Oh, these chanterelles. What a surprise they were at the market yesterday. When we lived in Bellingham, we used to go into the woods on Mt. Baker and forage for them in the fall, but we never got a batch this bounteous. I’m estimating they cost about $4.00 per pound here, but I might not find them again this year. That’s how it goes here: Grab them when you see them.
As we were drooling over them as they lay drying on their kitchen towel, our friend Shelly asked what we were going to do with them and actually, we hadn’t decided yet. She suggested risotto, which was a great idea because we already had everything to make it so we could pull it off on a Monday night.
I adapted a recipe by Tyler Florence for Porcini and Chanterelle Risotto, but used a decadent whole pound of straight chanterelles.
1/4 cupextra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 shallots, minced
1 pound fresh chanterelle mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
1 fresh bay leaf
2 cups white wine
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups arborio rice
6 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
Warm a wide large heavy-bottomed pan over a medium-low flame. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter and melt together. Add shallots and cook for 2 minutes, or until translucent, and then toss the mushrooms, thyme, and bay leaf into the pan. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have released their moisture and begin to turn golden brown.
Pour 1 cup of the wine into the pan, and bring the liquid to a simmer, allowing the wine to evaporate. Continue cooking until the mushrooms are dry, about 5 to 7 minutes. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Discard the bay leaf.
Reduce the flame to low, and add the remaining butter and oil to the pan and melt. Stir in the rice and coat with the oil until the kernels are shiny, about 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in the remaining 1 cup of white wine and let evaporate.
Add the chicken broth, 1 ladle at a time, allowing the rice to absorb the liquid. Do not add too quickly so as to prevent the kernels from exploding. Stir over a gentle flame until each ladle of the liquid is absorbed. Repeat until most of the broth is incorporated and the risotto rice is al dente, about 25 minutes.
Fold the mushrooms back into the rice and season with salt, pepper and parsley. Stir in the Parmesan and serve immediately.
To make a completely honest disclosure, I’ve gotta tell you that my husband is the primary risotto maker in our family. It’s one of his specialties and I was mostly his sous chef.