Monday, September 26, 2011

fine and dandy mushrooms

When I first moved to Sweden I said to my husband, I don't like mushrooms. I said to my husband's family, I don't like mushrooms. Then one day I was invited to eat mushrooms. I said, I don't like mushrooms. After that dinner, I liked mushrooms. But not just any mushrooms. Kantarell or chanterelle mushrooms. These are amazing, soft, rich, woody, golden pieces of sunshine hiding in the wonderful Swedish forest. Usually in a shaded area with lots of moss and flowers around it.
This is the time of year when these mushrooms are at their prime growth. It's cold, but not too cold and it's raining (a lot). We go out into the forest for a few hours and come back with liters of gold. When I say gold, that isn't exaggerating too much. These babies sell for quite a pretty penny (or krona if you are in Sweden). They are on the same culinary list as truffles and morels.
Not only are these delicious, but they are a joy to pick. What is better than heading out into the beautiful Swedish forest with your husband, his mom and dad and any other member of the family who might go along. It's lovely.
Yes, it is quite normal to go out looking like you just woke up. This is my father-in-law, Håkan. He can actually smell chanterelle. He's really good.
Can you see Fredrik? Ann, his mom, didn't hide quite as well.
Just some of the gorgeousness we see on the walk to the mushrooms. Which reminds me, it's quite a hike, up hill, both ways, to get to the best mushrooms hunting grounds. So it's a work out too!
The end result. How happy I was to find these huge chunks of deliciousness under a tree.
The best way to eat kantarell is to clean them very well, they usually have moss, dirt and spiders on them. Yes, gross, but that's what you are cleaning them. Boil them if you are going to freeze them, above are boiled kantarell ready for the freezer. If not freezing, you fry them in a pan until all the water is evaporated. Then you add butter, salt and pepper, garlic if you please and eat on a piece of bread. So simple, yet soooo delicious.
Now for my favorite.
Kantarell sås (chanterelle sauce)
1\2 liter chanterelle's
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups heavy cream
2 table spoons soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Make sure mushrooms are clean and chopped to the same size. Fry in a pan with butter until water is evaportated. Over medium heat sprinkle flour over mushrooms and stir for a minute or so. This takes away the floury taste. Add cream slowly and stir. Add soy, salt and pepper and stir until slightly thickened. This doesn't take very long, but keep stirring. This helps it from sticking and you get a better feel for how fast it is thickening and how thick it actually is.
We usually eat this with pasta or in the later part of summer when the first mushrooms are popping out we eat them with grilled food such as chicken and oven potatoes. But really, it's delicious with almost everything!
If we ever come across these babies, buy them and try them out. You won't be disappointed!

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