Sunday, September 22, 2013

Chanterelle, Bacon and Onion Puff Pastry

It is mushroom season in Oregon which means I have access to an amazing amount of local, wild mushrooms. Last week a local masseuse, who is also an avid mushroom hunter, stopped in to offer me a bag of Chanterelle mushrooms. I sealed the deal by trading beer for the delicious gems he offered me. With puff pastry in the freezer, I got ready to attempt some baking. This recipe is simple, delicious and was a hit with my guests at Urban Decanter.

Chanterelle, Bacon and Caramelized Onion Puff Pastry
2 onions sliced
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup butter
4-6 strips of bacon
4 cups of Chanterelle Mushrooms
Gruyere cheese
1 package puff pastry dough

Melt the butter in a pan and cook the onions over medium heat. Add the white wine and simmer for 45 minutes or until the liquid is gone and the onions turn golden brown. It is possible that you will need to add more butter or wine if the pan gets too dry. It is important to stir the onions every few minutes. 

While the onions are caramelizing, bake the bacon in the oven OR cook it in a pan. Let the strips cool and cut into bits, set aside. Rinse the mushrooms and chop up into coarse pieces and set aside. Prep the puff pastry dough according to directions on the box. Cut the pastry dough into 3x3 squares. 

Place some parchment paper on a baking sheet, set the puff pastry squares on the lined pan and bake for 3-4 minutes at 350 degrees. This cooks the puff pastry a little bit before adding the toppings. I found that this helped ensure that the dough was cooked thoroughly. Bring the dough out and set aside.

Once the onions are caramelized, add the Chanterelle mushrooms and bacon. Heat until the mushrooms are cooked down. Slice up Gruyere cheese and place on the puff pastry. Its a good idea to keep the cheese about 1/4 of an inch from the side. Pile the Chanterelle mushroom mix on the Gruyere, then bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown.

Let cool, grab a glass of Pinot Noir and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Finnish Chanterelle Mushroom Soup

Last week a grandfather and his grandson stopped in with a basket of locally picked Chanterelle Mushrooms. They had never been into Urban Decanter and asked if I was interested in them. Excitement filled me and I exclaimed "YES!" The grandson jumped for joy because the money for the mushrooms went towards his college fund. I wrote a check for $24 and exchanged it for 6 pounds of mushrooms!

Now.... What to do with them? I flipped through my cookbooks for inspiration. Looking through my Finnish cookbook, I came across a mushroom soup and had a plan for the next day. I was going to make a soup inspired by a Finnish recipe!

Finnish Chanterelle Mushroom Soup:

Serves 8 People

1/2 cup butter
1 cup white wine
4 leeks, white and light green parts chopped up
1.5 shallots, or more. I use extra because I love them
18 ounces of Chanterelle Mushrooms coarsely chopped
2 tbsp corn starch
9 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp fresh parsley
Cayenne pepper
Salt and Pepper

Melt butter in pan and add leeks and shallots. Stir in the white wine. Saute until they get soft. Add mushrooms, half the stock and corn starch. Stir until it begins to boil. Reduce the mixture to a simmer and add the remaining stock. Stir in the heavy cream and heat the soup back up, continuing to stir. Sprinkle in the parsley. Season to taste with the cayenne, salt and pepper. I like to go heavy on pepper and cayenne. I love spice in my soup! 

Garnish with fresh parsley. I served this soup with a garlic crostini. The soup is very brothy which makes it a perfect match for bread. Soaking up the soup with bread will hit the spot!