The Perfect Chanterelle Recipe

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The Perfect Chanterelle Recipe

Postby Bill Spohn » Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:16 pm

I picked up some chanterelles on Friday, the first of the season. I'd arranged for any available mushrooms to be offered to the other people at the wine lunch, but when they saw my mushrooms being delivered to me, it instigated a scene akin to a fungal rape of the Sabines as people were trampled and the foremost took the limited spoils. I hope Jenise got a few.

Anyway, there is a dish I always make at this time of the year because it mates so well with these mushrooms and I thought I'd share it with you.

There is a magical and transitory time each autumn when the first rains come and this is followed shortly by the first local harvest of chanterelles. They pick them small because this is the first harvest and the pickers are anxious to get the cash flow started. Later in the season when they are harvesting areas that weren’t touched earlier, you begin to see the mammoth mushrooms, which to me taste are woodier and coarser. The small mushrooms of the early harvests are definitely the choice tidbits to me.

It just happens that at about this time of year, the anxiously awaited Rosés from Southern France start coming into our local market (I'm sure you get better service elsewhere) – the wines we could have used much earlier in the summer.

The conjunction of that wine and those mushrooms climaxes, for me, in a dish I make that goes so perfectly with the wine that I just have to sit back and have another glass in wonder. Here it is:

Make a pastry shell for a 9” pie pan and make enough for a top too.

Sauté a half a chopped onion and 4 cloves of chopped (or pressed) garlic. Before they start to get too coloured, whack in about 2 pounds of lightly chopped (and cleaned, of course) chanterelles, and lightly brown (more just a tinge of gold, you know what I mean) them.

As they are almost done, add at least 4 tsp each of fresh sage, thyme and rosemary (to taste – I usually use more) and about 3 tbsp. chopped sundried tomatoes.

Stir that around a bit and then take a bunch of spinach that you’ve cleaned and whacked off the stems, and spread it over the top of the shrooms and put the lid on until it wilts and you can stir it in. Take that off the heat and drain in a colander.

Take 1 potato and peel and grate it fairly finely.

Beat 3 large eggs and add 2-3 tsp of Dijon mustard –mix. Add salt and pepper (c. 1 tsp each) and the grated potato. Add 1 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts – this is important – gives not only flavour but great texture.

Add the mushroom mixture to the egg mixture and stir, then plop it down on the lower pastry crust and spread it out. Put the top shell on and bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes – just keep an eye on your pastry.

Haul it out and let it sit for at least 10-15 minutes and then serve with a chilled flagon of Rosé – I used Ch. Guiot from Nimes and it was magnificent. A great wine and food match is one that elevates both to heights unachieved alone. This is one of those rare cases. Enjoy.
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Re: The Perfect Chanterelle Recipe

Postby Jenise » Sun Oct 22, 2006 4:19 pm

Bill, yes, Les gifted me some of his mushrooms. They are the prettiest chantarelles I've ever seen--not soggy, not covered in soil, not tattered as the usual late season mushrooms are. Your mushroom pie sounds like heaven. So does the pate recipe also posted here, the strudel and that lasagna I was planning to make yesterday but didn't due to a totally unexpected trip to Seattle. What to do? WHAT TO DO?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: The Perfect Chanterelle Recipe

Postby Bill Spohn » Sun Oct 22, 2006 5:09 pm

Jenise wrote:WHAT TO DO?


Do the pie - I'd love your reading on it.

The fresh mushies will not last long before starting to go slimy, so do it soon. Once cooked they'll last in the fridge. I only know that second hand. None of this pie has ever made it past a day or so.....we are doing it again tonight (picture me rolling in chanterelles and hugging self. OK, cancell that, but imagine me having a lot of gustatory fun.
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Re: The Perfect Chanterelle Recipe

Postby Jenise » Sun Oct 22, 2006 5:54 pm

I'd love to, perhaps tomorrow. I know about needing to use the mushrooms soon--in fact, I moved them to a paper bag when I got home to help stall off the slime even though I planned to use them last night. A stupid emergency got in the way (I needed to have a $350 rebate postmarked yesterday, something I thought I could get done in Bellingham but no, and then Everett and Seattle downtown were busts too--ended up at the frigging airport, a 260 mile round trip.) Good thing I took Bobo along--would have had a lot of 'splaining to do when I got home at 9:00 at night!
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: The Perfect Chanterelle Recipe

Postby Cynthia Wenslow » Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:31 pm

Oh my, Bill. That goes on The List!

Thank you!!
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Re: The Perfect Chanterelle Recipe

Postby Bill Spohn » Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:36 pm

Cynthia Wenslow wrote:Oh my, Bill. That goes on The List!

Thank you!!


I actually have a more than perfect chanterelle recipe but I'm not sure everyone is ready for it. I have been told it is better than sex (not by my wife, mind you.... by someone referring to THEIR husband presumably :oops:
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Re: The Perfect Chanterelle Recipe

Postby Cynthia Wenslow » Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:44 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:I actually have a more than perfect chanterelle recipe but I'm not sure everyone is ready for it.


I am quite sure some of us are more than ready. Will you still respect me if I beg for it? :wink:
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Re: The Perfect Chanterelle Recipe

Postby Bill Spohn » Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:55 pm

Oh all right.

But use it wisely, my dear.

Take about a kilo of fresh chanterelles (regular mushrooms work as well, but once you''ve had it with chanterelles, for fungus fans, at least, there is no going back).

Cut them into large chunks and put them in a saucepan. Pour in 2 - 3 cups of whipping cream (until it is a bit below the level of the mushrooms).

Simmer for an hour to an hour and a half. For the first while, the cream just simmers away (watch it doesn''t foam over onto the stovetop), and then something magical happens - the cream reduces and takes the colour and flavour of the mushrooms.

Reduce until thickened a little, add a good dash of sherry (I used Lustau''s Peninsula, a Palo Cortado) and a few tbsp. of chopped fresh sage, let it simmer a little more, and serve in pastry shells, or what have you.

Not exactly heart-smart, but ambrosia, and great with the more flavourful whites and most red wines!
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Re: The Perfect Chanterelle Recipe

Postby David Creighton » Mon Oct 23, 2006 12:21 pm

the cream recipe sounds better to me than the pie one - the latter (good though it must be) perhaps being an example of my abortive 'too many ingredients' post. cream has never yet harmed a mushroom! interesting that sage is a part of both - i never thought of sage with mushrooms; but since i have plenty of it, i'll give it a try. the best chanterelle dish i ever had was years ago at a one star in the south of france. the chanterelles were small and obviously very fresh. this dish was offered as a 'special' - a substitute main course. the mushrooms were sauteed gently in butter and a very little garlic; and had a finishing toss of finely chopped parsley. thats a memory i've kept for 30 years.
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Re: The Perfect Chanterelle Recipe

Postby Cynthia Wenslow » Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:04 pm

Well, that was way easy to acquire! Thanks, Bill!
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