Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Chanterelles: Who needs Morel mushrooms anyway?

So I missed Morel season again! Last year, I bought a small bag of Morel mushrooms at the farmer’s market in Baltimore, and then somehow lost them without realizing it. It was the last week for Morels. Oh gloom and despair! Not to mention $10 down the drain.

Determined to find Morels this year I hit a couple of the farmers markets I know, but always came up empty handed. This past weekend, we revisited the Farm Fresh Market in Annapolis and to my delight, discovered that a mushroom vendor had joined the ranks of this newly launched market. However, when I queried about Morels, “We sold out of our last Morels last week” was the reply.

NOOOOOOOOOO! My disappointment was clearly visible. “If it’s any consolation,” the lovely mushroom girl said, “This is the first week for Chanterelles, and we should have them for a couple of months”

As a matter of fact, Chanterelles turned out to be a marvelous consolation!

Whole Wheat Pasta with Pan Roasted Chanterelles, Crab and Shrimp

1 lb Whole Wheat Spaghetti (Ronzoni is the best)
½ lb Chanterelle Mushrooms, rinsed and halved
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
½ Cup Chicken Stock
12 Large Prawns, peeled and deveined, tails removed
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp lemon zest
1 Cup Jumbo lump crab meat
2 Tbsp Prepared Pesto Sauce

Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil and cover with a lid. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil until wisps of smoke appear and the oil begins to shimmer. Smash the garlic cloves, but do not remove their paper. Add directly to the pan. Rinse and halve the mushrooms, just prior to cooking. When the olive oil is ready add the mushrooms to the pan and stir to coat. Reduce the heat and let the mushrooms begin to caramelize, stirring only occasionally. When a fond has begun to appear on the bottom of the skillet, remove the garlic and add the chicken stock. Reduce to a simmer and let the mushrooms absorb all of the liquid. Once all of the liquid has evaporated, remove the mushrooms and reserve until later.

Drop the pasta in the water and cook until done.

In the same pan used to cook the mushrooms, add the large shrimp. You may need to add a little more olive oil. As the shrimp are cooking, squeeze the juice from the half lemon and add the lemon zest. Add the two Tbsp of pesto sauce and the crab meat. Return the mushrooms to the pan and stir. Using a ladle, add a small amount of the pasta water to the pan to remove any of the fond that has formed. Add the cooked pasta to the sauté pan, mix well and serve.

Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves 4

*For my weight watchers friends, this turns out to be 5 points per serving.


Emily said...

I live in Seattle and we usually don't see chanterelles until the fall but just got some in from Louisiana! I'm sad about morel season being over as well, but at least the goldens are here early! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

Patrick said...

Thanks Emily! Please let me know if you try it.

Alex Rushmer said...

Chanterelles come above morels in my book too. Just. Nice recipe