This was all a prelude to watching the season premier of Battlestar Galactica - which totally rocked!
Here's a quick run-down of the meal and quick recipes for the bits I cooked*
- Crostini with parmigiano reggiano and sauteed chanterelles in a marsala cream sauce
- Fusilli with creamy chicken of the woods and thyme sauce
Crostini with parmigiano reggiano and sauteed chanterelles in a marsala cream sauce
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp unsalted butter
1/4 lb of chanterelles, cleaned and broken into pieces
2 small shallots, minced
1 tbsp heavy cream
1-2 tbsp marsala wine (I used dry)
Salt and pepper
I bought my chanterelles at Whole Foods (PCC in Issaquah had them for less, but was too far away to make it there between work and dinner). The ones at Whole Foods were a little sad, but picking through them I got a few decent ones - probably about 1/4 lb.
Clean the chanterelles, preferably with a brush or moist cloth. Cut off the dried-out ends and any other sad bits. Pull them apart and break them into small pieces with your fingers (this is fun, they have a great stringy texture!) Heat the butter and oil in a saucepan over med-high heat and add the shallots. Sautee until they are translucent and start going brown. Add the chanterelles and toss to coat. Add a pinch of salt and cook the mushrooms for 5-10 minutes, until they have stopped giving off liquid. Add the marsala and simmer for a minute or two - the mixture should be slightly wet, but not soupy. Add the cream and remove from the heat. Stir and season to taste.
Server on toasted rounds of baguette topped with a thin slice of parmigiano.
Fusilli with creamy chicken of the woods and thyme sauce
1 bag fusilli pasta (450g or so)
2 small shallots
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp unsalted butter
1 lb chicken of the woods mushrooms, cleaned and broken in bite-sized chunks
100 ml cream (about 6 tbsp)
1 cup vegetable stock or broth
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
salt and pepper
Chicken of the woods is an interesting-looking mushroom - large flat "shelves" that are bright yellow or orange. You want onesthat are young and not too large or woody. I washed mine well in running water and cut off the dried outer edge and base. You might also need to re-wash bits as you break it apart - I found some folds with pine needles and dirt as I was going. Again, the easiest way to get this into bite-sized chunks is using your fingers. The flesh is very much like cooked chicken.
Heat the oil and butter over med-high heat and sautee the shallots until clear and starting to turn brown. Add the mushrooms and toss, frying for a few minutes. They'll soak up the oil quickly, and some of them will get a nice brown "char" marks. Add the stock and thyme and simmer for 10 mins until the mushrooms are fully-cooked. (A splash of wine never hurts either - I had some dry marsala open so I added some) Add the cream and season to taste (Note: this dish needed quite a bit of salt).
Cook the pasta in salted water and toss in the sauce once cooked.
* Yes, I cheated and got some mushroom phyllo thingies and dessert from Trader Joe's.