Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Yellow chantarelle mushrooms, two ways of preparing them
Some of you may have noticed the above 'teaser photo' on my blog few days ago. Well, these tiny chantarelle mushrooms are not picked by myself. We tried, believe me. After spotting chantarelle mushrooms from Southern Estonia at Tallinn Central Market on St John's eve, we headed straight to the forest. Yet all we got was a lone porcini and a kilogram of wild strawberries (I'm not complaining, don't get me wrong:) We tried again last weekend, yet had to settle for some russula mushrooms, some wild blueberries and forest raspberries and then overcome our sadness by playing with small chicks. We did pick enough lime blossoms to comfort us through the winter, and spotted our first native orchid species, so it was quite a productive weekend after all.
Estonia is a funny place in that sense. It's small and compact (45 000 sq km), yet has such variations in climate. And mushroom seasons.. Southerners have been forageing for yellow chantarelles for weeks now, northerners like K. and I must settle for shopping at the market as for now.. We'll try again in a week or two..
Should the chantarelle season be there whereever you are, I share some of my favourite ways with those tantalising yellow mushrooms.
My very favourite way with yellow chantarelles is to fry them in some oil or butter, sprinkle with herbs and season with a pinch of salt. These are perfect for topping a slice of buttered home-baked rye bread (above), or as an accompaniment to boiled small new potatoes (you can always add some cream to fried mushrooms and let it reduce a little). Any leftovers (before sprinkling with herbs, that is) can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
Here's another way of serving chantarelles: chantarelle-stuffed kohlrabis with a creamy blue cheese sauce. I had come across lovely kohlrabis at the market, and came up with a kohlrabi-chantarelle starter when cooking a dinner for our Norwegian guests just over a week ago (the same dinner where I served the apricot tartlets with pistachio paste, remember?) I scooped the kohlrabis and chopped the flesh, which I then simply sauteed in some oil together with chantarelles (yep, simply mushrooms and chopped kohlrabi; I didn't add any onion or garlic to the dish, although you're welcome to do that). I seasoned the mushroom mixture with salt, pepper and some chopped green onions, stuffed the pre-baked kohlrabi halves with the mixture and baked them in a 200C oven for 20 minutes. These were placed on a bed (puddle:) of creamy blue cheese sauce. I'd happily make this starter again, although I'd probably peel the kohlrabis first, as the 'skin' was too tough to be eaten.
Other chantarelle ideas @ Nami-nami:
Chantarelle Cappuccino (February 2007)
Chantarelle Sauce & Chantarelle Quiche (August 2005)
BLAST FROM THE PAST
Two years ago I wrote about a bar of Cioccolato con Peperoncino I had bought in Naples and shared a recipe for Clotilde's Chocolate & Chilli Muffins with a kick.