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Wild chanterelles and cream over pappardelle

Jessica's Kitchen Culture - kitchen kung-fu for your fungi.

- Jessica Hammonds' love for cooking stems from her even greater love, eating.  When not supervising grow house activities at Everything Mushrooms, she spends her time catering for clients around town as head bbqnista at Organicism Farms and Foods and chef-collaborator in the Moveable Feast Supper Club. Her experience farming mushrooms complements a bold and adventurous culinary style focusing on fresh, local ingredients. Check this space often for tasty mushroom recipes, preparation suggestions, and advice on how to get the best from your shrooms.

- posted July 9, 2013

Oh, the chanterelle mushroom.  Is there a more beautiful wild mushroom in existence?  With their stunning apricot colored skin accompanied by the smell of the forest floor, they are truly divine creatures.  But enough waxing poetic, already.  Chanterelle season is HERE!  NOW!  And if you are a mushroom lover like me, this is very exciting news!  I was fortunate enough to get my hands on some of these freshly picked beauties the other day, and I could not wait to get cooking.


But here’s my dirty secret.  I had never actually tried chanterelles before.  So like any first timer, I was a little nervous.  I wanted to make sure that everything was perfect.  All day I stressed over what to do with my gorgeous mushrooms.  By the time I got home, I was ready.  I poured a drink, lit some candles, and fired up the stove.


I wanted to make something easy that would showcase the flavor of these peppery, nutty (so I’ve been told) mushrooms.  More or less making this up as I went, I figured that I couldn’t go wrong by starting with some butter.  Butter and mushrooms are best friends, so make sure you pick a good friend for you mushrooms.  You don’t want them hanging out with the trashy butter from down the street that will get them into all kinds of bad situations.


So, mushrooms sizzling away in butter, I figured my best move was to make some sort of wine and cream sauce.  A pint of heavy cream and some cooking sherry later (I recommend Tio Pepe), my chanterelles were floating in a warm batch of heaven.


And WOW!  Talk about delicious!  These chanterelles are more than just good looking!  Meaty, peppery, and buttery-sweet, I have to say, I am in love.  So next time you are out, and you run across some chanterelles, buy them a bottle of wine and take them home.  It will be worth your while.

Wild Chanterelles and Cream over Pappardelle

    • 1 pound freshly picked chanterelle mushrooms (or 3 oz. dried chanterelles, rehydrated), sliced
    • 1 stick salted organic butter
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • ¾ cup Tio Pepe cooking sherry (or dry white wine
    • 1 pint heavy cream
    • 1 pound pappardelle pasta (or whatever you like best), cooked
    • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • bacon, green onions, parmesan (optional garnish.  get wild with it)

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium low heat.  Do not brown.  Add mushrooms, and cook until they start to release moisture, approximately 7 minutes.  Add garlic, and saute until slightly brown.

Pour in wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to mix in any yummy brown bits.  Add cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Stir well to incorporate.  Reduce heat to low, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 20-25 minutes.

Spoon sauce over hot pasta, garnish, and savor.  Oh, lucky you!