Jimmy Forsman improvises a show and tell featuring store foraged chanterelles, and a lovely glass of bubbly.
By Jimmy Forsman
The Swedish summer passed swiftly. I think there was a short stint of something slightly resembling warmth in late May, but the major parts of June and July passed in a damp greyness. The only redeeming quality with all this rain is that we have an absolute abundance of mushrooms out there for the grabs.
However, I tend to avoid forests. All that nasty wildlife seems to be out to get me (mosquitos, ticks) and I prefer to chase my mushrooms down in the convenience of my local store.
They also have bacon, something you rarely find in the woods, an ingredient that is absolutely necessary when it comes to cooking mushrooms. Other necessities include butter (a generous dollop) and parsley. A nice piece of bread and some champagne round it off perfectly.
Now, I won’t do one of those fancy recipes for this little show and tell. This is homely cooking and it should be improvised. Use whatever mushrooms you have available and things will be just peachy.
Chanterelles, as most mushrooms contain a lot of water. It is always important to put the mushrooms in a dry pan, no butter or oil, and to let them release the excess water and let that evaporate before adding the other ingredients. When the mushrooms are beginning to brown add half a finely chopped onion and some crispy, diced, bacon that you have pre-cooked and set to the side (if you are feeling truly hedonistic keep the fat from the bacon too and add that to the mushrooms when you add the onions). Let the onions cook soft and then stir in a lump of fresh butter and sprinkle parsley over it all.
Serve on some nice, dark bread (or bread of your choice).
You can drink whatever you like with this dish, an ice cold beer is never wrong, but we took advantage of one of the last truly great summer evenings and enjoyed the mushrooms together with a bottle of 2006 l’Artise from the fantastically talented producer/grower David Léclapart. A bone dry, low dosage 100% Chardonnay champagne. Very young, very crisp and very good. This wine will be magical in five to ten years time. It is good now, but those lucky to get their hands on a couple of bottles and to store them? Damn, they will be in for a treat.