Button, Portobello, or Cremini might be the first things to pop into your mind when we say the word “mushroom” but there are many other amazing choices. One such is the morel mushroom. The intensely earthy and nutty taste of these mushrooms will leave you wanting more. That’s why it’s worth preserving some for future use.
But we won’t stop simply at how to freeze morel mushrooms. There’s much more to properly storing these popular funguses. This article discusses three ways in which you can freeze morel mushrooms the right way.
Can you freeze morel mushrooms?
Water is a common element in mushrooms. Due to this, if you only froze them raw, they would generally come out mushy. Planning on cooking up a casserole, stew or soup? That’s the best one.
But if you plan on using frozen mushrooms in other recipes, you have to take some steps before storing them.
How to Freeze Morel Mushrooms: 3 Methods
Sautéing is the most common preservation method for morel mushrooms. This process is mainly cooking the mushrooms at a high temperature for a brief time. It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. You want to cook the morels completely.
Since you’ll be putting them in the freezer once they’ve cooled down, the ingredients aren’t a crucial part of the equation. Simply butter or oil will be enough when heating the pot. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper if your mood calls for it. Or, get creative with bits of onion and garlic.
Store the morels in freezer container or bag. For the bag method, leave a little bit of space inside in case the mushrooms expand.
The benefit of sautéing is that the morels get firmer, making them a great addition to pizza, pasta, and general stir-fry recipes. You have to use them within nine months of freezing.
Are morels an essential ingredient in your soups? Go for the blanching method, also known as parboiling method. Like the name suggests, you are going to partially cook the mushrooms.
For this method, there is the extra benefit of ridding the mushrooms of any bacteria or dirt.
First things first, prepare a pot of boiling water. When it gets to the boiling point, drop the mushrooms in. Wait until the water starts boiling again. In that state, leave the mushrooms in the pot for a couple of minutes. Take them out after 1 to 2 minutes (average time).
Place the mushrooms in a bowl of cold water after removing them from the pot. Once they are cold enough to touch, drain them to start the storing process. Blanched morels have longer shelf life than sautéed ones, retaining its edible trait for up to a year.
All you need is steam for this option. Steaming is the safest option when you haven’t made up your mind about what recipe you will use them for. Steamer mushrooms hold onto their texture and flavor better, making them an equally great ingredient for both stir-fry or soupy recipes.
Start by heating a pot of water. Something has to hold the morels over the water; and you’ll also need a lid. Once you cover the pot, the steam cooks the mushrooms, not the water.
Whole mushrooms would need about 5 minutes to be steamed to perfection. If you cut them up into smaller chunks, it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Pay extra attention to keeping the mushrooms out of reach of the water. Don’t let any slip in.
After the mushrooms reach their time limit, transfer them into an ice water bath. Once they have cooled completely, you can begin packing them. Similar to blanched morels, steamed morels will last in your freezer for up to a year.
Now that you’ve learned how to freeze morel mushrooms, put your newfound knowledge to good ease and whip up something delicious. The possibilities are endless. Whether you are in the mood for a comfy soup or a fancy pizza, a little mushroom makes it better.