Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chanterelles

My son, Ty, and I have been foraging for wild chanterelles during the last few sunny weekends of autumn. It's like a buried treasure hunt. A proverbial Pacific Northwest bounty. Finding this forest treasure is easier when you develop your "mushroom eye". Look for bright golden orange caps peeking out from neon green moss. Nature sometimes makes foraging pretty obvious. Chanterelles flourish in their tree friendships with western hemlock trees. Remember that...they do not grow at the base of hobbit looking stumps. Old moldy stumps do not produce chanterelles. Instead they pop up near living trees that give them nutritional benefit.
 
We had a wonderful mushroom adventure. In all, we cut around four pounds of earthy goodness to take home. We filled our lungs with crispy fresh mountain air, our hearts with laughter, and got lots of aerobic excercise hiking through the woodland. Hey, even when you fall on your bum it doesn't hurt. I landed with a thump on the pillowy floor of the forest. Ty looked at me, let out a big laugh, and said, "Mom, what are you doing down there? You didn't land on a chanterelle did you?" 
Look...I really harvested these beautiful chanterelles!!!



Try this fantastic recipe from Wild Harvest for Scallops with Chanterelles

Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 chopped shallot
  • 2 pounds chopped chanterelles
  • 1/4 cup white port wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
Melt the butter in a skillet, then add the shallots and mushrooms. Cook over medium low heat for approximately 10 minutes, or until soft. Add the port wine and chives. Keep this mixture over a low heat, stirring occasionally, while you cook the scallops. If necessary, thin with additional port wine.
Scallops
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 ½ pounds scallops
  • coarsely ground black pepper
Rinse the scallops under cold water, then drain and pat dry. Melt the butter in a skillet and saute the scallops and pepper over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the scallops turn white and firm. Add the prepared sauce to the scallops and mix. Heat through and serve piping hot over arborio or basmati rice.

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