November 10th, 2015

Chanterelle Confit

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Confit: from the French word confire meaning “preserved”
a confit is any type of food cooked slowly, often in fat, as a method of preservation.

If the stars align and I happen to be shopping at Costco soon after their shipment of chanterelles arrives, I am able to delight us all with something delicious using these wild mushrooms. (The Costco price, around $10 a pound, makes them irresistible.)

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Some years it works out, prompting me to make the likes of chanterelle tart, risotto, and savory bread pudding. When I discovered the cache this year, I knew in an instant that I could use them on crostini for a party I was catering. (toasts, slathered with butternut squash puree, topped with simmered chanterelles and shallots.)

Catering?

Um, yes. I fell off my no-catering wagon, and put together a fall-inspired menu of passed hors d’oeuvres for a fundraising event last Thursday evening. 150 guests! It was for a noble cause–Radnor Lake State Natural Area--an extraordinary 1000+ acre preserve in the heart of a Nashville suburb.

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So, while I was figuring how to prepare these for the event, I wanted to learn a way to preserve the golden beauties. Add some staying power to their ephemeral nature.

We’re all familiar with duck confit; wouldn’t confit of chanterelles work?
A little interweb research confirmed my suspicions.

The Earthy Delights Blog, devoted to hard-to-find funghi, truffles and such, has an informative post about the confit in question: a slow savory meld of chanterelles, onions, garlic and dried apricots (fitting–the mushrooms themselves have a stonefruit essence) in olive oil and chicken stock.

I adapted the recipe, opting for vegetable stock instead of chicken, adding a splash of sherry vinegar and some fresh thyme. (For those of you with certain dietary concerns, my version is vegan and gluten-free.)

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The result? A jammy mushroom mix that is exotic,
supple, sweet, meaty, with a little sherried vinegar tang…truly luscious.

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Guests clamored for the chanterelle crostini at the Radnor Lake party. (Overall a huge success, by the way, wherein many guests asked, “Who’s the caterer?” Knowing that I was doing this as a one-time thing, my friend Bev came up with the best answer: “It’s Anonymous Catering.”)

Days later, I cooked some brown rice and ladled gently warmed confit and juices over the top for our dinner. Some still remains in my refrigerator–enough to fold into omelets, or spoon over creamy polenta, or blend with sour cream and dry mustard for a stroganoff sauce.

Refrigerated, the confit keeps a month (if it lasts that long.) You can freeze it too, for up to six months. Perhaps I’d better go back to Costco and get some more—if they’re still in stock!

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CHANTERELLE CONFIT (adapted from The Earthy Delights Blog)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound fresh chanterelles, cleaned and cut (or torn) into 1/2″ strips and pieces
1 large onion, small dice
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
1 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
pinch crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
a few sprigs of fresh thyme

Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the chanterelles, onions & garlic and saute until the onion becomes translucent and the mushrooms begin to soften. (15 minutes) Stir often, making sure that the ingredients cook evenly. Add the diced apricots, sugar, salt, pepper and crushed chili, then pour in the sherry vinegar and vegetable stock. Add the sprigs of thyme.

When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low. Continue to cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced and the mixture thickens. ( 40 – 60 minutes.) Taste for seasoning and set aside to cool.

Spoon the confit into a clean glass jar and top it with a pour of olive oil. Cap it and refrigerate. This will keep for a month. You may freeze the confit for up to 6 months.

Posted in Appetizers/Hors D'oeuvres, Gluten Free, Recipes, Sauces, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian Dishes

14 Responses to “Chanterelle Confit”
  1. Johanne Lamarche Says:

    Such an interesting recipe Nancy. I love the addition of apricot in the confit. All the mushroom dishes you’ve made sounded so good. Mushrooms, especially more exotic ones are very underrated. I would have never imagined them available at Costco though! Much better pricing than Whole Foods!

  2. Tammy Says:

    Oh my goodness. This looks amazing! I’ll bet that while it’s a gorgeous vegan dish, my man would love to lop that right over a big filet! Thanks Nancy. This is terrific.

  3. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Johanne–it is indeed much better pricing that Whole Foods. The problem is you never know when they will be available–and for how long at Costco!

    Hi Tammy–I feel sure that your man would. Hope you both will enjoy it with or without a big filet.

  4. paulette Says:

    ooooh wow — this looks luscious — thanks!

  5. Denise Says:

    My husband just hiked around Radnor Lake while in Nashville for business! He loved it. This looks delicious! Thanks for the inspiration, Nancy. :)

  6. goodfoodmatters Says:

    That is so cool, Denise!
    I’m glad he had the chance to do it. He’s in good company–Mick Jagger recently hiked it to while he was here recording.
    it is a special place that we want to protect from development

  7. Patrick O'Rourke Says:

    Oh, my.

  8. Barbara Says:

    Oh Nancy…how divine! Never would have thought to add the sweetness via apricots (which I also love), must be delicious. We are mushroom addicts in my family, the favorite being morels, which we used to forage for in the spring in Michigan. I sure miss those outings. Chanterelles are delicious too, as rare a find in markets as morels. Love the crostini idea.

  9. goodfoodmatters Says:

    HI P.O.–yes, sir, they warrant an “oh my” indeed.

    Hi Barbara–I never would have added the dried apricot either, but it really is so so good. I would love to go foraging for chanterelles or morels. Both are exquisite mushrooms of the wild.

  10. Beth Says:

    This sounds fantastic! I think I’d better check out my local Costco soon.

  11. Gerlinde Says:

    Nancy, this recipe is to die for. I love chanterelles and I love duck confit. As soon as I get back from my trip I will look for chanterelles. Isn’t Costco amazing! I made your meatballs from your book and they were fantastic. I subsituted turkey for ground beef.

  12. goodfoodmatters Says:

    HI Gerlinde—Yes, Costco never ceases to amaze me with their offerings. I hope you can find the chanterelles there. I’m also glad that you had great success with the Italian meatballs from my cookbook. Thanks for letting me know.

  13. Juliana Says:

    This is such an interesting recipe Nancy…apricot and chanterelle…and I can only imagine how delicious these are with the sweetness of the apricots…thanks for the inspiration.
    Hope you are having a great week :)

  14. Teresa Blackburn Says:

    This looks so yummy and I will keep this recipe for the next time I run across Chanterelles at a good price. Thanks for sharing and for reminding me to cook with more wild mushrooms. They are ever so good with their unique flavors and textures. Well done Nance.



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