Posts Tagged mushroom

On Mushroom Foraging + A Recipe for Cream of Chanterelle Soup

For most of my life, I despised mushrooms. I hated the taste and color of mushrooms, but most of all I hated their slimy texture. I viewed mushrooms as an obstacle between me and a delicious slice of pepperoni pizza.

Granted, I had good reasons for hating mushrooms. When I was a kid, I ate a small handful of mushrooms I found growing in the backyard. My mom freaked out, naturally, and had me take some sort of medication that forced me to puke up all the potentially poisonous mushrooms. It was not my finest hour. In fact, I remember the whole experience was absolutely miserable.

That day, I decided I hated mushrooms and I never looked back.

Fast forward 20+ years and I am now living in Oregon. I am married to a mushroom-loving Oregonian. Mushrooms grow like weeds in Oregon, so I am literally surrounded. Eventually, I gave in. I can actually remember the first bite of a mushroom I tried that I actually liked. It was a morel that had been sauteed in a bit of butter — and it was nothing like those sad, grey mushrooms slivers I habitually pick off my pizza. It was meaty and dense, full of flavor and texture. It was delicious.

And now, I find myself wandering in the woods in search of wild mushrooms. I’m that person. (To be fair, I still don’t get mushrooms on my pizza. Old habits die hard, I suppose.) I have been converted to the wonderful world of mushrooms, and there is no looking back.

Chanterelle Hunting | Rosemarried

Here’s the thing, I am very new to the world of mushroom hunting. I am no expert, by any stretch of the imagination. But, I think that foraging for mushrooms is a blast and I thought I’d share a few tips and tricks with you all.

The first rule when hunting for mushrooms, is know thy mushroom. Do your homework! Buy an identification guide. Before you go picking (and eating!) wild mushrooms, you should know what you’re looking for. Secondly, be safe! Do not hunt for mushrooms on private property and be sure to wear bright colors when wandering about in the woods. Lastly, pack lightly. When I forage for mushrooms I bring a knife (to cut/harvest the mushrooms), a sack for carrying the haul (burlap or something porous, so the mushrooms will spread their spores), a bottle of water, and my iPhone (for Instagramming, of course). That’s really all you need!

Since we are in the midst of chanterelle season, here a few notes about hunting for these particular mushrooms. (Thankfully, chanterelles are one of the easier mushrooms to identify and there aren’t many ‘false’ chanterelles.) Chanterelles do not have typical gills like other mushrooms, rather, they have shallow ridges. Chanterelles are not hollow and they are usually orange in color and grow out of the moss and dirt. (Note: there is a variety of mushroom that looks something like a chanterelle and it grows on wood. Chanterelles only grow out of the ground and do not grow on wood, which is a helpful identifying tip).

Chanterelle | Rosemarried

As I said, I’m no expert. I’m very new at this, but I’m having a blast! Oregon is teeming with an amazing array of mushrooms, and I’ve only begun to scratch the surface. I can’t wait for more mushroom hunting adventures! As for now, I have chanterelles coming out my ears. :) My last few foraging trips have been quite successful and I’ve cooked a lot of chanterelles in the past few weeks. Of all of the recipes I’ve tried, this one is my favorite, so I thought I’d share. Keep in mind that this recipe does not have to be made with foraged chanterelles — you can also purchase them in stores!

Cream of Chanterelle Soup | Rosemarried

Cream of Chanterelle Soup

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 4 large shallots, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Cook shallots and garlic in butter for 5 minutes, or until translucent.
  2. Add chanterelles and continue to cook for 5-10 more minutes, or until all the liquid has evaporated.
  3. Pour in the chicken stock, bay leaf, thyme, and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne. (Be sure there is enough liquid to full cover the mushrooms.) Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove bay leaf and thyme stems. Using an immersion blender (or food processor), puree the soup. Stir in the cream and return the pot to the stove and cook for 10 minutes. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed.
  5. Optional garnish: cook a few cook a few extra chanterelles with butter, salt, and pepper for 5-10 minutes over medium heat. Sprinkle the mushrooms atop the soup for added texture and color.

Notes

Adapted from Saveur

http://rosemarried.com/2013/10/02/hunting-mushrooms-recipe-cream-chanterelle-soup/

Black Truffle and Chanterelle Risotto (and the Great Valentine’s Dining Dilemma)

To dine out or to dine in? This is the dilemma I am faced with every year for Valentine’s day.

The case for Dining Out is simple: Going out to eat for Valentine’s Day means I get to eat a fancy, exquisite, delicious meal that is prepared for me. Read: I don’t have to do any work. There is a certain romance and ambiance that comes with eating out. There are new places to try (and cross of our list!). There are no dishes to wash at the end of the evening.

