Wild Chanterelles with Potatoes
After living in Georgia for 18 years, I discovered that its forests are full of chanterelles all summer long. This discovery for a lifelong wild mushroom hunter from Europe was life changing. I now know what I will be doing after each strong rain all the way through September! And the best part is that we don’t even have to drive anywhere – the forest with tons of mushrooms starts right outside our neighbor’s fence and belongs to the government, leading up to the drinking water reservoir, which is fenced in. This means that I am not breaking rules or trespassing anybody’s property while picking mushrooms. The government would forgive my harmless walk outside their fence, or so I hope.
Wild chanterelles are among the best known wild mushrooms. They grow in European forests, North and Central America, and even Africa. Chances are you live where they might grow in a mossy wet forest. I have complete trust in my mushroom recognition abilities. I have done that since childhood, but my recommendation for less experienced people is to educate themselves or better yet, to take a guide with them. There are some mushrooms that are very similar to chanterelles and one poisonous mushroom could be your last one, so be very careful.
That being said, I have led my family on two mushroom hunts so far and picked enough for three dinners. If not for worms, it would be enough for 10 meals. I am currently awaiting another strong rain!
Once you have mushrooms picked or if you bought them in the store, you are ready to make to-die-for meal. It is fast, requires just a few ingredients, and will be loved by everybody.
|3 organic carrots|
|¾ of organic Vidalia onion|
|Butter, ghee, or olive oil|
|Salt and pepper|
|Organic heavy whipping cream (1/4 package)|
Chanterelles don’t have to be cooked before frying them on butter, but we have always done it back home, and I always do that now.
I put the cleaned and sliced raw mushrooms in a pot with water, let it reach boiling temperature, and then let it cook for 5 minutes.
It disinfects the mushrooms and washes away all the dirt that is stuck and hard to clean otherwise. Once they are cooked, strain the mushrooms, rinse with cold water, and drain them. They are now ready for cooking further.
I cook potatoes separately from mushrooms. And it really doesn’t matter how you prepare them.
They can be boiled and then fried to get crispy, they can be baked in the over, fried with onions, and they can even come in the shape of mashed potatoes. I prefer the first method – boiled and then cut and fried until golden brown.
I start with potatoes first - peel them, cut in halves or quarters if bigger, put in a salty water, and let the water boil.
Then I take off the foam, reduce, heat, and simmer until soft. When done, strain the water and dry them in the pot over low heat for about a minute. Let them sit in the pot until the mushrooms are almost done.
Now to the mushrooms – they use a lot of oil, butter, or ghee, so make sure you have enough on hand and keep replenishing it.
They also use a lot of seasoning. Place mushrooms, peeled and grated carrots, and chopped onion in the pan with, in my case, oil.
I always use medium heat as I don’t want them to cook too fast and burn.
Stir mushrooms frequently, but not too often. Let each side get nice and a bit crispy. Season to taste, but don’t over-salt. You can always add more salt later. After turning the heat off, garnish the mushrooms with fresh or frozen dill.
When mushrooms are about done, add heavy whipping cream and cook for just a few more minutes, 2 at the most.
Take another pan, place cut potatoes, oil, and cook for a little bit, just to get them crispy.
Place potatoes and mushrooms on the plate and serve while hot. Get a glass of cold organic kefir on the side and the best meal in your life is guaranteed! Enjoy!