October 18, 2011


Aren't they beautiful?! I look forward to chanterelles all year. Autumn in the Pacific Northwest brings an enviable harvest of many types of mushroom ~ lobster mushrooms; chanterelles; fall oyster mushrooms; cauliflower types; lion's mane; various boletes - including King boletes (porcini), if you're lucky; matsutakes; shiitakes; puffballs;  hen of the woods. It really is a fungi cornucopia! If you're not a mushroom lover, you have my deepest sympathies. This weekend, I'm going on a mushroom hunt in the Olympic National Forest with the South Sound Mushroom Club. I have high hopes for some great finds. But, since I have a basketful of chanterelles today, I wanted to post some photos and a couple of favorite recipes of mine. I hope that, wherever you are, you have access to these earthy, rich, meaty, colorful mushrooms.

As chanterelles (plural) grow in many places around the world, they go by different names. My family is German-American, so I always knew them as "pfifferlinge". The French often call them girolles, Italians call them cantarelli, but most cultures call them chanterelles. Their color glows! The hues range from pale yellow-cream to bright golden-orange. Color depends on age and the weather conditions when they were developing. All sizes and shapes are equally delicious and tender, from button-sized new ones to those fluted, horn-shaped, huge ones like the one on the upper right above. That one is 7 inches by 4 inches in HALF! If you look closely, you can see that it's folded like a clam. The photo below shows just a simple sauté of chanterelles in olive oil, butter, garlic, salt, black pepper and white wine served over newly harvested potatoes from our garden. Often, simple preparations are simply the best.  

I want to share with you one of my favorite ways of cooking chanterelles ~ a wild mushroom ragout that's amazing served over grilled or roasted meats or as a sauce for polenta, potatoes or pasta. The fresh parsley on top at the end really does make a difference, in taste as well as presentation. Eat and be merry!

4 servings

Note: If you are serving with pork or chicken, use Marsala. If serving with beef or game, use the red wine. If serving with pasta or polenta, it's your choice.

2 T. each of butter and olive oil
4 oz. finely chopped pancetta
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 lb. fresh chanterelles or a mix of wild mushrooms, roughly chopped (stems included)
2 T. flour
2/3 c. chicken stock, heated
2/3 c. Marsala OR dark red wine
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves OR 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. sea salt or Kosher salt
Fresh parsley, minced

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, sauté pancetta until just starting to brown. Add shallot, garlic and chanterelles and sauté several minutes, until mushrooms lose their moisture and start to brown. Sprinkle flour over the mushroom mixture and continue to stir and cook for one minute more. Add hot chicken stock, stirring constantly. Sauce will start to thicken. Add Marsala or wine, thyme, salt and pepper and stir two minutes, until smooth and aromatic. Serve over meat, poultry, pasta or polenta, sprinkled with fresh parsley.

No comments:


Creative Commons License
Aspenglow / Buttered Lips by Gayle Nabrotzky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.passionate-psyche.blogspot.com.