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Cooking with chanterelles


chezcherie
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so there i am, in a semi-trance, pushing the cart through costco, when, in the corner of the walk-in produce fridge, something catches my eye. walking a little closer, i actually let out a tiny shriek, causing several other shoppers to look over in alarm.....

large styrofoam trays of perfect, glowing golden chanterelles..

they are in amazing shape, even though they are wrapped in plastic, and look like they were hydroponically cultivated. a mushroom class i took a few years back taught me that they cannot be commercially grown, but have to be foraged...these must have come from a glorious, magical costco chanterelle forest. visions of costco elves (they look a bit like keebler elves) with mushroom knives dance through the forest of my imagination...

the cold of the walk-in, and the beauty of the mushrooms jolt me back to reality, so i grab a hefty tray and check the price...again, i am in fantasy land, as it appears that the costco price for a full pound of these beauties is...$8.99. now i know that there are parts of the world where chanterelles grow on trees...okay, well, under them, and milk and honey flow through the streets, but i live in parched southern california, where, if you are lucky enough to lay your hands on any chanterelles at all, they are shriveled and mealy and you are happy to get them, and happy to pay up to $40 a lb. for the pleasure. i figure they are mismarked, and that i will get the real price at check out, but they are so gorgeous that I MUST HAVE THEM, regardless of the cost, so i proceed to checkout, where they ring up at $8.99.

i love costco.

so, i have a pound of perfect chanterelles, and i plan to have another pound and another pound and another, until the sad and tragic day, very soon, i fear, when the walk-in holds the magic mushrooms no more.

what will i do with all these beautiful mushrooms? your best suggestions greatly appreciated! please help me bering this bounty to its full potential.

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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Wow; a pound of those lovelies for $8.99? I'm jealous.. until my 'secret' patch starts showing some... (collecting your own in the wild always yields the tastiest chantrelles!)

For one thing, get them the heck out of the plastic, and wrap them in brown paper bags; they keep much better that way. The mushroom soup idea is a good one. I also adore golden chantrelles in an omelet.

Somewhere, I have a recipe for chantrelle 'puffs'; rich little eggy biscuits with sauteed chantrelles inside; they are terrific! Hmm, I think if you go here:

htrtp://www.mssf.org

and click on the cookbook link to the left, you will find the chantrelle puff recipe, and some others.

edit: here's the chantrelle puff recipe, from the above page:

--------------------------------

Golden Chanterelle Puffs

Makes about 35 puffs

Chanterelle puffs are a light and elegant party food. Serve them with a white wine such as Gewurtztraminer, riesling, or sauvignon blanc.

* 1 cup chicken broth

* 1/2 pound chanterelles, minced

* 1/2 cup (1 stick ) butter

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

* 3 eggs

Heat the chicken broth in a heavy medium saucepan. Add the chanterelles, butter, and salt and allow to come to a boil. Stir in the flour, mixing constantly until the mixture is smooth and almost leaves the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat. Beat one egg at a time into the mixture.

Drop tablespoons of the dough onto a buttered cookie sheet, spacing the spoonfuls about 2 inches apart. Bake in a preheated 450º oven for 15 minutes or until firm and golden. Cool the puffs on a rack.

--Louise Freedman

------------------------------

Another good trick with chantrelles, if they do get a bit soggy on you, saute them in _salt only_ - no oil - till they shed their moisture; then add a bit of oil or butter.

A bit of pricey truffle oil drizzeled over sauteed chantrelles and served on thin toasted baquette slices is pretty tasty, too :)

Whatever you do, don't try to dry them - they do not hold their flavor well, when dried as the morels and porcini do - at least, that's what I've found.

-Cacao the mushroom hound

Edited by cacao (log)
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Served a chanterelle soup last night of acorn squash pureed, chicken stock and slived black Forest ham. I pick chanterelles and lately around the PNW they have been quite soggy.

Two suggestions to max your mushroom flavors:

In this soup, to the pureed squash I added soggy chanterelles pureed with heavy cream.

The "good" chanterelles (they are all "good") I "stripped" rather than cut which I think helps retain more of the mushroom flavor and texture. I picked this up from the Japanese who pull the stems of pine mushrooms apart for use in rice.

For a finish I added a spoon of cream defrache and chopped cilatro for a little green. Guests lliked it, asking for 2nds.

Dave

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Served a chanterelle soup last night of acorn squash pureed, chicken stock and slived black Forest ham.  I pick chanterelles and lately around the PNW they have been quite soggy.

Two suggestions to max your mushroom flavors:

      In this soup, to the pureed squash I added soggy chanterelles pureed with heavy cream.

