Morels: morel mushroom and line, when to collect, where to grow, how to prepare morels
Morels — These are the first long-awaited mushrooms. Lovers of “quiet hunting” who longed for the winter, they are given the opportunity to pull baskets out of the closets and run to the cherished edges. Morels have a special aroma that absorbed the smell of spring wood, thawedin, last year’s grass.
At the same time, there is a morel mushroom, and there is a line — and these are two big differences.
When to collect, where to grow and how to prepare morels.
In some forest ravine there is still snow, and near, at the edges, like a system of Scottish guards in bear hats, morels stand.
The shape of their cap gave the name to one of those two species of mushrooms that most often end up in our baskets — a morel conic.
A representative of the second species, morel edible, cap more rounded, ovate.
They grow in different places.
Morel edible prefers to hide under deciduous trees, shrubs, in ravines — on the soil fertilized with humus.
Conical a big company can appear right on the meadow in a mixed forest, or even along a forest path on sandy soil. There is no special gastronomic difference between them.
Both in flavor and taste, they almost do not differ.
Is that the flesh of a conical drier and cooked form, it is harder, with a distinct «crispness».
It stands out among them another representative of the morels — fur hat. She, like the conical morel, does not like the shadows: whole broods of these mushrooms go out to warm under the May sun on the roadsides, glades and fires. Its peculiarity is that the fat, hollow leg, by weight, takes up almost three-quarters of the fungus, and the cap, in which the entire aroma is concentrated, barely covers its top.
And even if you type a full basket full of hats, you will immediately feel the difference with morels: the flavor of the morel hat is poorer.
On the slit a morel (hat and leg) is always hollow!
Morel is often confused with line, although it belongs to another family and the difference between them is obvious — and they do not look alike, and the taste is different. The lines, as a rule, stand on a short hollow leg, which is almost invisible from under the shapeless dark brown or even black cap.
By the size of the line is much larger than morels. On one small gari, you can sometimes collect two or three buckets of lines, and each will be with a good grapefruit. In terms of gastronomic properties, the line loses more than one, but its flavor is excellent.
More mushroom, spicy.
Let not so thin, but also bright and memorable.
That just goes for our line bad reputation (and sometimes it applies to morels). There have been cases of poisoning, they say. At first they thought that the case was in some kind of poisonous gel-gel acid (its name comes from one of the mushrooms of the family — gelvels: perhaps in September-October you met a sort of inconspicuous fungus on a thick gray leg — it is sometimes taken for an unknown line from autumn) .
This version was not confirmed, and then a new culprit was appointed — the toxin hiromitrin, named after the Latin name of the line.
The morel hiromitrin doesn’t seem to be contained (in any case, studies by the English scientist R.J. Benedict point to this), but the label of the suspicious fungus has not been removed from it. In almost any book, where it is recognized that morels can be eaten, it is said about the need for preliminary heat treatment.
Such recommendations can reach the point of absurdity — for example, in one recently released culinary book it is proposed before cooking boil morels for an hour, and then, of course, drain the water.
Interestingly: every spring I collect, cook and eat these mushrooms — and for many years now I limit myself to just washing them with running water, and then the carcass.
True, I collect morels in a certain place — southern Priladozhie. I will not vouch for other regions — you never know what excellent mushrooms can mutate under the influence of bad ecology. See for yourself.
But do not forget that, having boiled morels once more, you will pour out into the sink along with the water and that unique aroma of the forest awakened from winter hibernation.
Morels are used in different ways. The first bass basket brought from the forest is better. make it as simple as possible. Set aside until the next time.
And now shorten the prepared morels, leaving the leg to a centimeter from the bottom edge, and cut the mushrooms across — rings. Fry them in melted butter, put in a cocotte, salt, add sour cream and send to the oven for 15 minutes.
Such a simple recipe will allow you to fully feel the taste of this spring natural phenomenon.
Now you can bake with morel vintage Russian unleavened cake. The dough is made for him very rich, crumbly — with sour cream, butter and yolks. You roll it in two juices — smaller and bigger, spread smaller fried layers at a smaller size with two spoons of sour cream, boiled rice, egg and fried onions added at the end of roasting.
Rice, of course, in such a cake is the bottom layer.
Close the top with a big juicy, gently pinch and bake.
And in the traditional Russian kulebyaka morels will be combined with other basic fillings — meat or fish.
If you have it inscribed with fresh pancakes — place the mushrooms on the top «floor».
Decided on a pie in four corners — in one of the corners, put morels with rice or egg.
Prepare homemade noodles from a mixture of wheat and buckwheat flour (in equal proportions), boil it and mix with morels or lines stewed in cream.
Noodles from one buckwheat flour with mushrooms will be even more expressive, if you know how to roll it — be sure to perform. Buckwheat in general is wonderfully combined with forest mushrooms.
And simple buckwheat, and Greek cakes in a company with morels, it will make a very favorable impression (as, by the way, barley, but it is an amateur).
Even the most delicious porridge prefer risotto ? So let it be with morels. This is not greenhouse champignons, the taste and aroma are completely different.
But soup — for morels is not the best use : in broth and broth their aroma disappears.
That thanks to morels turns out unusually fragrant, so it sauces — even with porcini mushrooms can not be compared.
Let’s say the classic «Forester». Spread onion in olive oil, add more chopped morels, cook everything together for another five minutes, pour in white wine, boil it for a third. Add strong broth and everything that seems to you suitable for meat and game sauce.
Do not be carried away with spices — they should not kill the mushroom flavor.
Morels, like other mushrooms, can dry and freeze.
Drying changes their smell and taste — it turns out a new product, intrinsic and unique.
When frozen, even if it is the most perfect, the taste of morels is lost, of course, but it allows you to cook culinary exercises all winter.
It happens because mushroom years, when you can put morel sauce on the New Year’s table, and even in March you can cook the famous Annunciation Kulebyaka.
Unlike many forest mushrooms, morels can be grown — attempts were made as early as the 19th century. Especially the French have succeeded in this: they noticed that morels grow in gardens where fallen apples are piled in a heap. In the spring, the cut mushrooms were scattered over the beds, and they were rotting all summer, soaking the soil with spores.
In the fall, the bed was plowed and filled with apple pomace — waste from the production of cider.
Morels grew not so much in spring, but it was enough for the first mushroom dish of the year.