Morels, like all fungi and mushrooms, have an extremely short shelf life as soon as picked. However, there are a selection of ways to store morels for future use.
As soon as picked, morels should be washed, cleaned and refrigerated quickly if they are to be eaten or frozen for storage. Morels (particularly these later within the picking season) are attractive to ants and other bugs, each for the interior spores, and for the tough shelter they offer.
Morels, like many wild fungi and mushrooms, go soggy very quickly if not properly dealt with or stored, because of the spore content within them. Morels are largely water, anyway, so they don’t hold up well, particularly in heat. Do not pack them too tightly when picking or storing, as morels compact easily.
Since salt bothers (and even kills) many bugs, one of many easiest ways to clean morels is to dissolve 2 tbsp of salt into each quart of warm water used, and immerse the morels in the answer, washing them for a number of minutes, letting them stand for one-half hour, then draining. In the event you prefer a more thorough wash, either slit the morels in half sizeways earlier than immersing, or puncture the slender finish to permit simpler drainage after washing within the salty solution. Make sure you minimize off the fibrous root-like tendrils, before washing, which are likely to be hooked up to the bottom of the morel when picking. This root-like mass, and the valleys of the morel honeycomb, are inclined to pick up small particles of filth, sand and humus, contributing to a gritty, disagreeable texture with poorly cleaned morels.
Morels can be dehydrated, utilizing a standard fruit dehydrator (available at Wal-Mart). Make sure that the morels are fully dehydrated, then store in a paper bag in a dry, dark pantry. To rehydrate morels, simply soak them for 1-2 hours in warm water or thin sauce.
Dried morels are great for taking on a backpacking or camping journey, because of their light weight, durability and ease of rehydrating. They are excellent enhances to nearly any meat or eggs, and work well with true wildcraft harvests of boiled cattail root or fried dandelion greens! Many campers use dried morels like chewing tobacco, letting the morels rehydrate between gums and cheek for a real time-delayed taste explosion.
To freeze morels, wash & drain them, then in a deep fry pan, soften butter, add pepper (or garlic, if desired) and the morels, and cook over medium low heat for up to 5-8 minutes. With the liquid, store the mushrooms in an airtight container or freezer bag within the fridge for up to 6 months.
If using morels within 2-3 days of picking, wash totally and drain till dry. Place loosely in a paper bag and store within the fridge, as you’d with white button mushrooms.
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