On a lovely Texas Spring day, we went hiking with friends along Barton Creek Trail near Twin Falls and what did we happen to find in a dry stream bed: Morels!
At first, I was wondering if they were edible as I’m not a real mycologist. After a couple Google searches and mushroom identification sites like http://thegreatmorel.com/, we were in luck and not only were the morsels edible but super tasty. Somehow, it reminded me of my brief trip to Lake Chapala in Mexico as an ecology student. A couple guys and I decided we would just climb one of the low lying mountains for fun. A weathered man wearing a vest with an embroidered sun greeted us at the top of the mountain. De we reach a sacred spot? He asked me “Quieres hongos?” (Do you want mushrooms?) and he brought out these large yellow abalone type ones. We said no but thanked him for his generosity.
|Unexpected Hongo Man at the top|
Anyway, it was fun to find something edible on our little hike and luckily we had a brown paper sack from our lunch. After a brief diversion (smashed car window and stolen goods – be careful out there friends!), we were home again and the research began on how to fix these up really good.
We gave them a quick rinse to remove debris and cut them in half lengthwise. This is supposed to help you see if critters climb into the cavities. Most people do not want to eat roly-polys!
There are lots of recommendations for cooking with morels. Batter-fried is a common recipe, but I’m just not into eggs and cornflakes. For great vegan mushroom recipes, I recommend the The Artful Vegan by the Millennium Restaurant in San Francisco. We decided morel fettuccine alfredo would be a decent choice and it came out beautifully.
|Morel Fettucine Alfredo|
We hope to find some again but it seems to have been a serendipitous occasion. They do cost quite a lot at Central Market – $69.99 a lb dry. There’s nothing like finding a little treasure full of life. A childlike feeling comes over you. There really are magic mushrooms!