2016 Morel Mushroom Season Indiana
Yes, it’s only February, but it’s always good to think Spring! Finding fresh morels in the woods and forests is my favorite time of the year. When the conditions are right, mushroom hunting season begins as early as Mid-April and lasts well into May. Pro-Tip: Mother’s Day is often one of the best days of the year to find yellow sponge morels. What better way to make Mom feel special than to cook her dinner with those fresh morels?!?!
The weather in Indiana during mushroom season is simply beautiful and filling the lungs with fresh air is a feeling right next to beatitude. Spending time outdoors with family and friends on wooded property is one of the most satisfying outdoor activities I can think of and the window of opportunity doesn’t last long. As such, this further adds to the mystique of gathering morels from my favorite spots on the forest floor and the satisfaction one receives from preparing and cooking a fine meal with them.
Mushroom hunting season is short, you’re competing against whitetail deer, neighbors and the occasional trespasser for that rich, earthy goodness and texture that words can’t describe. I’ve been told that you can always buy dried morels at the grocery store, but that my friends is a serious error of judgement. Getting out into the woods of Indiana is the only way to truly appreciate this wilderness wonder. Whether you prefer them pan fried in butter or the key ingredient to a rich steak sauce, the morel mushroom is the holy grail of Spring time in the forest.
I am dedicating the 2016 morel mushroom hunting season to all the cooks and chefs that are satisfying appetites everywhere. Below are my own favorite ways to prepare and cook morels. Happy hunting in 2016!
Tried and True. Whether you are a traditionalist or connoisseur, the simplicity of a cast iron skillet, a pad or two of butter and crackling morels is truly satisfying. My preferred method is to halve the morels, rinse and remove any bugs, then gently roll in seasoned flour. Crispy golden brown and occasionally some burnt edges are sure to make the taste buds smile.
As soon as the word gets out about the start of morel season, you’re bound to have people dropping by just around dinner time. It never fails 🙂 That big mess of mushrooms isn’t going to cook itself and to feed the masses, my go-to is the fry daddy. Halve or quarter the mushrooms to take care of all the appetites, rinse (or if planning ahead, soak overnight in water), roll in Kentucky Kernel Seasoned Flour and fry them up in large quantities. Golden brown to perfection is always a crowd pleaser.
Morel mushrooms are famous for their rich flavors and the perfect compliment to sauces of all kinds. A creamy Alfredo with garlic, shallots, wine and fresh Parmesan will stand up to most any Italian restaurant. Pour the Alfredo over pasta and top with grilled chicken – Congratulations, you’ve just taken mushroom season to a whole new level. Get the recipe below.
A tender, juicy, marbled Ribeye steak. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Seared on high heat to seal in those juices and topped with a red wine morel mushroom reduction sauce… you officially have a winner. Whether you prefer a thick cut or State-Fair thin cut, a sizzling Ribeye fresh off the grill is the perfect companion for those hard-to-find morel mushrooms. When the opportunity to cook such a fine meal only comes around once or twice per year, the anticipation alone is enough to make this your new favorite too.
Soon it will be Spring and April showers are just around the corner…for more woodsy wisdom, folklore and science behind finding morel mushrooms read the 5 Signs it’s Morel Mushroom Season. If you don’t have a place of your own to hunt mushrooms, here are several public NICHES Land Trust properties and nature preserves, open to the public from Dawn to Dusk.
Remember a few rules of thumb:
Location is Key (know your compass, know your trees, know your soils)
Don’t trespass on someones property!
Best of luck this year and as always, give me a call and let me know where you found that big mess of shrooms last season!