CleaningWild mushrooms can present a challenge to clean. The chanterelle cap folds tightly and has crevices that collect debris, from pine needles to bugs and dirt. The caps will grow around twigs, so it might be necessary to cut out sections of mushroom that have embedded sticks. Cut off the foot of the mushroom stem where dirt tends to clump.
Use ice cold water to rinse chanterelles, but wash quickly and dry thoroughly. Or use a dry toothbrush or a mushroom brush to remove surface dirt and sand. Brush the false gills under running water, or cut them out entirely if they are filled with dirt. Drain on paper towels to remove any moisture. The time taken in the cleaning process is rewarded when you don’t have to spit out debris later.
CookingFor such an ethereal looking mushroom, the flavor of the chanterelle is powerful. The golden chanterelle has apricot nuances and a slightly peppery punch that pair well with cream and butter. And it’s hard to mask the flavor, even with cheese, which makes them an ideal wild edible for all kinds of cooking. Chanterelles complement pork, chicken, rabbit, veal and quail, either in a stuffing or with a sauce.
A simple sauté with olive oil and shallots will allow you to experience the full flavor of this extraordinary mushroom. Use chanterelles anywhere you would use a mushroom: on a burger, in risotto, quiche, in a white wine sauce, or simply sautéed with butter and fresh herbs. Many believe this mushroom needs little more than a generous amount of butter and some salt and pepper.
Chanterelles and pasta make a natural pair, as do eggs and chanterelles. Chanterelle mushrooms will add depth to stews and can be miraculous with scallops or shellfish.
PreservingChanterelles are suitable for drying and maintain their aroma and flavor well, though the texture is entirely altered, tending to be chewy. Dried chanterelles can be pulverized into flour and used as a seasoning in soups and sauces, especially creamy ones.
NOTE: Do not eat mushrooms you have found in the wild unless they are identified by a mushroom expert as100% safe.
RECIPE SUGGESTIONS:Rabbit, Foie Gras and Chanterelle TerrinePappardelle with Rabbit, Porcini and Parmesan