5 reasons I love chanterelles
It’s that time of the year again. Wild mushroom season! Or at least it is in my part of the world. There is something amazing about eating wild food. For a man it’s all about being the forager, the hunter gather that resides within. Trekking out into the damp forests and bringing home a bounty to rejoice and feast on. Exactly the kind of activity that I’ve had little success with! These gorgeous Chanterelles were picked by a friend. The ones we gathered were mushrooms that resembled Chanterelles and luckily were not harmful. But the act of foraging was very exciting and enjoyable and I recommend it to anyone. Just get a good mushroom book, a good pair of boots and pack a lunch!
There are so many varieties and so many flavours and textures. From silky, soft and buttery to meaty and earthy. Chanterelles fall into the more buttery catagory with slight earthy tones. Here are 5 ways that I love to cook and eat Chanterelles. The season is short so take advantage while you can get them.
1. Sauteed for a Bruschetta
Roughly cut a few of handfuls of Chanterelles and saute over med to high heat with some olive oil in a large pan. Add some salt to help release the juices and some pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes but not too long or they will shrink and taste horrible. Meanwhile, toast some sour dough bread and rub with garlic. Cover bread with sauteed mushrooms and drizzle olive oil all over. Sprinkle fresh thyme (orange or lemon thyme is amazing) Grate fresh Parmesan if you’ve got it.
2. Wild Chanterelle & Smoked Salmon Omelette
Saute Chanterelles as per recipe above omitting the thyme and set aside to keep warm. Gently beat 2-3 eggs, melt some butter in a 6inch diameter non stick pan over medium heat. Once butter is melted and foaming, add the eggs and turn the heat up a bit. When the eggs start to set, use a spatula to lift up the edges to let the uncooked egg run under to cook. The omelette is done when the bottom is golden brown and the top is still moist. Transfer to a plate. Fill with mushrooms and pieces of smoked salmon. Grate some Gruyere cheese or a Swiss Emmental. Fold over and serve.
3. Grilled Rib-eye with Chantrelles & Vincotto
Season a Rib-eye steak with salt and cracked pepper. Sear or grill steak to desired doneness. (1 inch steak needs 5 mins on one side and 4 on the other. Or with an internal temp of 130 F to 135 F) Saute Chanterelles as per first recipe and add two or more tablespoons of Vincotto at the end. Serve steak with mushrooms on top. Vincotto (literally “cooked wine”) is a dark, sweet dense grape must produced artisanally in the south of Italy. Kind of like a reduced balsamic.
4. Chorizo, Chanterelle and Broccoli Tapa
Saute a couple of chorizo sausages(preferable the dry ones) on medium heat for a couple of mins. Add a couple handfuls of rough chopped or torn Chanterelles (not too small, you’ll get better flavour if they are kept larger), garlic clove, salt and pepper and continue to cook for a few mins. Meanwhile par boil one broccoli crown cut up into bite sizes. Add par boiled broccoli to pan with the chorizo and mushrooms with some olive oil and stir to coat. Serve in a bowl with warm bread and let people tuck in.
5. Sauteed with Roast Butternut Squash
Cut butternut squash into wedges and drizzle olive oil over pieces. Season with salt(try a smoked salt or another flavoured salt if you can get some) and cracked pepper. Roast side down on a pan lined with parchment paper at 350 F for about 40 mins. Check it after about 20 mins and if brown on one side then flip over to brown the other side. This method really caramelizes the sugars in the squash. Saute Chanterelles as per first recipe and serve squash with mushrooms on top.