On the other hand, however, the Dining In option also presents a worthy argument: Dining at home is quiet, romantic, and intimate. It is much cheaper than going out. You don’t have to deal with the hassle of reservations or crowds. There isn’t a crappy pre fixe Valentine’s menu. You are in control of your destiny! A night in can be as simple or fancy as you want it to be, in the comfort of your own home.

All that to say: I’m conflicted! Last year, Nich and I stayed at the Ace Hotel downtown and had dinner at Clyde Common. It was fabulous! We got all dressed up and had a night on the town and it was all so magical. This year, however, we are scaling it back a bit. Nich just started a new job and doesn’t have any vacation time yet, so we can’t get away for the evening. We’ve been debating about whether or not we are going to make reservations anywhere for dinner, but truth be told: I just don’t feel like it. I think I’d rather stay in.

The only issue I’m having with staying in for V-day this year is that Nich and I already had the perfect “date night in”. It was last Friday and we didn’t have any plans for the evening and Nich had a grand idea. Fresh Oregon Black Truffles were on sale at Pastaworks, and he (wisely) suggested we needed to take advantage of these beauties while they lasted. We picked up one sizeable truffle and at $160.00/lb it only came out to $6.50 (That is a steal for black truffles!). Since the truffle was surprisingly affordable, we decide to splurge and get some local chanterelle mushrooms as well. Inspired by CM’s truffled risotto (and squash blossoms!), I knew exactly what we were going to do with our beautiful truffle and chanterelles. We were going to make risotto!

A couple of hours later, and Nich and I were in culinary heaven. We feasted on Black Truffle and Chanterelle Risotto, Blood Orange and Hazelnut Salad, and paired it with a bottle of 2007 Erath Estate Pinot Noir. It was utter decadence (and it was all local!). I think we really, truly outdid ourselves this time. Which, then, leaves me to wonder: What the heck am I going to do for Valentine’s Day? How can we top this? But, maybe – just maybe – that is precisely the point. Maybe we can’t top that meal, and maybe we don’t need to. Call me old-fashioned, but I’m of the opinion that romance doesn’t need to be confined to one particular Hallmark holiday. Sometimes, the best dates just happen on a random weeknight. Its not that I have anything against Valentine’s Day – I want an excuse to drink champagne and eat chocolates as much as the next – but I’m a firm believer that Valentines should be one date night among many.

That being said, I really have no idea what we’re doing for Valentine’s day this year. All I know is that we are staying in! I can figure out the menu later, right? As for you, dear reader, you’re set. I just figured out your Valentines plans for you: Make this risotto, open a bottle of wine, and spend the evening with the one(s) you love. Or don’t make it on Valentine’s day (to heck with romance!)! Just promise me you’ll make it at some point. This is simply too delicious, you must try it for yourself sometime.

P.S. If fresh truffles aren’t available in your neck of the woods, don’t sweat it. You can subsitute with a couple dashes of truffle oil (which is available in most specialty markets, Whole Foods, New Seasons, etc). Or you can skip the truffle altogether and just use chanterelles or other mushrooms!

BLACK TRUFFLE AND CHANTERELLE RISOTTO
(Adapted from Burwell General Store and this recipe on Open Source Food)

3/4 cup arborio rice
6 cups (or so) of Organic chicken, vegetable, or mushroom stock (We used chicken)
3 Tablespoons butter
1 cup (or more) of chanterelle mushrooms, washed and cut into quarters
1/2 black truffle, minced
1 large shallot (or 2 small shallots), minced
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp fresh sage, minced
salt & pepper to taste

1. Heat stock in a small pan, preferably next to the burner you’ll be cooking your risotto on. Keep stock heated over low heat while you make the risotto.

2. Heat butter in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add in the minced shallots and cook for 3-4 minutes. Next, add in the chanterelle mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes. Once the mushrooms just barely begin to brown, add in the arborio rice. Stir well, to ensure that the rice is evenly coated in butter (add more butter if need be.) Add in a dash of the minced truffle, and stir to coat. After the rice is coated and sizzling (about 5 minutes), deglaze the pan with white wine (i.e. pour in the wine!).

3. Stir the rice constantly, and allow the wine to absorb. Once the wine has absorbed, start adding the stock in 1/2 cup at a time. With each 1/2 cup of stock, keep stirring and allow the stock to absorb completely before adding the next half cup of stock.

4. After about 30-40 minutes, the risotto should be thick and creamy. Test the rice, and when it is just barely al dente (tender with a tiny bit of crunch) stir in the parmesan, sage, salt, pepper, and the rest of the minced black truffle. Allow to cook for just a minute or two more, then remove from heat.

5. Garnish with fresh shaved parmesan, sage leaves, and shaved black truffle. Serve immediately! (Note: if using truffle oil instead of fresh truffles, stir in the oil with the parmesan and sage).