Monday, February 1, 2010

Chanterelle Hunting


I LOVE Chanterelles. For years I have been hoping someone would let me tag along on a mushroom foraging expedition. One of P's students, who grew up mushroom hunting with his family, invited us to join him in the woods last weekend. We geared up with rubber boots, rain coats, and empty baskets.

I know the tales of people being poisoned by wild mushroom that look innocently like their tasty brethren, but Chanterelles are another story. Their fluted stalks and ribbed underbellies are unique. When we saw a Chanterelle, we knew it.

And we found many - pounds and pounds! So many that we had enough for two indulgent suppers and even a surplus that we shared with neighbors.







CHANTERELLE PASTA
inspired by Alice Waters' Chez Panisse Vegetables
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1-2 pounds Chanterelles
  • leaves from 4-5 sprigs thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 leek
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pound pasta (GF folks, I love the Bionaturae pastas)
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley


Parsley and thyme from our backyard garden...



Heat pasta water.

Gently warm cream and chicken stock in a saucepan.

Clean and chop leek. Saute leek with 1 tablespoon butter. When leek is translucent, set aside.

Clean, then chop or tear Chanterelles into nice sized pieces. Heat large saute pan with 4 tablespoons butter. Add mushroom to pan and cook vigorously. Season generously with salt, pepper, and chopped thyme leaves. Add garlic for last minute of cooking. When done, mushroom should be tender, but not mushy.

Cook pasta.

When mushrooms are done, add cream/stock and leeks to the mushroom pan. Gently simmer sauce to thicken while the pasta is cooking.

When pasta is cooked, add to the Chanterelle pan and stir to coat well. Add additional salt and pepper if necessary.

Top each serving with freshly grated Parmesan and chopped parsley.

Man oh man that was good!

7 comments:

  1. Lovely post and beautiful pictures. I wish I am able to go Chanterelles hunting one day :)

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  2. Congrats on your terrific haul! Readers who want to try chanterelle hunting themselves might want to see this detailed how-to, written by my mycologist husband. He loves teaching others to hunt successfully and safely.
    http://leslieland.com/2008/08/collecting-wild-mushrooms-part-2-chanterelles

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks so much, Leslie! Any mushroom hunting should be taken very seriously and having a expert's help is the way to go.

    ReplyDelete
  4. nice meeting you on"inspiration...".husband here is gluten sensitive, so I will check your recipes ! we also had our haul of chanterelles ( huge ones) but I found them very mild in taste, a little bit disappointing.....

    ReplyDelete
  5. Chantarelles are so flavorful, too bad they're also very expensive now, recipe looks really good.
    I like your photos, too.

    ReplyDelete
  6. the photos look great!
    i live in berkeley too. where did you go hunting?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey Maxine,
    Thanks for stopping by. It's always good to connect with local people.
    Tilden is where we foraged. Although you have to be a little careful not to get a huge fine.
    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete

So good to hear from you... I appreciate each and every note you leave for me!

Thanks,
E

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