OK, I will admit, its not all about the taste. It's about the experience, but they taste pretty damn good too! We like them coated in flour and fried in butter, its the way my family has always done it, its tradition. Grandpa used to say that cardboard would taste good if you rolled it in flour an fried it in butter..... and I think he was probably right. Maybe there are chefs out there that say "poo poo! this is a poor way to prepare this rare delicacy"! (read with french accent) But we never ate them at a fine restaurant, or paid +++ $/lb. We always picked them in the woods and fried them in the kitchen.
Step 1: Ingredients
Sense of adventure and love of the great outdoors.
Step 2: The Mysterious Hunt
Oh, by the way if you eat poisonous mushrooms they can kill you so don't eat those. (See list of ingredients: Sense of adventure) This instructable is not on mushroom identification there are sponsored websites out there dedicated to those specifics. Suffice to say, if you are new the the hunt and this instructable inspires you to embark; do your research, find someone who knows and have them check your findings. Its not a matter to be taken lightly. My dad told me a story of a women he knew: Her first husband died from eating poison mushrooms. Then her second husband died from eating poison mushrooms. Then her third husband died. Do you know why? .... "He wouldn't eat his mushrooms!" Like I said; its the experience. There are also hundreds of websites and blogs out there dedicated to how and where to find morels. Near dead elms, near dead ash trees, on southern slopes on well drained soil, when the soil is 50 degrees, when the leaves on the dogwood are the size of of a squirrels ear.... etc. etc. yada yada.
I have searched hundreds of these ideal spots and the only place I ever found them... was where I found them last year, whey I got lucky after many walks in the woods. But the walk is never wasted. you always see something cool, like when I stumbled upon this fawn last week hiding in the brush just like his mother taught him to. or on this old tree covered with another type of fungus, ( I didn't eat those). If you know where they are beforehand you may find the tiny ones. I went back to this spot for 5 days, till it was big enough that i was afraid someone else would find my spot and I had to pick it.
Step 3: Preparation
If you have made it this far CONGRATULATIONS in acquiring this mystical, the mysterious, elusive, camouflaged, fleeting...... FUNGUS.
Split them lengthwise rinse them off, discard anything that is discolored, or just doesn't look right.
Soak them in salt water say a teaspoon per cup, overnight or longer, in the fridge. The salt water will drive away and or kill any small things (bugs), you cannot see. (because its always better to eat dead bugs than live ones).
The water may become discolored after a few days, no big deal, dump and rinse thoroughly before continuing the prep. blot them dry with a paper towel.
Step 4: ... Prep Continued
Put some all purpose flower in a container with a lid, or a zip-lock bag, or a paper bag. Add salt and pepper or other seasoning to taste. Shake it up, dump out the extra flour and shake again, or what ever technique you like to get them thoroughly coated.
By the way this instructable is titled "....early season variety" because the mushrooms are small. They get bigger near the middle of the fleeting season after a nice warm rain. See last pick, Sorry I was not ready to cook this batch yet.
Step 5: Fry Em' Up
Melt some butter in a pan (I suppose you could use margarine as well but its not tradition).
Can't have too much butter. Patiently fry them over medium heat and for Cripes sake don't burn them after all that effort. Flip them over a few times, a good thing about the small ones is they cook more quickly and they are crunchy and that is the way we like them. Tastes may vary. Enjoy, I am sure others out there have comments on how to prep them or what to eat them with. I have had more than one individual say they could not eat morels without a fresh brook trout, whatever I have never happened upon a fresh brook trout while I was hunting mushrooms, maybe someday.