This is not a dish you whip up on an average Tuesday night. This is a special occasion dish, say maybe Mother’s Day coming up this week. The beautiful honeycomb shape of morels is unmistakable and when combined with fresh jumbo lump crab meat your family won’t soon forget this Keto friendly creation.
The Jewel of Appalachia
It’s Morel Mushroom season and it’s time to start seeking out this reclusive fungus at your local farmers market. When shopping for morels look for a large golden yellow honeycomb shaped cap with a hollow stem. Morels are hand foraged and will need to be cleaned and washed so don’t worry if they look a little dirty, just look for a undamaged cap with no discoloration.
The shelf life on morels is about 5-7 days from harvest so you’ll want to get them home and use them as soon as possible. I like to transfer my morels to a tupperware container with dry paper towel on the bottom to absorb any moisture.
A Clean Morel is a Happy Morel
To clean the morels split the mushroom right down the middle so that they will lay flat on a sheet pan. Next you’ll want to run them under cold water gently brushing out the insides and the honeycomb caps. You’ll find dirty and possibly the occasional bug inside so make sure to take your time with each morel. Once the mushrooms are clean lay them out on sheets of paper towels and gently pat dry.
Now that the morels are cleaned and dried it’s time to talk crabmeat. Now first off I’ve lived in Maryland most of my life and made thousands of pounds of crab cakes over my culinary career. I don’t say this to brag, I only mention it because you will hear all sorts of opinions on what type of crab meat to use. Here’s my two cents…if you can afford to buy morel mushrooms you can probably afford to buy fresh Maryland jumbo lump crabmeat. If you can’t get your hands on jumbo lump regular lump would be fine. Try to avoid special or claw meat for this recipe. There’s nothing wrong with claw and special but it’s really a waist of a good morel. Now if you must use pasteurized crab look for meat pasteurized in the philippines or even Vietnam, avoid Chinese crab if at all possible.
If you’re not able to find morels regular button or cremini mushrooms are great options and you can definitely use a lesser grade of crabmeat with those varieties of mushrooms
Once you have you crabmeat you’ll want to gently pick through it looking for any shells but try to avoid breaking up any of those big lumps of crab that you paid top dollar for. Next in a separate bowl mix your egg, mustard, mayo, lemon juice and old bay. The reason you don’t want to just combine these ingredients with the crabmeat is so you don’t have to overmix the crab and not over saturate the crabmeat. You just want enough of the sauce to coat the crabmeat without drowning out the flavor. Now that the crabmeat is coated if possible let the mixture chill in the fridge for 20 minutes, this will help the crab mixture tighten up and give you a better finished product after cooking.
Time to Stuff those Bad Boys!!!
Now it’s time to stuff those morels with your delectable crab or as my forager Daniel said “That’s what happens when Appalachia meets the Chesapeake” Spoon out a dollop of the crab mixture into each morel cap, you don’t need to over fill them just enough to fill the cavity of the morel. As the stuffed morels bake they will release some moisture and shrink up a little but don’t worry, the crab mixture will turn a golden color and actually help the mushroom hold its shape. Give the morels a light dusting of Old Bay before popping them in a preheated oven. Once the mushrooms have finished cooking you can scoop them off the sheet pan onto a serving plate using a slotted spoon. Serve them up hot and enjoy something that’s both delicate and delicious. The earthy flavors of the morels combined with the fresh rich crab is truly something special to be savored and appreciated.
That’s what happens when Appalachia meets the ChesapeakeDaniel the Forager
Chesapeake Crab Stuffed Morel Mushrooms
- Split model mushrooms in half so they will lay flat when stuffed. Rinse the mushrooms gently in cold water removing any dirt from inside and out. Set on paper towels and gently pat dry.
- Prepare crab mixture by picking through the crabmeat looking for any shells then delicately fold in the remaining ingredients until fully combined.
- Stuff a spoon full of the crab mixture inside each morel mushrooms then place on a sheet pan, dust with additional old bay
- Bake at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes just until crabmeat begins to turn a beautiful golden color. Serve immediately.
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