BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Posts Tagged ‘chanterelles

Myopic about Mushrooms

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It looked like a Bolete (porcini), it smelled like a Bolete, but I’m not expert enough to be certain so I won’t eat it. There’s too much potential for error given the 100-some Boletes out there. Black trumpets, however, I can confidently identify. NOTE to readers: I can’t identify this mushroom. CONSULT AN EXPERT BEFORE CONSUMING. Thought I found Chanterelles too, but they were smaller than ones from Pacific Northwest. I’ve lost my confidence.

I’ve decided wild mushroom foraging will be the new foodie thing I throw myself into here in Maine. Many species seem to thrive in the damp, pine needle-carpeted forests here, and I’m eager to learn more about them. I’ve got black trumpets down. They’re easy to identify as long as you keep looking down, as “Mushroom Maineiac” David Spahr advises. Here, they spring up next to green moss and bright pine seedings.

We just settled on truffled eggs with the few black trumpets I found. My Dad is a master in the kitchen! He swears by the more affordable white truffle oil from Micucci’s in Portland.

Now, I’m in hot pursuit on a hike. I understand how hunters and fisherman feel. Even if you have to throw your catch back, there’s still the thrill of that “aha!” moment of discovery. I had that in the woods yesterday, chancing upon what I thought were small Chanterelles and a big Bolete that sure looks like a Porcini. We consulted friends and David Spahr’s book. I had been inspired by a display at this weekend’s MOFGA Common Ground Fair. In some ways, the more I read, the more pictures I viewed, the more doubt crept in. It just isn’t worth the risk unless you’re sure. I’ll think about joining the Maine Mycological Association and going out in the company of experts soon. The nearby Long Branch School in Bowdoinham organizes monthly forays. Trouble is, you get the most bang for your wild mushroom buck if you go out on a secret mission, and lose yourself in the woods alone.

The harvest I’m abandoning due to lack of certainty. One is at least definitely a Chanterelle but the uncertainty about the lot has made me lose interest. Also found coral mushrooms we could eat, but they aren’t culinary gems and can have a laxative effect on some folks.

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Black Trumpet Mushrooms in Maine and Oregon

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There’s nothing like a good Willamette Valley pinot to bring out the earthy flavor of mushrooms. These foraged black trumpets stand out in this slighty creamy, gorgonzola pasta.

Maine and Oregon have so much in common from a culinary perspective: an abundance of fresh seafood, blueberries, lots of freely ranging chickens, cattle and pigs. And mushrooms just begging to be foraged from wooded trails. Unfortunately, my foraging in Oregon was limited to easily identifiable golden Chanterelles. I hope to get more adventurous here in Maine and got a good start today with our first black trumpet harvest.

Two days of casual harvest on a hike near my parents’ place on a lake in Central Maine.

There’s nothing like the serendipity of chancing upon delicious mushrooms while on a hike. It makes the hike more of a hunt. It’s a simple thrill. We saw at least a dozen other mushroom varieties on the hike, but felt too amateur to pick others than the striking black trumpets. Consulting images on the web, I now suspect we saw Lobsters, Yellow-Foot Chanterelles, and Reishis growing on trunks. I’ll have to tag along with someone more senior soon.

Black trumpets are a simple thrill to discover on the damp forest floor.

If you get your hands on some black trumpets (in Oregon my source was The Mushroomery), you must make this pasta dish (assuming you aren’t dairy or gluten-intolerant. My sister did enjoy it with gluten-free pasta).

Black Trumpet Mushroom and Gorgonzola Pasta (recipe courtesy of Tree and Elaine)

1 oz. dried or fresh mushrooms,
butter
minced shallots
1 cup heavy cream (use 1/2 and 1/2 cream; just as good)
1 oz. Gorgonzola dolce
1 lb. penne pasta (used wild mushroom linguine)
1 c. fresh parmesan
minced parsley, (tarragon-opt.)

Before using, soak mushrooms for 30 min. in warm water, drain and rinse
well to get rid of any remains.

Melt butter and add shallots. Saute 7 minutes,
Then add mushrooms, cream and stir in the Gorgonzola.
Simmer 10 minutes.
Cook the penne with salt till al dente and pour it in skillet with the sauce,
stirring well.
Fold in the parsley and the Parmigiano.

Written by baltimoregon

September 15, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Chanterelle Chicken Marsala

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Chanterelle Hungarian Mushroom Soup made last fall

How I’ve blogged in my head these many months, but somehow, sleep-deprived as I am with a four-month-old (haven’t blogged since Theo’s birth), it’s hard to dive back in. So I’ll ease in. Here’s a short post. Make Chicken Marsala with the gorgeous wild chanterelle mushrooms in peak season here in the Pacific Northwest. I’m thrilled to expand my wild mushroom soup and wild mushroom pasta repertoire. These meaty mushrooms were the the perfect sub for the shiitake, cremini, oyster blend Emeril calls for. Yes, Emeril, cringe I know. Normally, I shy away from Food Network celebrities. My mother-in-law says his recipes are too involved. But this one is delicious and easy. Don’t buy Emeril’s packaged Creole seasoning. It’s easy to make the spice blend at the end of the recipe. Leave out the two pats of butter at the end, as we did. But you must use dry Marsala wine. I hadn’t touched our bottom since the unctuous Papardelle with Hazelnut Cream recipe from Lincoln’s Jenn Louis I made last year. Serve your Chicken Marsala with Trader Joe’s gummy, addictive Harvest Grains Israeli couscous and quinoa blend. It made for an easy enough, memorable weeknight meal.

