This weekend the Lake Quinault Mushroom Festival convenes, bringing mycological experts together for a three day crash course on everything from field trips to cooking demonstrations . I’m amped up with excitement for the event, because I have questions. Lots of questions. So far I have confined my mushroom hunting to varieties which are easily identified; Chanterelles, Chicken of the Woods, Oyster, Cauliflower. But we see so many other kinds, and I’ve tasted others which leave me swooning in delight. I need to be sure of the Matsutake, one of the finest tastes ever, and my issues with the ugly Lobster mushrooms needs to be resolved. We see them everywhere and they are the most unpleasant looking mushrooms. They look more like a Steven King creation than anything I want to cook, but they are much loved by many. Because they are a parasite, growing on another mushroom, I need to learn the gentle art of spore printing so that the ugly Lobster mushroom and I can become better acquainted.
If you are interested in great Chanterelle recipes, stop by the Grays Harbor Farmers Market in Hoquiam for a free copy of my very best; Cream of Chanterelle Soup, Chanterelle Spaghetti, Chanterelles steeped in Liquor, Chanterelle Pie, Chanterelle Sandwich.
Here is my newest creation;
2 cups of wood chips for the grill
3 rosemary sprigs
6 thyme sprigs
1 lb or more of sliced Chanterelles
pierced aluminum pan
This recipe works well for a standard gas grill with two burners. I discovered that stores carry packages of thin aluminum sheets with slits in them, perfect for holding wood chips for smoking! What will they think of next?
Combine the wood chips and herbs on the pierced foil pan. Place it on the grill and start the heat under that side. When the wood chips begin to smoke, place the mushrooms in the other foil pan which is NOT pierced and set it on the unheated part of the grill. Cover the grill and let the ‘shrooms smoke for 20 minutes.
These are fabulous by themselves as a side dish or added to some of the other recipes, such as my mushroom soup or spaghetti. Or simply fold them into some cream cheese for a bruschetta or cracker topping.
Barbara Bennett Parsons, manager of the Grays Harbor Farmers Market
Watch for Chanterelles to be on our produce tables soon!
1958 Riverside in Hoquiam, ph. 538-9747 Deidra’s deli 538-5880
Grays Harbor Public Market