Family Recipes

Fried Wild Morel Mushrooms

Catherine E. Maples
Clever, Missouri

Fresh Morel Mushrooms, sliced in half, briefly soaked in salt water, rinsed, and drained.
3 or more (depending on how lucky you are) whisked eggs.
1 sleeve of SALTED saltine crackers crushed mostly fine.
Oil in hot skillet at least 1/2 inch deep.
Dip mushroom in egg and press hard into cracker mixture on both sides. Lay on paper towel until you get enough to fill but not overcrowd your skillet. Fry until golden brown turning quickly. Lift with a spatula and drain on paper towels. This breading has a meaty texture and tastes somewhat like a pork chop, some say. If you prefer a lighter breading, use all purpose flour and season it to your preference for a lighter mushroom flavor. Share with no one.

Spring Morel hunting is a tradition in my family and across the Ozarks that is kept alive today by nearly every member in my family. A successful hunt can produce respect, jealousy and anger (someone didn’t share) from friends and family. My dad rarely came home empty-handed but I had an uncle and a brother that swore they could smell them. I believed it too. Uncle Howie would show up with a grocery bag of Morels and a smile to rival santa’s. I have never been as successful at finding Morels like they were, but I can fry up a batch you won’t soon forget.