Friday, July 10, 2015

Collecting and Cooking Chanterelle Mushrooms for Breakfast Omelette

Eating foraged foods physically connects us to the local ecology and change of seasons. Chanterelle Mushrooms are a delicacy you can collect, clean and cook on the east coast throughout Summer. We harvested these Chanterelle mushrooms in Southwest Virginia for a breakfast omelet.

 Chanterelles inhabit moist and mossy areas with old deep leaf litter. This easily identifiable golden/orange mushroom looks like a blossoming trumpet. There are a few varieties of Chanterelles, which are all edible, however, one "look-a-like" is poisonous. It is called the Jack O' Lantern mushroom, which is distinguished by its long gills on the underside of the body and an orange interior meat. The Chanterelle will have a white interior meat. 

Cleaning - Brush and rinse dirt off in running water. Drain and air dry. Do not soak (mushrooms would lose integrity). Chanterelles are best cooked immediately, however, can be refrigerated in a brown paper bag for 1-2 days. 

Cooking - Cut Chanterelles into medium-large bite size pieces. A larger cut celebrates the mushroom's profile for more flavor and consistency. Mushroom slices will also lose moisture and decrease in size during the pan fry.

Rada knives are light and maneuverable for a sharp and consistent cut!

 Simply saute in butter on medium/high heat for about a minute. The video below demonstrates this brief process with finely chopped onions. Mushrooms have a tendency to take on any flavors they are cooked alongside. 

Remove the mushrooms and onions. Whisk a few pastured eggs and fry in a pan on medium/high heat with oil/butter. When eggs are cooked on the underside and still a bit runny on top, add the mushrooms and onions on one half side then fold the other side over. Turn off heat and remove pan from heat. Put a lid on top to sit for 2-3 minutes until serving.

We split the omelet and laid each half on a bed of spinach and baby tomatoes. The final experience was reminiscent of the flavors of Appalachia in July. Including four eggs, two tablespoons of butter/oil, and veggies, one omelet between two people is roughly 300 to 350 calories each. 

For a healthy and wholesome meal, this egg omelet is beats the competition. 

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