Some chantrelle "booty" displayed on a log
We had a short chantrelle Season this year with a dry Summer and early Fall, late rains and early frosts. However, we still had a good, if short, chantrelle hunting period.
Although a few others had beaten us to the woods, Joanne, Julie, Mary, and I still filled a large paper shopping bag full of large chantrelles.
We found most of our haul in a row under a fallen log laying over the top of some smaller branches well hidden from plain sight, but not from Mary's "eagle eyes".
Our chantrelles were large and meaty and in prime condition. Easier to hunt spots were fairly picked over but we still found a few that had popped up after most fungi hunters had left the woods.
I enjoyed some of my chantrelles sauteed with shallots as a wonderful appetizer and sauteed chantrelles with a pan-grilled tenderloin.
The rest I processed for Winter use.
Here's how I did it, just like Tim Gerlitz, our mushroom club's expert and fungal-guru showed us.
A few chantrelles cleaned and ready to process. A toothbrush helps remove dirt from the veined gills beneath the caps.
Clean and chop the chantrelles discarding any woody or dark spots. Chop and saute in olive oil, butter, or a combination of the two.
Fresh chantrelles give off a lot of liquid
When the liquid has cooked off spoon the mushrooms into the cups of a cupcake tin.
In the foreground a couple of frozen chantrelle "pucks" and some in one of the cups to be frozen. Store the pucks in Ziploc freezer bags for up to six months.
Once the pucks are frozen they can be easily removed from the tins by turning the cupcake tin upside down and running a little warm water on the underside of each cup and catching each puck in your hand as it loosens.
To use frozen pucks, thaw and reheat. I like to saute some shallots in a little butter until transluscent, then add the cooked, thawed chantrelles and cook 'til heated through, then serve.
Chantrelles are one of the varieties of mushrooms that don't dehydrate well, so plan on sauteeing, freezing, or pickling to preserve the harvest for future use!
* * * *
For morels and maitake (Hen of the Woods) freeze raw.
For chantrelles and brown beech mushrooms (saute then freeze in pucks).
*Always cook wild mushrooms well before eating them. They shouldn't be eaten raw for digestive reasons. Don't eat wild mushrooms unless you know for certain that they are non-poisonous!