A Walk in the Woods

Posted on July 30, 2014  /   Posted in Cheryl Dishes, Rabbit Hill

Tait, (our Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever), and I walk Crockett Cove most every morning. Our two mile loop takes us down the hill, through the woods and along the shore, returning via the narrow gravel road lined with moss covered rocks and spruce trees. There are certain spots along the route we always linger; to watch the osprey fishing in the cove, pick tiny purple violets or wild strawberries, admire the shafts of light shining through the trees, and investigate what other wonders the woods has to offer us.

This summer in particular has been abundant with treasures, and just this week we discovered numerous clusters of the chrome-yellow, funnel-shaped cap, edible fungi, known as chanterelles. The chanterelle mushroom is considered one of the most flavorful of all the edible mushrooms. They most often are found in mossy ground under trees that filter the sun. Their distinctive shape has been compared to an umbrella turned inside out by a gust of wind.

Sandy Buxton, a consummate forager of chanterelles, first introduced me to these delicious, apricot-scented gems. In a quick phone conversation, she confirmed that the weather conditions are providing an excellent crop, and the cooler at Sandy’s Provisions in Brooklyn are frequently stocked with chanterelles.

A basket of chantrelles

I was delighted to learn this, as the chanterelle season often runs through September.

Now our morning walks are even more fruitful, and I am grateful for all nature has to offer.

Chantrelle mushrooms simmering inin cream

Chanterelles in Cream

Cheryl Wixson
This classic French preparation takes a bit of time, but the delicious result is well worth the effort.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound small chanterelles
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced shallot summer onion or garlic scapes
  • 1⁄2 cup white wine
  • 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Trim the chanterelles and wipe them gently with a brush or soft cloth. (I use an old toothbrush to clean them) If they are large, slice them lengthwise into quarters. Dry them and set aside.
  • Using a large sauté pan (that has a cover), melt the butter and heat the oil. Add the shallots or chopped onions to the pan. Cover and cook over moderately low heat for about 10 minutes or until they are soft.
  • Add the mushrooms and wine. Season to taste with the sea salt and fresh pepper. Cover and cook an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook an additional 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the cream and raise the heat. Simmer until the sauce is reduced by one-half, about 3 to 4 more minutes. Stir in the fresh parsley. Taste and correct the seasonings. Serve on toast points or in puff pastry shells. Serves 4 as a main course or 8 as an appetizer.

Notes

Nutritional analysis per serving (as main course): 270 calories, 5 grams protein, 5 grams carbohydrates, 26 grams fat, 87 mg. sodium, 1 gram fiber.

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