There is nothing, I mean nothing, that I have gleaned from nature that tastes as amazing on its own as the morel. They have a savory, earthy saltiness to them that is unlike anything I have ever tasted. They’ve a flavor so rich that spices serve only as a distraction. When prepared simply with little more than salt and pepper the taste is spectacular.
When I bring a mess home, and after all the high-fives and the pictures are taken, I set about prepping them for the soak. I use a bag only once. Slice the bag down the middle in order to remove the ‘shrooms, rather than pulling them out one by one or, god-forbid, dumping them out on the table. Morels should be handled as little as possible. Every time they’re jostled a few will crumble, a head or two will disintegrate.
After they’re safely out of the bag, slice them once long-ways and place them in a bowl with adequate head room. Fill the bowl with cold water, running the stream of water down the side of the bowl rather than directly on the mushrooms. Soak them in the fridge for at least a day, changing the water at least once. This purges the mushrooms of various bugs and keeps the meat hydrated.
Simple preparations are best. I usually dust them in flour and fry over medium-high heat in a flavorless oil such as canola. Keep the cavities clear of excessive flour or you’ll end up with a gaumy, greasy mess. They pair beautifully with venison steak when sauteed in butter, and larger specimens are excellent when rubbed with oil and grilled.