(Chanterelle) Mushrooms Melt My Heart
You all know by now that I love wild mushrooms and have quite a few mushroom recipes on here already. Today’s recipe, Chanterelle Mushroom Croustade, is one I’ve made quite a few times over the last few years but for some reason, it never lasted long enough to photograph! (PS. Read through to the end for the exciting launch of my new home wares shop!)
Earthy chanterelles make this mushroom melt-style sandwich a fun and tasty fall treat. You can (and should) make this with store bought white mushrooms when wild mushrooms aren’t available but there is nothing quite like seasonal wild mushrooms. Other than the time spent cleaning your mushrooms (which I highly recommend you try to delegate 😉 ) this is a nice quick recipe.
Easily a vegetarian main course or leave it open faced and cut it smaller for an appetizer. While easy, this is still impressive and makes a wonderful addition to a solstice dinner, Thanksgiving celebration or Christmas dinner. (My other wild mushroom recipes include, Chanterelle Risotto, Cauliflower Mushroom Gratin, Wild Mushroom and Lentil Stew, and Wild Mushroom Soup and I love to top salads with browned mushrooms too!)
How I Pick Wild Mushrooms
Alone. I like to forage alone. I carry bear spray and obviously carry my mushroom knife and now my favourite way to pick mushrooms is in solitude. Sometimes I enjoy the complete quiet and tranquility of the forest, breathing in the moist, vegetal air. Other times I need to drown out traffic noises (or my internal voice) and I throw on a podcast as I walk. Soft moss dampens footsteps adding to the peaceful feeling. An hour or so later, I feel lighter, happier and more centered.
Chanterelle Hunting Is An Addiction
I can get obsessive about mushroom picking. I often go out with the intention of just getting enough for dinner and end up with hours worth of mushroom cleaning and processing. No complaints here though, I love being able to have wild mushrooms all winter and know my future self will thank me.
How To Preserve Wild Mushrooms
Preserving mushrooms can be done a few ways and the best way depends on the type of wild mushrooms you have. Chanterelles lose a lot of flavour and texture by drying. I believe the best way to store these for winter is by cooking and freezing. Specifically, saute them with a touch of olive oil or butter and a pinch of salt until all the liquid is evaporated/reabsorbed and they are lightly browned. Cool and pack into your favourite freezer bags or containers. Pack the mushrooms in firmly but gently to eliminate as much air as possible and top with a bit more melted butter or olive oil before sealing and freezing. These will last up to a year if packed well.
When thawing your mushrooms, they just need a quick warm up in a pan for use as a side dish or put them straight into your soup, stew or risotto. These mushrooms retain excellent texture and flavour. Other firm wild mushrooms also store well this way such as lobster, oyster, and hedgehog mushrooms.
If you are lucky enough to get morels (likely in the spring as opposed to chanterelles which are prolific in the fall) these work well dried. Once reconstituted with water, they can be drained and fried or otherwise cooked as you would with fresh morel mushrooms. Lobster mushrooms also dry well.
The Best Chanterelle Mushroom Croustade (Sandwich)
This sandwich has it all-browned wild mushrooms with a meaty texture, herb and garlic infused bread crumb flavouring, cheesy melty goodness and a crispy French bread exterior. Soul food in my world 🙂 Let me know below what your favourite wild mushroom recipe is.
Before I go, I have an exciting announcement. I launched a shop with awesome, eco friendly and sustainable home wares in minimalist styles!!! Check it out at www.westcoastkitchengarden.com and if you join the Instagram and Facebook page of it this week, there are 2 giveaways, one on each site as our Grand Opening celebration. Hope to see you there!!!
Chanterelle Mushroom Croustade (Melty Sandwich)
Crunchy bread exterior, creamy, melty interior with browned wild chanterelle mushrooms. A delicious fall celebration meal that's both easy and vegetarian. Serves 4 as a main dish or 8-10 for an appetizer
- 1 Loaf French Bread, sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 Clove Garlic
- 4 tbsp Fresh Parsley, packed
- 1 tsp Fresh Thyme Use 1/2 tsp if using dried
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1 1/2 lb Chanterelle (or other) Mushrooms, cleaned and coarsely chopped All mushrooms work well in this recipe-try a mixture!
- Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
- 2/3 c Heavy Cream
- 1/3 c Milk (Skim, 1% or 2%)
- 2 c Grated Havarti Cheese (Gruyere and Mozzarella work well too) (250 grams or 8 oz of cheese)
Preheat oven to 450'F.
Heat butter in large frying pan on medium. Add mushrooms and saute, stirring occasionally until liquid is gone and mushrooms are lightly browned.
Meanwhile, hollow out your loaf of bread, leaving the outer crust as a shell. Place inner bread chunks into a food processor with garlic, parsley and thyme. Pulse until all ingredients are in fine crumbs.
Once mushrooms are browned, add crumb mixture and saute 2 minutes until fragrant, then add milk and cream. Turn heat to medium low, stir gently and cook until thickened but still creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper at this point.
Fill bread shells equally with mushroom mixture and sprinkle cheese evenly over top of both bread halves. Bake until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.
Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before slicing. At this point you can put the top on the bottom half for a covered sandwich or leave it open face. Slice on the diagonal in 1"-2" wide to your preference.