Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Morel Mushrooms

Pictured are the first available local morel mushrooms of the year. with better weather these would've been available over a month ago in Eastern Oregon, but it has been to cold for them to come up. they are one of the most prized of the locally foraged wild mushroom as their season is earlier (most of the other truly wild mushrooms wont be around until early to late fall) and they have an amazing flavor. they are honeycomb looking and these are a bit larger than average. i featured them on the menu at work for most of last spring and summer and while i couldn't buy them fresh for all of that time i was able to find a source for them dried. drying mushrooms is a great way to preserve and all but chanterelles (more on them later) dry really well. when re-hydrated with stock, or water, they are almost as good as fresh. i bought 5 pounds of these, and 2 pounds were transferred to another restaurant, and 2 were dried at work. of the last pound, some sauteed over a new york steak for dinner tonight, and some will make a cream sauce for a pistachio crusted piece of halibut tomorrow night. now the real killer.... these costed me $50 dollars a pound. that's right fifty. i worked with them for a bit today and figured out the cost about one dollar a piece, three eleven per ounce. this was five pounds or 250 dollars worth. ouch. i know i have been through what that can buy before so i wont go there again. i will however add that i am extremely fortunate to work at a place that will sign that check without so much as a double take. they should drop in price in the coming days (i think i have them locked in for about 20/# for the weekend). they are ugly, they are dirty, they are even expensive but all is forgiven with the simple taste of sauteed morels.

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