Sunday, November 14, 2010

chanterelles



OMG! Chanterelles at Costco for $8.99 a pound!
These delicious little (and not so little) fungi grow at the root of forest trees and show up after heavy rain during the fall and winter. They typically sell for $30-$60 per pound at specialty markets which puts them into the same league as morels. Cook them - don't eat them raw.
Chanterelles are also super dirty and a real pain to clean. Run them under water and use your fingernails or a soft brush to get all the dirt out of the delicate crevices - but do not soak them in water! Keep them as dry as possible before cooking.
The French would always tell you to saute them in butter, but you know how I feel about butter. Butter dominates and overpowers everything and disguises all fantastic natural food flavors. So use olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper, and maybe some smashed garlic bits. Intensely flavorful, meaty, silky, wet, nutty - SO DELICIOUS!
Do it:
(1) Lightly coat a pan with olive oil and turn heat to high.
(2) Add the Chanterelles and some smashed garlic cloves to the pan, keeping the heat on high. 
(3) Turn the pieces after 1-3 minutes (depending on how big your pieces are) to cook the other side. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Okay, back to the butter. If you must, add a spoonful at the end of the cooking for a richer, heavier bite. Only if you want RICHER.
Nice appetizer - plain or with some toasty baguette. Great side dish for a rare steak. Or with jasmine rice and some sesame seeds. Or toss into your fave salad. Or just grab a bottle of red wine ;) and kick it.

I'm getting my kids hooked on Depeche over crafts. Today, I'm feeling a bit nostalgic and reminiscing... Depeche Mode, Violator

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