Morels are a wonderful example of a seasonal delicacy in the PCW region. Palouse resident and musician Paul Smith shares how he got into morel hunting and shares a recipe!
I have loved morel mushrooms since I first had them 30 years ago. I had never hunted mushrooms at all until a few years ago when a musician I was producing here in the studio identified agaricus mushrooms growing in our front yard, so ever since we’ve enjoyed those. I knew there were morels around here but I had no idea how to hunt them or where to find them until just this month some friends revealed their favorite spots and showed me the ropes. Now I’m hoping someone can show me the path to where the chanterelles are hiding out.
Kashmiri Morel Mushrooms with Peas
At least 12 fresh morel mushrooms (20 is fine, better…)
1” cube of fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 T. butter or ghee
1 t. ground coriander seed
2 t. ground cumin seed
¼ t. ground turmeric
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
6 oz. tomatoes (1 lg. or 2 small), seeded and minced
2 cups fresh shelled or frozen peas
1½ t. salt
¼ t. garam masala
Rinse off and cut each mushroom into lengthwise strips. Put them in dry pan to “sauté”,
until the liquid comes out. Save the liquid and add water to make ½ cup. Set aside. Add
1 T. of the butter/ghee and sauté the mushrooms until they are right. Set aside.
Heat the rest of the butter/ghee in a 2 ½-3 qt. pot over medium heat. When hot, put in the
garlic/ginger. Stir and fry until is just starts to turn brown. Add the coriander, cumin,
turmeric, and cayenne. Stir and fry for another minute. Put in the minced tomato. Stir
and fry for about 3 minutes, gently mashing the pieces of tomato with the back of your
stirring spoon. You should end up with a relatively smooth paste. Add the morels and
the mushroom liquid/water, peas, and salt. Bring to a simmer. Cover, lower heat and
simmer gently until the peas are done, maybe five minutes. Add the garam masala. Stir
Serve with steamed basmati rice.