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THE chanterelles they are an interesting ingredient in the kitchen because they can transform a banal dish into a special, refined and elegant dish. Let's find out what it is, how to recognize it and also how to prepare it so that it can stand out in our dishes. It is also important to learn how to clean it, because like all mushrooms it is not trivial to do so
Chanterelles: what they are
Chanterelles are mushrooms, are one of the many mushrooms that today we can also find in our country, and we can also hear it indicated with other names such as "chanterelle" and "gallucci" even if the scientific terminology is still different, it is Cantharellus cibarius. Chanterelles are one of the many mushrooms we can eat, they are edible and also good, they have a particular flavor that makes them quite in demand and end up being a sought-after ingredient.
From the aesthetic point of view we are faced with a mushroom with a very wavy and wavy shape, with warm and very autumnal colors: it can be golden yellow with orange reflections that become more or less marked depending on the amount of rain and the humidity level of the environment in which it grows.
Usually this type of mushrooms appears in the hot season, starting from June, remaining available in the woods, however, until late autumn, until mid-October. It is found mainly in broad-leaved woods, but also in coniferous or mixed woods, especially after periods of abundant rain. When we harvest them, we try to consume them fresh, because as often happens with mushrooms, if they begin to deteriorate due to heat or being too humid, they can also release harmful substances for humans.
How to recognize Chanterelles
It is essential to learn to recognize the mushrooms we want to eat, and to do it with the utmost attention because if we are deceived we can get to cook an inedible species. Fortunately, this time it is not too difficult a feat.
Color is already an element that helps us because the nuances of chanterelles are really sought after, both as regards the stem and the cap, but also the shape is quite recognizable. The hat, which is the first thing we see while walking, has a very jagged and irregular outline, and can even be over 10 centimeters in diameter. The stem is very thin, especially compared to the cap.
If we touch the surface of the fungus in question, we can feel its gills, alternating with smooth parts. If we taste a well-cooked mushroom, we can sink our teeth into a firm and slightly spongy pulp.
How to clean chanterelles
The same rule applies to all mushrooms, cleaning must be carried out very carefully, scrupulously, slowly. First of all, let's take our mushrooms and after having shaken them a little from the earth let's put them under a rather powerful jet of water to "hunt" other forest residues. At this point, let's arm ourselves with patience and start manual cleaning. Any remnants of earth that are still attached to the surface of the mushroom must be removed with our fingers. The points that must be cleaned with the utmost care are the cap, underneath, and the individual blades. To better clean the mushrooms, there are also those who cook them lightly by boiling them.
If, once cleaned i chanterelles, we are not ready to eat them immediately, it is absolutely better to freeze them so that they can be consumed even after 3 months. We can freeze them immediately after cleaning them, or we can carry on scalding them a little. Alternatively, these can also be dried mushrooms: let's take them, let's clean them and then spread them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, put it in the oven and make heart at 60 degrees maximum for about 5 hours. Your dried chanterelles are ready.
How to cook Chanterelles
These chanterelles can be cooked in very different ways, some more banal than others but always with excellent results. Let's start with the basic recipe which is that of chanterelles in a pan. Well cleaned, we can cut them into pieces and cook on a pan with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and parsley. If we love spicy, we can also add some chili
When we want to serve gods chanterelles as an appetizer, however, it is better to prepare them in oil, easy to serve and very tasty. To do this we must first boil them slightly, if we have not already done so before freezing them, this time with white wine, vinegar, bay leaf and cloves. Then they must be drained and well dried. At this point we can put them in jars together with extra virgin olive oil, a little bay leaf, again, and also some garlic.
If we wanted to prepare a good first course with this ingredient, we can cook a classic Risotto with mushrooms. So let's start with the usual fried onion, then wet the rice with white wine and only in the final part of cooking can we add the chanterelles and shortly after the vegetable broth until completely cooked.
Another first, alternatively, can be the soup with these mushrooms, a very tasty autumn soup. Cook the mushrooms with extra virgin olive oil, onion and garlic, then blend with white wine and at the end this mixture is mixed with a mix of flour dissolved in butter and broth. Before it is ready, you have to wait at least an hour. To serve it at the table, it is advisable to combine toasted croutons.
Taste of chanterelles
Of all the mushrooms, these have a particularly characteristic flavor that makes them a special and sought-after ingredient in the kitchen. The same cannot be said of other mushrooms much less banal and aromatic than this one. Even the scent of chanterelles is very intense but it is released only when we start cooking them, because when raw they are odorless.
You may be interested in reading our related article on all edible mushrooms