Morel and Pheasantback Mushroom Hunting

No turkeys gobbling in the woods this weekend so we hunted mushrooms instead. We had a nice haul of morels and pheasantback mushrooms which made a great dinner Sunday evening.  If you are going hiking and spending time outdoors this time of year, I may be able to help you find some delicious spring delicacies…

Morel Mushroom

  • They are found next to fruit trees and (dead) elm trees.
    • Elm trees have shaggy and craggy bark.
    • Elm trees are commonly afflicted with Dutch elm disease. As its name implies, the disease only affects elm trees, and if you find one you are likely going to find morels.
  • Bring a knife and cut the mushroom just below the cap.
    • This allows the mycelium (the roots) of the morels to stay in place and provide more mushrooms for years to come.
  • Morels are hollow inside.
    • Double check they are hollow before eating.

Pheasant’s Back (Dryad’s Saddle) Mushroom

  • These grow on various very dead hardwoods (especially elm).
  • A tree lying on the ground is your best bet.
    • Wet areas seem to produce more.
  • Most importantly your knife needs to be able to pass through it very easily. Whatever the knife cuts easily is likely to be good. Sometimes just the outer edges are usable but nice

The Recipe

You could also add wild ramps and wild onion to the recipe if you find some.


Cherry Mustard

This is Chef Adam Lambert’s recipe for a tart and tangy cherry-mustard. You can use it as a spread on a sandwich or a brat, or it makes a beautiful stripe on a cheese or charcuterie board.

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How to Prepare and Cook Woodcock

This is the most detailed video on how to pluck, prepare, and then cook a Woodcock in the traditional way–cooked with the guts left in and with the head left on. This is a much prized game bird, both sporting and culinary wise, a rare top quality product. The filming shows every step up close and in immense detail to achieve a fantastic traditional roasted Woodcock.


Smoke Roasted Salsa

Dip into this salsa and watch the bowl disappear. Tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, and bell peppers are slow-roasted over hickory before getting blended with cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

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Monte Cristo Sandwich

This sandwich combines the world’s two best comfort foods—grilled cheese sandwiches and French toast—all in one bite.

By Sam Galloway
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