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sautéed wild mushrooms

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Sauteed wild mushrooms

I went to Munich a few weeks ago and in the famous Viktualienmarkt I saw paradise. Stalls and stalls of wild mushrooms, there must have been a tonne of them, beautiful ceps, dark morels, sunny chanterelles, murky trumpets, milkcaps – I could have stayed and lived there.

Of all things foraged, mushrooms are the best. I suspect I could just LIVE on wild mushrooms, or at least eat them every day, throwing in a scrap of meat or cheese every now and then. Sadly I can’t put it to the test. Why, oh why here in England we’re so deprived? Wild mushrooms are hard to come by.

Apparently there are about 15,000 types of wild fungi in the UK but I have only ever come across the inedible ones – plenty of those in my garden each autumn. The edible fungi are scarce and not the most noble – no ceps or morels, not even many native chanterelles.

So when my weekly market sells some fungi imported from France in October (tiny quantities, rather expensive) I get my fix. I treat them with respect – as little cooking as possible, not too much seasoning. Ceps - porcini - are actually delicious sliced and eaten raw as a salad. This recipe features a mix of chanterelles and pied-de-mouton – with just a bit of butter and a touch of cream.

sautéed wild mushrooms


INGREDIENTS

  • wild mushrooms: chanterelles, pied-de-mouton (hedgehog’s mushrooms), morels, best of all ceps (porcini), or a mix of any available
  • a knob of butter
  • salt and black pepper
  • some parsley, finely chopped
  • a squeeze of lemon
  • 1 tbsp crème fraiche
Wild mushrooms


METHOD

Thoroughly clean the mushrooms. If they’re very dirty and you need to wash them, try to dry them as much as possible on paper towels.

Slice the mushrooms roughly, as small or as thick as you like. Melt the butter in a pan, add the mushrooms, season well and toss in half the parsley. Cover and cook on quite low heat for about 15 minutes.

Chanterelles cooked with cream

They will release some juices and when they absorb almost all back, stir in the crème fraiche. Let the crème cook for a minute, then take them off the heat, add the remaining parsley, a squeeze of lemon and serve.

Fantastic accompaniment to game, beef or veal.

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