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)

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.


Anonymous said...

Your blog is simply beautiful, and the recipes (and pics) are stunning. I especially like the Estonian stuff (like the cheese filled dumplings)...KEEP IT UP!!!

Kalyn Denny said...

I don't really think I've ever had chanterelles,and of course I want to try them. The idea of combining them with kohlrabi is especially interesting to me, sounds fantastic!

Anonymous said...

This all looks delicious Pille! Really really nice!

lobstersquad said...

I was wondering when those mushrooms would come back. They look gorgeous.
And the rye bread, too. I can´t wait to start having that every day for a few days

Anonymous said...

Oh this is wonderful! My mouth is watering at your photos and just imagining the glorious fresh chanterelles! I'm praying the same specialty store that imported them once will do so again...of course I can only imagine how much better the fresh-from-the-forest ones are! :)

Anonymous said...

I wish (WISH!) I could afford to buy that many chantarelles so I could try them on toast. Oh god, that looks good! but it would probably bankrupt me, so I'll just drool on my keyboard a little more. The boyfriend will never know, right?

Anonymous said...

what wonderful ideas for chanterelles. I love these mushrooms, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I love this blog! It's so clean and professional looking. I am looking forward to cooking one of your interesting recipes.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

You lucky lucky girl Pelli! These are so lovely looking and I'm very sure they are super tasty. I'm only lucky enough to have these once in a great while! I think I've only had them 4 or 5 times in my entire life.

Pille said...

Iban - welcome to Nami-nami, and I'm glad you like what you see. I'll make sure to post lots of Estonian stuff in the future, too:)

Kalyn - you must try chantarelles, they're so lovely. And yes, a kohlrabi-chantarelle pairing worked well - very refreshing..

Bea - thank you!

Lobstersquad - I'll bake a fresh batch just before you arrive, so you can have some here and take a loaf along to Saaremaa!

Joey - I do hope you'll find them!

Ann - they cost about 13 USD a kilo at the moment, but the price usually goes down to just about 3-4 USD a kilo. And you can always just pop into the forest and pick your own ;)

Veronica - chantarelles are wonderful, aren't they? Pretty and tasty and hold their shape well..

Home Cook - thank you! Hope you'll come again!

Tanna - I'm a lucky Pille indeed :) We bought a kilogram from the market today, had third of that for lunch, I fried and froze about half a kilo and then there's some left for lunch tomorrow, too..