I am an Autumn type of person. The warm and earthy colours appeal to me and so does the food that is typical for this season. Ingredients like pumpkin, swede and parsnip are used often in my kitchen in this time of the year and so are edible mushrooms.
The texture, the (mostly) earthy taste and the versatile use are what I like about them most. When it comes to fresh mushrooms I have to admit that I mostly use regular chestnut or portobello mushrooms. That’s simply because they are widely available. Dried porcini mushrooms are a vast staple in my kitchen as well. They are great to add taste to sauces and stews.
This weekend we found chanterelles or girolles in the shop. In Dutch they’re called cantherellen and in German, they are called Pfifferlinge (I really like that name). So, obviously, they landed in my trolley! To make them the star of the meal I decided to keep it simple and I served them in a creamy white wine sauce with some crusty bread.
Preparing these lovely golden mushrooms always was something that bothered me and it held me back from buying them (yes, I am lazy to a certain extent). As you probably know, mushrooms should not be cleaned with lots of water, It will make them soggy and you will lose a lot of flavour! They should be brushed. That’s fine for most of the varieties that you find in shops as they are mostly grown in controlled conditions. They don’t really get dirty. Chanterelles always have a certain amount of dirt on them and brushing them takes forever! I, however, found this easy cleaning method online and it made things a whole lot easier. Here is how you easily clean chanterelles and get rid of dirt attached to them!
- Check your chanterelles for bad ones and throw them away. You might want to cut a little bit of the stem when necessary. Put all of them in a large bowl (with a lid if you have one). You will also need a very (VERY) generous amount of regular flour.
- Add the flour to the mushrooms and toss to coat them well (this is where the lid comes in handy). Leave them covered with flour for a few minutes.
- Transfer the chanterelles to a sieve or colander.
- Toss again to get rid of the excess flour. The dirt comes off with the flour!
Now, water is involved. And because you don’t want the mushrooms to get soggy, this part should be done rather quickly and just right before you actually want to cook them!
With your chanterelles still in the sieve or colander, rinse them thoroughly under cold, running water to get rid of the flour. Then transfer them to a clean kitchen towel or paper that you have already prepared. Carefully pad the mushrooms using kitchen paper to remove most of the water and use them immediately.
So, now that you have learned how to prepare the delicious chanterelles, let’s move on to the recipe!
As I have mentioned before, I’ve kept it very simple to make the chanterelles the true star of the dish. You only need a few ingredients and you can have dinner on the table within 30 minutes!
This time I have served the mushrooms with fresh, crusty bread to dip into the creamy sauce. I do really like them with gnocchi or pasta too, although you might want to reduce the quantities a little bit.
Unfortunately, chanterelles are not available all year round where I live. They can, however, easily be substituted by chestnut or Portobello mushrooms. These do have a milder taste, but you can add a few (soaked) dried porcini to the sauce.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! I for certain can’t wait to have them again!
- 500 g chanterelles
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil (I use rapeseed oil)
- 2 small onions finely chopped
- 100 g smoked bacon cut in strips or small pieces
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped or crushed
- 100 ml dry white wine
- 100 ml single cream
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped chives
- salt & pepper to taste
- crusty bread to serve
- Prepare the chanterelles as described above, but do not rinse yet
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the onions to soften for about 5 minutes without letting them turn brown
- Add the bacon to the pan and cook for a few minutes. Turn up the heat to high
- Rinse the chanterelles under cold, running water and leave them to dry a little on kitchen paper. Transfer them to the pan and cook for a few minutes
- Add the garlic and cook with the other ingredients for about 10 seconds. Then add the wine and bring to a boil to reduce the alcohol
- Add the cream and a splash of water for the sauce. Add more cream and/or water if you like to have more sauce. Bring to a boil
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the fresh parsley and chives. Serve immediately with the crusty bread
- You will need a generous amount of plain flour to clean the chanterelles. Follow the instructions above to prepare them for cooking
- You can serve the creamy chanterelles with gnocchi or pasta instead of bread. The amounts used in the recipe above will then serve 3-4 persons
- Why not give this recipe a try with chestnut or portobello mushrooms when chanterelles are not available