Sunday, 29 July 2012

May I Propose a Toast?

Funghi Cantarelli su Pane Tostato con Formaggio Cremoso
Chanterelle Mushrooms on Cream Cheese Toast

Mushrooms on toast- that stuffy, old "classic" from Britain in the 70's. Oh it was a perfectly fine snack, for sure, or else its popularity would never have grown to the extent that it did... but you know? Sometimes you just want to do things that little bit better... and this was one of those times!

This is just really, really simple and maybe a tad decadent, but still, chanterelles are in season here right now and this more than generous portion you can see here, for sure cost less than a fast-food meal. It was a million times more delicious, healthy, gorgeous and simply GOOD, so I would say it is good to be decadent every now and again!

Of course the first thing to do here is to prepare the toast., which does need to be cold or at least cool in order to not cause the cream cheese to run and look unsightly- also, it will retain a little crispiness for a longer time this way. I chose to use these English muffin type rolls rather than regular bread, but of course you can use any bread you prefer. These were wholemeal muffins which had a nice robust flavor, to hold up to the tasty mushrooms and cream cheese- just perfect!

Cleaning the chanterelles is a bit of a tedious task as they do tend to be particularly covered in fine dirt always... but I have a trick for you all! Fill a bowl with water and drop in your mushrooms, then sprinkle a couple of spoons of flour onto them and start to rub them together gently under the water. What happens is that the dirt will stick to the flour as you gently rub the mushroms together. You will see that the white flour will go a muddy gray color which is a clear sign of how dirty the mushrooms are. Pour the water off and repeat- twice should be enough! And then let them dry out a little- as a rule, I hate to wash mushrooms as it always makes them a bit soggy and slimey and I usually choose to either peel away the outer layer of skin or to brush them. Alas, apart from the stalks, you won't get far with that method with these fellows! But they are worth the extra effort!

Once the mushrooms are clean and dried a little, get your frying pan really hot and add a pat of clarified butter. When it is melted and bubbling slightly, add the mushrooms and sautée them for 2-3 minutes. After this time, add a crushed clove of garlic and a couple of chopped Spring onions. Season with sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper and a little nutmeg and keep frying at a high heat until the mushrooms have a wonderful golden color- around 5 minutes total time.

Spread the rolls generously with cream cheese that has had freshly chopped chives added and then spoon the mushrooms on top. Sprinkle generously with finely chopped parsley and enjoy that wonderful, pure mushroom flavor! I sure do love chanterelles!

No comments:

Post a Comment