Sunday, July 13, 2014

Chanterelle Madness!

A small number of the enormous amount of chanterelles in the woods around my parents' home

Every summer I've had the good fortune of being able to return to my Missouri home. Usually it's quite hot, humid, and by this time in July, very very dry. This year? Not so much. I've never seen a greener Missourahhh. It's obvious from the lush green foliage, the many wildflowers, and even the green lawns that rain has been a fairly constant part of this summer of 2014. This has also made for a bumper year for chanterelles. Mom and I first spotted an area of them last week, and then yesterday, after my brother Bill had mown paths through the woods for mom's golf cart, we found the motherlode of chanterelle patches. As far as you could see, there were chanterelles and more chanterelles! Enough that we simply picked what we needed for our meal and left the rest for another day. (Truth be told, we left the rest so mom could show off her chanterelle bed to our cousin, who has his own meager patch on his farm).

Below are two of the ways we've thoroughly enjoyed these wonderful mushrooms:

Grilled Beef Tenderloin Steaks w/Chanterelle Sauce

steaks of your choice, smeared with grape seed oil, then seasoned w/salt and pepper and either char-grilled or pan sautéed after the sauce is made

butter, about 1/2 stick
grape seed oil (if needed during the sauté)
1/2 or so lb. chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and chopped/pulled into smallish pieces
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup or so dry reisling wine
1 tablespoon or so red wine vinegar
1 cup or so half & half cream
2 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper
salt to taste

Heat the butter in a large skillet and sauté the onions and garlic until they are translucent. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they have released their juices and are turning a deeper golden brown. Add the reisling and red wine vinegar and cook down until all alcohol has evaporated and most of the liquid is gone. Don't bother to measure the wine. A cup is good...2 cups? Good as well. Add the cream and stir to incorporate all the ingredients. Add the pepper, stir in. Taste and add salt to your taste. Keep warm and spoon over grilled steaks. Delicious! 


Chanterelle Pasta Salad

1/2 bag bow tie/farfalle pasta, cooked according to package directions
grape seed oil, amount as needed
1/2 lb. or so chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and chopped/pulled into smallish pieces
2 garlic cloves, chopped
handful of fresh parsley, chopped 
handful of fresh summer savory, chopped
zest and juice of a large lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Fresh dill would be delicious in this as well. Actually any fresh herbs would work.

Heat grape seed oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and chanterelles and sauté until mushrooms release their moisture and are beginning to turn a deeper golden brown. Combine the cooked and still warm pasta and chanterelles in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add the fresh herbs, zest of a lemon and the juice from half of the lemon. Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Stir to combine well. Add more grape seed oil and/or lemon juice, salt and pepper until it tastes good to you. Serve at room temperature. (Barilla makes a mini farfalle - that would be the ideal size for this salad.) Wonderful!


'till we feast again!