Sunday, November 23, 2014

Chanterelle Toast

Walking in the forest on a brisk autumn day, basket in hand, on a mushroom hunt, is one of the finest activities I know.  Our dog practically jumps for joy, his tail wagging so hard that one is afraid it might fall off, as he runs in circles around us.  We walk slowly, scattered through the forest, eyes peeled for a glimpse of elusive apricot gold treasure. Blueberry bushes tempt us with their sweetness and we slow down as we pluck them, cold, juicy and tart, our fingers and tongues staining purple. Suddenly, one of us spots a flash of gold….breath held…to root among the fallen leaves…breath released in disappointment..just a burnished leaf.  But oh! Now a cry echos in the air: “Chanterelle!” calls out one of the boys.  We all rush over, treading carefully as we come near.  Chanterelle are a social creature, once you see one, there are almost always others nearby.  There is one half buried under some leaves, and more over there by the moss.  Oh, and look, there is one that you almost stepped on just by your foot!

After some hours of searching, we are rosy cheeked and ready for a rest.  Some fallen logs in a mossy spot will do for a picnic.  A few simple sandwiches or some cinnamon rolls with coffee will give us some more energy for the hunt.  And though we frown upon letting the dog have food while we eat, in the forest we relax the rules and he has a sandwich too.

Another hour or two, our baskets our full, and our legs are tired.  We make our way back home.  We all sit at the table to clean the mushrooms, cutting off dirty stems and brushing pine needles carefully off with a brush.  Into the pan they go with a large pat of butter, and then a slog of cream.  Heaped onto toast, the chanterelles are gone in a flash, leaving us to fight over the last creamy morsels in the pan.

4 servings

4 handfuls of chanterelle mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup or so of cream
Salt and pepper to taste
4 slices of good white bread

Cut the chanterelle to bite size pieces.  Take a pan and add the butter and put over a high heat.  When the butter is melted, add the chanterelle.  Fry on high heat until the chanterelle start to take on some color.  Add the cream and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring the cream to a boil and then turn the heat down to low.  Let the mushrooms simmer in the cream for 5 minutes or so until the cream thickens.  Meanwhile, toast the bread and put a slice of bread on each plate.  Pile the mushroom mixture onto each of the toasts.  Eat immediately.

No comments: