Chefs from the Long Beach Peninsula offered up some of their favorite recipes and tips for preparing wild mushrooms.
While these chefs have professional mushroom foragers who come to their kitchen doors with the best wild mushrooms available, the home cook has to know where to look for local porcinis and chanterelles. The chefs suggest starting at farmers markets in Astoria and Ilwaco, Wash. The Community Store in Astoria often carries locally foraged fungi, as well. It is important to learn about mushrooms before foraging for them yourself because some varieties are toxic.
Chanterelles with Hazelnuts and MadeiraThe Ark Restaurant's chef Jimella Lucas presented this recipe from her cookbook, "The Best of The Ark and More!"
Place in a saute pan 4 to 6 tablespoons clarified butter, salt and white pepper to taste, 1 dash Tabasco, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon minced shallots, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 2 tablespoons coarsely ground hazelnuts, 1/8 teaspoon paprika, and 2 cups chanterelles, wiped and cut in half. Turn heat on to high.
As the toasting aroma of nuts and garlic rises, deglaze with 1/2 cup Madeira (a fortified amber-colored wine similar to sherry). Cook just long enough to reduce sauce slightly. Serve in a casserole or chafing dish. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Small button mushrooms can be substituted for chanterelles, but Lucas says it won't be the same. Serves two.
Brandied Mushroom Soup with HerbsThis is an easy recipe from The Shoalwater Restaurant's chef, Lynne "Red" Pelletier.
In a large saucepan, cook 3 cups sliced, fresh wild mushrooms (when available) and 2 medium onions, finely chopped, in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until the onions are tender. Stir in 1/4 cup all-purpose flour; gradually stir in 7 1/4 cups beef stock (store-bought canned low-salt beef stock may be substituted), 4 tablespoons brandy and 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce.
Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly and continue stirring for one more minute. Stir in 1 tablespoon snipped fresh thyme and 4 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley. Serve over slices of toasted French bread, if desired.
Roasted MushroomsMoby Dick Hotel and Oyster Farm chef Jeff McMahon offered these tips for preparing any variety of wild mushroom. He adds roasted mushrooms to soups, salads and main courses.
McMahon begins by giving the mushrooms a quick wash. They are then chopped into bite-sized pieces - the size depends on individual preference and what the roasted mushrooms will be used for. He then tosses the pieces in olive oil, garlic, salt and sometimes herbs and pepper. The mushrooms are then spread out on a baking pan and roasted in 350-degree Fahrenheit oven until they have released their juices and reduced in size by roughly two-thirds. Cooking time depends on the size and type of mushrooms.