One day not long ago, there was an ongoing conversation about mushrooms on Facebook. The chatter was about chanterelle mushrooms that I have never seen nor tasted. Several days later, my friend Jane Hester appeared with a large paper bag in hand. She had a sly grin on her face, so I wondered what was in store for me.
I opened the bag, and inside were the most gorgeous mushrooms I have ever seen. Jane had been the recipient of a large quantity of these absolutely beautiful morsels, and I could not believe she could part with them.
Chanterelle mushrooms are the most divine color – a golden-saffron like a Palomino horse, and the caps have a charming wavy top. I was so taken with their beauty and at a loss for words for a moment. I was thinking they would somehow make a lovely piece of jewelry if they were not so good to eat. Even the word chanterelle has a wonderful lilting sound.
Jane told me to wash them well because there was lots of dirt clinging to them. Also one should not eat them raw, because they can make some people feel ill. They should be thoroughly cooked.
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After thanking my gift giver, I began thinking about how I would cook these little jewels. When I got home I decided to saute them and serve them over toast.
Here’s the recipe:
Sauteed Chanterelles a la Huger Cove
▪ 1 pound well-washed chanterelles. Cut stems off and, if need be, cut up large mushrooms, leaving small ones whole.
▪ 3 or 4 tablespoons sweet butter or olive oil.
▪ 1 cup chicken stock
▪ 1/2 cup dry vermouth or white wine
▪ Salt and pepper to taste
▪ A bit of chopped parsley
▪ Grated Parmesan cheese
▪ 4 slices of thick French bread, toasted.
▪ Melt butter in a large frying pan on low heat. Add chanterelles and saute until they are soft and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add chicken broth and vermouth, and stir until well heated. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over the toast, and top with parsley and Parmesan cheese. This is a great addition to drinks or as a light meal.
Let them eat cake – a bit later
Because of the terrible weather we have been having, I have postponed the Bluffton Pound Cake Extravaganza until we are assured of a nice dry day. So do not file away your pound cake recipe, and keep the baking pan close by. The entry fee for the contest is $20 to benefit the town park planned at the end of Calhoun Street on the May River.
As a side note, as many might already know, a town park is in the works on Boundary Street across from the Shrimpboat Playground. What a treat both of these parks will be for all of us and our many visitors. If you have ever been to Winter Park, Fla., you know how lovely the town is with their wonderful parks that are in constant use for all sorts of activities. I am thrilled that Bluffton is so forward thinking about our treasures that will add another wonderful layer of charm to our town.
To Harvey’s victims: ‘We love you’
To Texas and Louisiana and all of the people and critters affected by the terrible weather, we send you a sunrise and a sunset full of love from the heart of Bluffton.
Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street or at email@example.com.