiding in plain sight, these mushrooms are probably second only to Truffles as far as gourmet mushrooms go.
That is because their meat-like texture and taste are paired with a rich umami flavour and they are very difficult to grow because they are mycorrhizal mushrooms, which means they have a symbiotic relationship with certain trees that is hard to replicate artificially.
There are many different varieties of Morels, their latin genus name is Morchella, such as Morchella tomentosa, Morchella angusticeps etc. but they are all edible. However there are a few lookalikes such as Gyromitra and Verpa, so before you jump on the foraging train, please be sure to do sufficient research and be 200% certain of your identification before consuming, or purchase your morels from professional foragers by clicking here.
However, this is not an identification post, it is a recipe, so I will get to the point.
Now before I start, this gravy recipe is amazing on everything. I mean, whatever you would normally put gravy on. Mashed potatoes, veggies, rice, biscuits... I have chosen to adorn fries with it and cheese curds because that is part of my Canadian heritage, and it is delicious.
35-40 minutes from start to finish
• 14 grams (0.5 oz) Wildland Foods morels
• 2 cups broth, either mushroom, vegetable, beef, or chicken
• 1/2 teaspoon thyme
• 1 Tablespoon butter
• 3 cloves garlic
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
• 1/4 teaspoon celery seed (optional)
• 3 Tablespoon cornstarch + 2 T cold water
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (if vegan, buy vegan version)
• 4-5 medium potatoes + oil for frying or baking (I used sunflower oil)
• 1 package cheese curds (grated mozzarella works in a pinch, but not technically poutine worthy)
》 Heat broth in small pot on med high. Once boiled, remove from heat and add dried morels. Make sure all morels are submerged. They will want to float, so weight down with bowl or 'wack a morel' periodically. Set aside to rehydrate for 15 minutes while you do step 2.
》 Wash or peel potatoes and slice into fries. It's best to dry them thoroughly. If baking, preheat oven to 425 Fahrenheit. I often use parchment paper on my pan, but it's not necessary. Make sure fries have space between them so they can get crispy and lightly coat with oil. If frying, start to heat 3" oil in pot on medium high. An actual deep fryer is much safer, so please be cautious if using a pot.
》Heat butter or oil in small frying pan. Add grated garlic and sauté on low 5 minutes. If your morels are rehydrated enough you can add them now after slicing into rings. Sauté morels + 1-2 Tablespoons of broth with butter and garlic for an additional 5 minutes on medium low.
》Add fries to preheated oil or place lightly oiled fries in heated oven on the center rack. Bake 15 min before flipping with a spatula to bake 15 min more.
》Put morels back in broth, adding your onion, garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix cornstarch in small cup with 2 Tablespoons of cold water and then add to broth mixture, whisking or stirring to ensure thorough mixing. Cook for 5-10 minutes until desired thickness is achieved.
》Once fries are done, season with salt and adorn with cheese curds and gravy and enjoy!
If you fried your fries, save your cooking oil and keep it in the fridge for next time! It can be used 3-5 times safely.