This past weekend Bill was up north of Seattle visiting friends and helping on their new 20 acre farm. On hikes through their land and nearby woods he found some beautiful wild mushrooms. He was lucky -- a little bit of recent rain helped push them up through the leaf litter. He sent me photos via iPhone, and I was happy to share his treasures through our phone technology. I never expected that he'd carefully package them to protect from bruising and smushing and bring them home to me! The best gift ever.
While on his trip, Bill had chanterelles in a cream sauce tossed with whole wheat pasta that sounded delicious. We researched other recipes that would highlight the delicate flavor of these forest treats. Bill cooked up the lobster mushroom with onions, garlic and red pepper into a frittata. I roasted the chanterelles with thyme, shallots, olive oil and butter and served them over Parmesan polenta.
This recipe would be delicious with other types of mushrooms -- even the button mushrooms you can find in any grocery store -- but wild mushrooms are simply divine. Bill picked these wild mushrooms with the help of friends' experience and knowledge of mushroom identification -- wild mushrooms should never be eaten without proper identification.
Roasted Chanterelles with Polenta
make 2 servings
For the Chanterelles:
6 ounces chanterelle mushrooms, brushed clean and cut into pieces
1 Tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small shallot, sliced thinly
1 sprig fresh thyme, stem removed (about 1 teaspoon leaves)
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Place all the ingredients in an 8" x 8" Pyrex baking pan, stirring to coat the mushrooms with the oil and to distribute the thyme.
3. Place pan in the oven. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring every 3 or 4 minutes. Sample a piece of mushroom to see if they are tender enough for your taste. While these cook, start the polenta (see recipe below).
4. Remove from the oven and serve over the polenta, including the yummy liquid from the bottom of the pan.
For the Polenta
3 cups water
1 cup polenta
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1. Heat the water and salt to boiling in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the polenta while stirring. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue stirring frequently as the polenta cooks, about 20 minutes. Do not cover. If the polenta starts to look dry, add a couple tablespoons water, milk or cream.
2. Once the polenta is cooked (test it with a spoon to see if it is creamy enough and a good texture), add the butter, Parmesan and pepper. Taste again and adjust salt and pepper accordingly.
3. Spoon into bowls and serve the chanterelles on top with another sprinkling of grated Parmesan.
Enjoy! While you eat, imagine you are in a beautiful Pacific Northwest forest. Mmmmm.
|Maple Falls, Washington|