Morel mushrooms are very delicate wild mushrooms that you will most likely find in farmers’ markets unless you gather them yourself. They have a very distinctive taste and are regarded as a gourmet treat. Their caps are a lattice work of lacy tunnels so they require careful cleaning. This is easiest done if you cut the morels into halves or quarters. They are hollow inside and it is easier to spot any bugs and remove them. Brush them carefully with a small artist’s paintbrush to remove dust and dislodge any bugs. Rinse and drain thoroughly.
400 grams prepared morels (see note above)
1 egg, beaten with a little water to make a wash
a little seasoned flour
2 cups cracker crumbs or fine bread crumbs
Oil for frying
Toss the prepared morel mushrooms gently in flour to give a dry surface. Pass them through the beaten egg wash and then roll them in crumbs to form an even coating. Shake gently to remove any lose crumbs and let stand for a few minutes to firm up.
Pour about an inch of oil into a heavy deep-sided frying pan and heat gently. Have to one side a warm platter with several sheets of absorbent kitchen paper on it. Do not leave the oil unattended while it heats up as oil can easily catch fire.
When the oil is hot, carefully lower the mushrooms a few at at time into the pan, making sure that they don’t touch and being careful not to splash yourself. As soon as they are golden, turn them over to cook the other side. Remove from the hot oil with a slotted spoon and drain on the paper. Keep warm while you fry the remaining mushrooms and served as soon as possible so that the steam from the mushrooms doesn’t make the crust soggy.