Chanterelles seem to be worth their weight in gold. They are golden looking, golden tasting, and golden priced. The cap is fleshy, with wavy, rounded cap margins tapering downward to meet the stem. The gills are not the usual thin straight panels hanging from the lower surface of the cap, as we see in the common store mushroom. Instead, the ridges are rounded, blunt, shallow, and widely spaced. At the edge of the cap they are forked and interconnected. The chanterelle's aroma is variously described as apricot- or peachlike. It is unmistakably different and identifiable.
Although I had tried them with all the traditional pasta and fricassee type dishes, I wanted to give something else a go. This recipe fit the bill.
SAVORY CHANTERELLE BUDINO AND CHANTERELLE-WALNUT PATE OVER MIXED BABY SALAD GREENS
Attrributed to Barabara Lee, as found at http://www.marxfoods.com/Chanterelle-Mushroom-Recipes#recipe32.
Chanterelles and cream pair nicely in this recipe. Serve atop mixed baby greens dressed in a light balsamic-Dijon vinaigrette. Optionally sprinkle of chopped apricots as a nod to the aroma of fresh chanterelle, I didn't do this in my recipe and the flavors were still great.
Budino is the Italian word for custard or pudding, but can also be in sweet, soft dish. The one below has a tendency to lean more towards savory rather than sweet with the exception of the sweetness of the cream.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces wild golden chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
2 cups light cream
Water for water bath (see directions below)
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add mushrooms, basil, garlic and salt. Saute 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and allow to cool. The original recipe recommended using 6 ovenproof ramekins or custard cups, but I decided to short cut the effort and used 2 small casserole dishes as shown in the above photo.
Grease the dishes and then divide mushroom mixture evenly on bottoms of ramekins or cups. Place ramekins in a baking dish large enough to hold them without touching each other. Preheat oven to 325F. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk eggs and cream until well blended. Pour slowly over mushrooms, giving each ramekin an equal amount of egg/cream mix. Heat a quart of water to boiling in a tea kettle or similar. Pour hot water around ramekins in dish until water level equals level of budino inside. Bake for 25 minutes, then check to see if budino is set in center. If not, bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer, checking every 5 minutes. Budino is done when sides are set and center moves ever so slightly when shaken gently. When done, remove from water bath and cool to room temperature on rack. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 1 day before service. Serving instructions are listed after the recipe below.
2-1/2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup wild golden chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 small clove fresh garlic, minced
1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces
1 tablespoon walnut oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon orange zest
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add mushrooms, shallots and garlic. Saute 7-10 minutes, stirring often, until mix is just browning and any liquids given off have evaporated. Place walnuts, oil, salt and zest in a food processor and process until a paste has formed. Add mushroom mix when it is done and blend until almost smooth. Place in a 1-1/2 cup mold or bowl and refrigerate just until cool. Serving instructions are listed below.
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped dried apricots
4 cups mixed baby salad greens
12 cocktail-size slices of assorted artisanal breads, lightly toasted
In a small mixing bowl, whisk balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard. Slowly add olive oil, whisking constantly, until dressing is creamy. At time of service, toss dressing with apricots (if used) and greens. Divide evenly on 6 serving plate. Run a knife around edges of ramekins and invert on middle of serving plate to unmold. If casserole dishes were used, invert and cut the boudin into triangles as shown below. Spread pate on toasts and place 2 toasts on each plate. Serves 6.