Big morels: A find of big morel mushrooms on Chicago’s South Side earns Morel of the Week

Ray Hinton found, then prepared, some big morel mushrooms found on Chicago’s South Side to earn Morel of the Week honors.

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Ray Hinton holds two of the biggest morel mushrooms found last week on Chicago’s South Side. Provided photo

Ray Hinton holds two of the biggest morel mushrooms found last week on Chicago’s South Side.

Provided

Ray Hinton, a noted angler from the South Side, is honing his skills for morel mushrooms.

“I was pulling dandelions by the garage and stumbled upon these,” he texted Thursday. “I never saw any this big. What’s the best way to cook them to get the best flavor and can you dehydrate them?”

First, use caution with morels harvested around yards. Many lawns are chemically treated.

You can dehydrate morels. One friend doubles their use by saving the rehydrating water as stock.

With small morels, I halve or leave whole; for larger ones, like Hinton’s, I slice. Then simply saute in garlic and butter or olive oil.

Hinton sliced his, then sauteed in minced garlic and butter. It worked.

“I let my daughter taste a piece,” he texted. “Next thing I know, we’re having a fight. She’s trying to get the rest of it.”

MOTW, the celebration of foraging for morel mushrooms in spring, runs Wednesdays in the Sun-Times as warranted. (I’m guessing we might get one more week.) Submit nominations by message on Facebook (Dale Bowman), on Twitter (@BowmanOutside) and Instagram (@BowmanOutside) or email (BowmanOutside@gmail.com).

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