Friday, February 17, 2012
As you can imagine, in Alaska, in the winter, there isn't much fresh, locally sourced produce. During the summer, there are a bunch of farmer's market. In the winter months, there is only one. This time of the year, that one is all stuff that stores well in cold cellars like parsnips and carrots. There is also one guy who imports seasonings and exotic mushrooms who also grows mushrooms.
People think of exotic mushrooms as being expensive because of the price per lb. The chanterelles above were 14.00/lb I think? But it doesn't take much to add a wonderful flavor to things. I spent about 9 dollars on mushrooms and had enough for pasta for 3 for lunch yesterday. That wonderful, interesting looking one, probably about 20 shitake mushrooms and 8-10 chanterelles.
First I cleaned them all. The black chantrelles can be gritty, so I tore them apart and brushed them, then gave them a quick rinse. A damp paper towel for the shitake mushrooms, and a damp paper towel and quick rinse for the interesting one.
Then I sliced up the big one. Under all those folds is a fairly solid piece, so I sliced it, then cut each slice into quarters. Because it was my first time trying that one, and it's been a long time since I had the black chanterelles, a simple cooking method seemed best so I'd know what kind of recipes they would work best with in the future.
I put 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 4 cloves of garlic and a half teaspoon of dried lemon peel in a skillet and heated it up, then put in the mushrooms and cooked them down a bit, stirring constantly, then added in some grey sea salt and parsley to finish. Served it over angel hair pasta with Parmesan cheese for Michael and William. I had mine without the cheese so I could really taste it.
The big interesting one had a good and meaty flavor that will work very well in a marinara sauce instead of meat. The black chanterelles will be wonderful in wild rice as a side dish and well.. I like shitake mushrooms quite a bit. In or with almost anything.
In other news, as you know, my husband is currently looking for a job, so considering ways to make money in the interim. Recently, I was asked to do a sponsored post. After careful consideration (about a minute) the answer has to be no. While I'm willing to review books or products that I get from publishers and manufacturers, you know (or at least I hope you know) that I'm not getting any compensation for the reviews, and that they are my honest opinion. The only way that I can justify doing sponsored posts is if I've personally tried the product or service. As far as selling ad space goes, that I'm more willing to do.
The plate above is the salad plate from Rachael Ray's Little Hoot (Amazon.com affiliate link) set.