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Recipe

Dried Morels

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields 3 cups dried morels.

To keep fresh morels for a day or two before drying, put them in a loosely closed paper bag in the refrigerator. This recipe can be easily adapted to work with as many fresh morels as you have; the drying time will be the same.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. fresh morels (about 12 cups)
  • Kosher salt

Preparation

  • Put the morels in a large bowl with enough cold water to cover. Add a pinch of salt and soak for 2 to 3 minutes, gently stirring the morels with your fingers to loosen any grit. Drain well. If the morels are large—more than 2-1/2 inches long—halve them lengthwise.

To air-dry

  • Thread a poultry needle with a long piece of unwaxed dental floss and string the morels through their stems lengthwise. Hang them in a dry, well-ventilated place (such as a pantry or kitchen) for about 36 hours, or until brittle and easily broken.

To oven-dry

  • Remove the racks from the oven. Thread a poultry needle with about 6 inches of unwaxed dental floss. Thread a morel crosswise through its stem. Remove the needle and tie the ends of the floss together around a single rack wire so the morel will hang with its cap facing down. Repeat with the remaining morels and additional floss, spacing them about 2 inches apart on all sides. Return the racks to the oven, leaving any unused racks out.

    Set the oven to the lowest temperature you can and leave the door partially open. (If your oven cannot be set below 200°F, set it to warm. If it has a convection feature, use it to keep the air circulating.) Try to keep the oven temperature below 140°F so you don’t cook the mushrooms instead of drying them. Dry the morels until they’re brittle and easily broken, 8 to 10 hours depending on their size.

    Note: You can also use a food dehydrator to dry fresh morels. Put the cleaned morels in the dehydrator and set it to 110°F for 8 to 10 hours.

Storing

  • Pack dried morels in freezer bags or storage containers and freeze for up to 1 year. You can also store them at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 6 months, but there will be some flavor loss over time.

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