      The "good" chanterelles (they are all "good") I "stripped" rather than cut which I think            helps retain more of the mushroom flavor and texture.  I picked this up  from the Japanese who pull  the stems of pine mushrooms apart for use in rice.

    For a finish I added a spoon of cream defrache and  chopped cilatro for a little green.  Guests lliked it, asking for 2nds.

Dave

the soup sounds delicious---i so agree about stripping the mushrooms. i learned that in a mushroom foraging seminar i attended a while back--so much more rustic looking, and so much more surface area--with the grooves and all to soak up sauce. last night i made risotto with pancetta and the 'shrooms, and some caramelized onions...it was really delicious, and i'm thinking of having some for breakfast. i think tonight i will use another suggestion i've received--tempura chanterelles...doesn't that sound amazing?

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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You might look for a cooking thread on spaghetti squash that I started. Thanks to suggestions, I learned to like the vegetable when I transformed the strands of the roasted vegetable into a gratin with butter, cheese, mushrooms and cream. Deborah Madison specifies chanterelles for making the dish. Would be great for Thanksgiving unless there's too much squash on the table already.

Otherwise, I'd go for simple dishes to accentuate the flavor, reaching for cream all the time. Fresh tagliatelle alla panna con funghi Chanterelle! Risotto with chanterelles and roasted corn [not sure how easily frozen corn takes to roasting off-season] or creamed corn swirled in. Keep some chanterelles separate and add them in at the last minute with snipped chives.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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I just called my local Costco -- no chanterelles, never had them. :sad::sad::sad: I think I'll move to CA.

The Silver Palate Cookbook has a wonderful and simple recipe for chanterelles with dried apricots. Chicken stock is somehow involved. I think they list it as an appetizer, to be served on toast, but I use it as a sauce for pork tenderloin or chicken breasts.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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thanks for going to the trouble to dig these up---terrific ideas (i think i'm going to need another couple lbs!)..the photo at the top of the first thread made me feel a bit puny about my formerly glorious haul...c'est la vie.

if my store still has them monday (i do NOT costco on the weekend--not even for chanterelles) i think we will either have chanterelle wild rice dressing OR butternut squash, green beans and chanterelles (roasted) on our holiday talbe. i will sure be thanksful for either one!

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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With my "not chanterelles" from Costco, we had a beautiful meal...a Wellington-like entree made with cheese, chicken, and the mushrooms.

I made a mixture of ~4 oz. of mascarpone cheese, shredded Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh sage, and about a tablespoon of flour.

The mushrooms were tossed with olive oil and roasted in a hot oven for 15 minutes or so.

Skinless, boneless chicken breasts were browned in olive oil.

To assemble, I rolled out one sheet of puff pastry and spread the cheese mixture lengthwise along the centre of it. The cheese was topped with the mushrooms and then the chicken breasts. Using an egg wash as sealer, the pastry was rolled around the filling and the whole thing went into the fridge for a wee bit to firm up.

Then it was baked in a hot oven for about 45 minutes.

It was unbelievably good. I think I'll make it again, only without the chicken next time!

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My Costco had them last Friday. I sautéed them in olive oil with a little bit of garlic, and garnished them with fresh parsley. They were served as an accompaniment to seared venison chops from d'Artagnan and white truffle mashed potatoes.

I still have 1/2 pound left so thanks to all for posting all these great ideas!

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  • 2 years later...

I went mushroom-hunting yesterday and found the jackpot! I now have something like 20 pounds of chanterelles (probably more, I did not weight my basket and plastic bags) which means I am more willing than usual to try new recipes.

I generally tend to pan fry chanterelles as a side dish or to incorporate them in egg dishes like quiche or omelet... I also occasionally use them in sauces.

What are your favourite ways of cooking chanterelles? Do you use them as a garnish, a side dish or a main ingredient?

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I enjoy them cooked with a little butter and garlic, perhaps deglazing with white wine, and served over pasta with a sprinkle of flat leaf parsley. If I am feeling in need of indulgence, a bit of cream gets added in.

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Pasta, pretty much as heidih does it, also nice as a one-pan dish sauteed with chicken or veal and some shallots or poached with fish.

I haven't tried it, but I could see a chanterelle stuffing being a nice thing for poultry, chicken, or rolled fish fillets.

20 lbs is a big haul. I'd dry most of them, and then you'll have them on hand for stews when the weather gets cooler.

Edited by David A. Goldfarb (log)
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I'm always a bit skeptical of recipes using fish and mushrooms. That being said, chanterelles are probably one of the few mushroom I would use in a seafood dish. I'm guessing trout or salmon might do the trick but the lobster idea is certainly one I should try (lobster are quite cheap these days).

