For best results, be sure your freezer is cold. Zero degrees will hold the mushrooms for the full time period. If your freezer is warmer, use the foods sooner. Never freeze mushrooms raw as they may develop an off flavor, which you will notice when you cook them.
1 lb morels
Soak the morels in warm salted water, agitating them occasionally, for about 5 minutes to loosen any grit that may be captured in the folds of the cap.
Melt the butter in a large non-stick skillet over a medium heat. In batches, add the mushrooms, turn the heat down to medium low, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and flipping over the slices, until the mushrooms release their liquid.
If you were going to eat the mushrooms right away, you would cook them until their liquid evaporated, another 5 minutes, but to preserve, it is best for the mushrooms to be frozen in their liquid, which protects the tissue of the mushrooms, the same way sugar syrup protects pit fruit when you freeze it.
Dump the mushrooms and their liquid into a bowl, allow to cool, then pack the mushrooms and liquid equally into 2 freezer baggies (about 1- 2 cups per baggie depending on how much water was in the mushrooms in the first place). Push the air out of the baggies, seal and freeze.
To defrost, place the mushrooms in the refrigerator. They will be ready to cook in about 1 hour. If they are still frosty when you are ready to cook them, it’s okay. You can dump the frozen mushrooms directly into stews and soups.
Precooked frozen mushrooms hold beautifully in the freezer for 9 months to a year.
© Eugenia Bone, 2011 - all rights reserved