Morel Stroganoff

Bill Windsor — Reprinted from “The Tao of Mushroom Hunting,” The Denver Post, May 21, 2003 (see full article)

Mushroom hunter Bill Windsor says to use dried morels rather than fresh. Drying concentrates the flavor, and morels reconstitute very well, although they will lose some volume. Reconstitute by soaking them in warm whole milk for 30 minutes.

Use just enough milk to cover the morels. At first, the dried morels will float on the surface. Stir often to be sure they absorb the milk. Before using, squeeze them to release excess milk back into the soaking bowl. Strain (for sand and silt) and reserve for use in the following recipes.

While the flavor of beef goes well with morels, the morels alone can carry this dish.

30-40 reconstituted morels, sliced in half lenghtwise
1/2 large onion, julienne
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp teriyaki sauce
1 lb of your favorite beef cut, sliced into thin bit-size pieces (optional)
1 quart sour cream
Milk from the soaking bowl
2 tbsp Marsala wine
Pinch of crushed rosemary
1 bag egg noodles
Salt and pepper to taste
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary

In a large sauce pan, sauté morels and onions in butter over medium heat until both are browned. Add the teriyaki sauce and the beef (optional). Quick-brown the beef, leaving the centers pink.

Add the sour cream, soaking milk, marsala wine and crushed rosemary.

Increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce and simmer 20 minutes, stirring often. This time is needed to allow all of the flavors to blend.

Meanwhile, cook the egg noodles according to package directions, being careful to not overcook them.

Place the drained noodles on each plate, then ladle on the morel/sour cream sauce. Place a sprig of the fresh rosemary on top as a garnish.