We often cook mushrooms with pasta or rice (especially risotto). One of my favorite dish is chanterelles with fresh peas and a bit of parmesan. Zucchini are great too in such pasta.

I'm not drying my chanterelles this time. I did it in the past and was not too pleased with the results. Contrary to other mushrooms (like morels) I feel they loose too much in texture when dried. I'm trying to freeze them, both cooked and uncooked... I'm not sure it will be better but I bet it won't be worse. We gave some away to friends too.

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"a brave dish of mushrooms and bacon" JRR Tolkein Lord of the Rings Volume I

I have always wanted to create this, or recreate it... YUM! :wub:

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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I'm always a bit skeptical of recipes using fish and mushrooms. That being said, chanterelles are probably one of the few mushroom I would use in a seafood dish. I'm guessing trout or salmon might do the trick but the lobster idea is certainly one I should try (lobster are quite cheap these days).

Pierre Franey has a delicious trout recipe with chanterelles, shallots, chives, etc: "Truite de Ruisseau aux Chanterelles."

Edited by merstar (log)
There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.
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This is not a dish I've replicated at home. That said when I had it, I found that the combination of flavors and textures worked well together.

gallery_1890_1967_189818.jpg

Roasted sweetbread, sweet corn purée, chanterelles

Photo taken on July 2007 at Hearth in NYC.

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  • 1 year later...

A pound of chanterelles landed in my lap thanks to my mother's foraging co-worker. My plan is to saute them simply in butter to serve alongside steak. I would have liked to use them in a takigomi-gohan application - cooked in rice and dashi to bring out the piney flavours - but the family wouldn't go for any application that didn't involve dairy and meat. So. Questions:

What's the best way to clean them?

What does "stripping" mean? Does this mean tearing the mushrooms vertically rather then slicing them with a knife?

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lucky you! since i originally posted this topic, costco has come through for me every year. i love chanterelles! i use a damp mushroom brush on them (actually, mine is a baby hairbrush, but the effect is the same). they can be muddy, although the costco ones are usually pretty clean.

stripping is my preferred portioning method, and it involves tearing them as you describe. i find it a very relaxing exercise, and it gets me in full chanterelle mode. the reason i prefer it to knife work is that the tearing results in grooved surfaces, which will hold the sauce better than a smooth knife cut.

so jealous as i type this...enjoy!

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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A pound of chanterelles landed in my lap ... Questions:

What's the best way to clean them?

Just like any other mushrooms. You'll find dirt and grit around the base and in the gills (longer than in cultivated mushrooms, obviously), sometimes dirt on top. You can easily clean them under a trickle of water, with a fine brush; drain on newspaper or paper towels. They may retain a little of the water in their gills but not enough to affect cooking. (I'm reflecting on decades of experience with them.)

Be alert for small maggots which are not unusual (unattractive, but I assume, harmless to eat, cooked with mushrooms, since they are - after all -- composed of mushroom themselves, just rearranged). Once any wild mushroom plants fruit, there's a scramble among diverse mushroom fans to eat them -- humans have competition. That of course is how the mushrooms propagate.

In my region (San Francisco area), chanterelles are the common wild mushroom (not the only type, but the most common) and prolifically abundant in the wooded areas after rains. Many people are unaware of how plentiful they are, but it's not unusual for foragers to find more than they can carry, fresh and in good condition. Periodically they show up in quantity in local markets when professional foragers get to work. (They're one of the several famous wild mushroom types simultaneously classified edible/choice and distinctive-- not easily mistaken for dangerous types.)

I caught up on this thread with suggestions (apparently overlapping earlier existing threads) but as a rule, any recipe good with cultivated mushrooms works with wild mushrooms too, the texture and cooking properties are the same. Chanterelles just add a very pleasant distinctive mushroomy flavor, sometimes with violet or truffle hints, a little different from morels but in the same general direction.

I recall a peculiarity of chanterelles, a biochemical quirk, harmless but possibly disconcerting. For some reason, many people who talk about wild mushrooms don't appear to know about this. In varying concentrations, chanterelles contain something that interferes with alcohol metabolism (I assume it either blocks or swamps the alcohol-dehydrogenase enzyme group that clears alcohol from the blood and begins converting it to useful energy -- other substances can do that too). Normally, when you take in alcohol, the amount in your blood relects a difference between your intake rate and the counteracting scavenging action of the enzymes. If the scavenging stops, you get a higher than usual blood alcohol level for a given intake rate. I've heard anecdotes of people consuming chanterelles in quantity (like half a pound, not unusual when they're locally available) and getting unusually tipsy from a glass or two of wine. Please don't tell the binge-drinking college kids about this.

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