|Chanterelles: A Colorful Side Dish|
Recipe Inspired by New Leaf Market
Happy Solstice, All! Tonight is the longest night of the year here in the northern hemisphere, and the last of the golden sunlight left the tops of the redwoods before 5 pm. It’s cold, dark, and damp in the woods, urging us to spend more time indoors, preferably in front of a fireplace, keeping warmth and light within ourselves as winter begins.
Our very distant relatives the fungi, however, thrive outdoors in this season, popping up in locations undisclosed by experienced mushroom hunters. The beautiful bright yellow chanterelle is the king of the mushroom clan here in central California. Their golden hue makes them a beautiful addition to the solstice table, and their chewy, meaty texture makes them a substantial side dish.
|Beginning the Saute|
|Time to Cook Liquid Down|
|Liquid Cooked Down|
One final word: don’t slice the chanterelles too small. They shrink considerably while cooking, and a large part of what makes this mushroom unique is its toothsome meatiness. Part of the chanterelle experience, according to experienced chefs, is the texture of a large chewy bite.
1 lb. fresh chanterelle mushrooms
1 – 2 tbsp. butter (I used 1 tbsp.)
Wash each chanterelle carefully, gently using a toothbrush and water to remove as much dirt as possible. Cut off any remaining dirt with a paring knife. Drain and/or blot dry with kitchen towel.
Small chanterelles can be left whole. Cut large chanterelles into halves, thirds, or quarters, keeping pieces large.
Melt butter in sauté pan over medium heat. Add chanterelles, and sauté, stirring frequently. At first they will release a lot of liquid. Continue to cook and stir until they stop releasing liquid, about 10 minutes.
If it looks like there is more liquid in the pan than will evaporate in about 5 more minutes, remove chanterelles from pan and cook liquid down, turning heat to medium high and stirring constantly until reduced and thickened. Return chanterelles to pan and lower heat to medium. Sauté another 5 - 8 minutes, stirring, till liquid is nearly completely evaporated and chanterelles develop a chewy texture.