Written by baltimoregon

November 3, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Chinese-Thai Chanterelle Stir-Fry

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Improvised stir-fry with chanterelles, carrots, tomato, beet greens and fresh banana peppers, with Thai basil, Shaoxing wine, soy, honey, a splash of fish sauce--surprisingly good. Lots of minced garlic and ginger sauteed in oiled wok first.

 

 

It's prime chanterelle season! The wet weather yielded a good harvest. One of the bright spots of fall!

 

We’ve got such meaty fresh chanterelles at markets this season, I can’t find enough ways to use them. My default recipe is Ivy Manning’s whole wheat pasta with chanterelles, which always appeals. I’ll have to also check out this salad recipe of hers. Then we’ve topped pizza with sauteed chanterelles and slip them into tomato pasta sauce. But I’d never tried them in an Asian stir-fry, until tonight.

Sauteed chanterelles cook down into velvety morsels with concentrated flavor. They’re so much more dense and complex than the shiitakes I usually use in stir-fry. For this impromptu dish, we began with hot peanut oil in the wok, in which we quick-fried some minced ginger in garlic. Then in went the cleaned and sliced chanterelles, then the carrots, then some salt, then after they fried a bit, some Shaoxing wine to deglaze the pan. Then we added chunks of a whole fresh tomato, which cooked down into a sauce, and fresh banana pepper and finally some wilted beet and turnip greens long neglected in the fridge. And pieces torn from a bunch of browning Thai basil, which reminded me to later add a splash of fish sauce. As it cooked, I splashed on a drop of sesame oil, light soy sauce and honey. Just before turning off the wok, we mixed in some day-old Basmatic rice. It was a Chinese-Thai fusion dish, which isn’t uncommon. At our local Thai restaurant, Dan likes to order “drunken noodles,” which is basically stir-fried broad-cut Chinese noodles or chao fan.

Any other suggestions of what to do with chanterelles before this fleeting season runs out? I’d love to go foraging again sometime. But I’ve lost some motivation since they’ve been relatively inexpensive at the market, often less than $10 a pound.

 

Ivy Manning's whole wheat pasta with chanterelles, from her beautiful Farm to Table cookbook.

 

Written by baltimoregon

October 14, 2010 at 11:48 pm

Luscious Liver Pate and Banh Mih

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Chicken liver pate.

Chicken liver pate.

Scrapped the black gills of the portabellos for the banh mi.

Scrapped the black gills of the portabellos for the banh mi.

This is the story of how the random ingredients I assembled beforehand transformed themselves into a marvelous sandwich tonight. A luscious chicken liver pate and a pickled daikon (white radish)-carrot salad were the condiments I piled onto banh mi Vietnamese-style baguette sandwiches. What serendipity to glance upon Ivy Manning’s “Mushroom Banh Mi” recipe in this week’s FOODday section of The Oregonian. It just so happens I had made up some of her daikon salad (from her Farm to Table cookbook) last week.

Then there was the pate I made up for my parents, with velvety, foie gras-like livers from Kookoolan Farms. When defrosted, they were as good as fresh. It didn’t hurt that we amped up the recipe with chanterelles and leeks from the garden instead.

So I corrupted Ivy’s vegetarian sandwich, spreading pate on the baguette under the ‘shrooms. But that’s the way we like to eat: with meat as a condiment. Thomas Jefferson would be proud.

Luscious livers.

Luscious livers.

Bahn Mi with Mark Bittman's Soba Salad (go easy on the mirin in the dressing).

Bahn Mi with Mark Bittman's Soba Salad (go easy on the mirin in the dressing).

Herbaceous and fragrant, this syncretic sandwich is sweeping the Pacific Northwest and country-at-large. We love our little Baguette cafe here. And wild, hybrid versions of banh mi have surfaced in Washington and New York. But making your own isn’t difficult. It’s a great way to pay homage to two great culinary traditions, Vietamese and French. This is one edible positive to emerge from the scourge of colonialism.

Written by baltimoregon

September 23, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Wild, Wild Mushrooms Drag Us Away

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One of the three yellow chanterelles I found on our hike today up Mary's Peak just outside of Corvallis.

One of the three yellow chanterelles I found on our hike today up Mary's Peak just outside of Corvallis.

 My trip foraging for wild mushroomsin October has been one of the more memorable experiences I’ve had thus far in Oregon. So it’s no surprise my parents have gone ga-ga for the state’s champion champignons during their visit here.

For my birthday, we had a marvelous mushroom dinner at the Joel Palmer Housenear McMinnville, a meal that even included mushrooms for dessert in the form of truffle ice cream (I prefer to save the precious fungus for savory recipes!)

 Dad has worked his magic in our Corvallis kitchen, whipping up a spectacular Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup and a chanterelle pasta (made with local spinach fettuccine). Can’t wait to see what he’ll do with the three chanterelles I stumbled upon while hiking Mary’s Peak today.

Now the ‘rents are scheming up ways to smuggle mushrooms back to Virginia with them. Those precious chanterelles, for example, go for as low as $9 a pound here but can fetch as much as $20 to $30 a pound back East. And that’s only on the rare occasions when fresh ones are even available. Ah, a good reminder that life is good here in the fertile (and did I say wet!) Pacific Northwest.

Mom and Dad marvel over abundant but expensive matsutake mushrooms at the Saturday Farmers' Market in Portland.

Look But Don't Touch: Mom and Dad marvel over abundant but expensive matsutake mushrooms at the Saturday Farmers' Market in Portland.

Written by baltimoregon

December 2, 2008 at 1:33 am

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