How to Clean & Cook Chanterelle Mushrooms
A very generous co-worker of my husband’s shared some of the chanterelle mushrooms that she found with us.
On the farm that I grew up on in Missouri, morel mushrooms would grow in the wild during a certain time of year and I have many great memories of looking for them in the woods with my sisters and dad. Although I have very few memories of actually finding any myself, my sisters were much better at spotting them than I was, and my dad made them taste delicious every time he cooked them up!
When my husband brought home the chanterelles, the excitement of mushroom season came flooding back to me. I knew I had to learn how to clean and cook these little guys!
As you can see these little guys are not so little and they often bring with them some of the dirt they grew in.
The main thing to keep in mind when cleaning these mushrooms is that you never want to keep them in water for long because the mushrooms will absorb water very quickly which will dull their flavor and eventually kill them.
First, cut off the bottom of the stems. Then try to get as much of the dirt off of the mushrooms using your fingers and knife as you can. Be gentle! The mushrooms are fairly delicate in spots.
For the dirt you can’t get off, fill a bowl with water and quickly swoosh the mushrooms around in the water.
After you’ve gotten the mushroom wet, use a paper towel to spot clean the dirty areas. If you aren’t able to get all the dirt off, you can swoosh and wipe them another time.
These mushrooms can be a little tricky to clean because of their many crevasses. It might be necessary to cut into the mushroom to get to some of the dirt. Try to do this sparingly, because you don’t want to cut the mushrooms into too small of pieces because they will shrink a lot when you cook them.
After you clean the mushrooms place them quickly onto a very dry towel. Leave your mushrooms on the towel for 10-15 minutes until they are dry.
I didn’t want to do much to these mushrooms. This was my first time ever trying chanterelle mushrooms and I really wanted to preserve and enhance their natural flavors.
To do this, I fried the mushrooms in a cast iron pan on medium heat with salted ghee (salted butter would work just as well) and a dash of salt and pepper. A few things to remember, don’t cut the mushrooms too small, because they shrink a lot. Also, use enough butter to fully coat the bottom of the pan, but remember that the mushrooms will give off a lot of water while cooking so you don’t have to worry as much about them being too dry in the pan. Finally, as a general rule of thumb I do not like to use too much pepper on subtly flavored foods like mushrooms or white fish because it will quickly dominate the dish, so I’d recommend taking it easy on the pepper here!
Cook until they are a deep golden brown. One of the key things about cooking these mushrooms is to cook them well enough so that the little, curled ends get crispy.
Oh my goodness, these mushrooms were so good! The flavor was earthy and peppery and the crispy little ends were the perfect touch. We ate them plain, just like this, as a little appetizer before dinner and they were the star of the meal!
Chantrelle Mushrooms – as many as you have
Salted Ghee or Salted Butter, 1-2 tablespoons, enough to coat the bottom of the pan
Salt, a dash or to taste
Pepper, a dash or to taste
Melt butter or ghee to fully coat the bottom of the pan you are using. Heat the butter until it is hot (but don’t burn it!) and put mushrooms in the pan and cook on medium heat for about 4 minutes on each side or until the mushrooms are a deep golden brown. When it appears the the mushrooms are close to finished cooking, sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
Source for how to clean mushrooms: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGvW6KhLfxU