I was given some dried morels from Marx Foods as part of their 5th Annual Morel Recipe Challenge and challenged to use these special mushrooms in a recipe where the primary method of cooking was baking.
You may not have heard of morels before. I have had a few dishes that used morels in a very special way, including a chicken fried steak with morel gravy, but it is not something that pops up on menus too often. Morels are great at soaking up whatever they’re in. They’re great, earthy, sponges.
From Marx Foods’ site:
Morel mushrooms have a honeycombed, hollow, cone-shaped cap from 1 to 3 inches high. They grow naturally in a range of colors from tan to almost-black. Morels are one of the most prized and beloved wild mushroom varieties. People go wild for their buttery-earthy flavor and aroma.
Unfortunately, their fresh season is fleeting, lasting roughly from May to July. Dried morels allow you to enjoy the flavor and beautiful appearance of morel mushrooms year round, and they’re very easy to rehydrate & cook with.
Dried mushrooms are a great value. It takes about 5 pounds of fresh mushrooms to create 8 ounces of dried mushrooms. In addition, they can be shipped much more affordably than fresh or frozen mushrooms.
One of my favorite savory, baked recipes is ratatouille. It’s a very flexible and predictable recipe that can be easily adapted to whatever ingredients you have on hand.
The first recipe I tried was Ina Garten’s Chicken with Morels, but I realized that while it has baking steps in it, the ingredients are cooked stovetop more than in the oven. I used the chicken I created using that recipe in this dish, but any protein can be used. You can also leave out meat all together and serve it with more quinoa to get the same protein punch. This keeps great in the fridge for leftovers, or frozen into lunch-sized portions.
Go check out all the other entries in the 5th Annual Morel Recipe Challenge, and if you’re up for it, vote for my ratatouille!
Thanks again to Marx Foods for the chance to play around with this funky ingredient.
Note: I was given the dried morels free of charge from Marx Foods, though all thoughts and recipes are my own.