KQED Food Blog: Bay Area Bites: hunter gatherer: chanterelles in big sur
Bay Area Bites: culinary rants & raves from bay area foodies and professionals
Previous Posts
Cooking by James Peterson
Replate: Leave your Leftovers
Food Links Around the Bay and Elsewhere
Donuts to Diesel: SFGreasecycle
Monterey Market: Always Worth A Visit!
Cook by the Book: Let's Cook Japanese!
Bliss at Golden Gate Bakery
Vocal Local: Jen Maiser
Kitchen Vogue: A Taste of Luxury
BAB Guidelines

'Bay Area Bites' is part of KQED's Blog Authors Collaborative. Blog contributors and commentators are solely responsible for their content. If you're interested in writing or contributing to a blog on kqed.org, email us with your idea.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
hunter gatherer: chanterelles in big sur

The day after Thanksgiving is rapidly becoming one of my favorite foodie holidays. Each year we trek down to Monterey to visit our friends and their family, and participate in what proves to be an even more elaborate and decadent feast than the previous day. This year, for the first time, I went down for the whole extravaganza, which includes a nearly all-day mushroom hunt.

Back into the hills...deep into the hills...of Big Sur we went, turning somewhere off of Highway 1 and skidding down a dirt road for at least 5 miles. Once parked, we probably trekked a few miles into the ever-thickening forest. In fact, you would never have known what a glorious day it was for the thick canopy of trees shading us below.

At some point down the path we turned off, and started climbing up a rather steep hill, through heavy brush and downed trees, doing our best to avoid the poison oak (which, I found out later, I didn't actually manage to avoid), all the while looking, searching, straining to see the delicate little fungi we were seeking. Finally, a cry of discovery and excitement (a cry that was quite distinguishable from the anguished cry earlier from my friend Tony who was attacked by yellow jackets, which sent another friend up a tree thinking it was a wild boar on the rampage). We all rushed over and found a patch of perfect, beautiful, delicious chanterelle mushrooms. Our bounty. We took what we could use, left the little ones to grow, and made our way back to prepare our feast.

Our feast that night consisted of tiny little mussels and barnacles we had harvested on the coast on the way home from the hunt, steamed in white wine. Our next course: homemade tagliolini with shredded quail, pancetta and chanterelle ragu. Our main course a slow-simmered pork stew with leeks and more chanterelles. And to top it off, a juicy pear galette.

The next day, each with a bag of mushrooms, we returned to the city... scheming how to use our chanterelle morsels. My friend Max ended up pickling his. I, on the other hand, decided upon decadence, and made a creamy white lasagna. It was heaven.

The Most Amazing Decadent Mushroom Lasagna

This recipe is adapted from a recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the owner of the River Cottage, author of numerous incredible cookbooks, and believer in living off the land.

For the Bechamel
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk, warmed
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/3 cup grated Fontina
About 3/4 to 1 cup chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Lasagna noodles*
About 300g fresh chanterelles, cleaned and sliced very thinly
About 6 large or 9 small very thin slices of good-quality prosciutto
About 1/2 cup Parmesan
About 1/2 cup Fontina

*Note: You can use either fresh or dried lasagna noodles. Fresh are always my first choice, and contrary to what some might tell you, you don't need to pre-cook them, you can just layer them and bake them. There are also dried lasagna noodles that you don't need to pre-cook either. They are thin enough that they bake when you bake the lasagna. The nice thing about these is that they tend to stay al dente when baked.

Preheat the oven to 375F. To make the bechamel, in a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking, for about 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly, to smooth out all the lumps. Turn down the heat to medium-low, and add the Parmesan and Fontina, whisking to incorporate. Whisk in enough chicken stock to make a fairly loose sauce. It should be pourable but not thin. If you are using the dried lasagna that is not pre-cooked it's a good idea to make the sauce a bit thinner than you normally would. Season to taste with salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper.

To layer the lasagna, in a baking dish about 21-cm square, add about 1/4 cup of the Bechamel. Place a layer of lasagna noodles, then another 1/4 cup Bechamel, the 1/3 of the chanterelles. Top the chanterelles evenly with 1/3 of the prosciutto, shredding it into pieces to spread it evenly if necessary. Top the prosciutto with a thin layer of grated Parmesan and Fontina. Top with about 1/2 cup Bechamel, covering the filling evenly. Top with an even layer of lasagna noodles, then repeat the layering two more times. Add a final layer of lasagna noodles, then the rest of the Bechamel, and some grated Parmesan and Fontina.

Bake the lasagna until the noodles are tender, and the filling is bubbling, about 45 minutes if using the dried uncooked noodles (for fresh it might be about 25 minutes). Let sit for about 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Labels: , , , , ,



Blogger Kristen said...

What a great (and envy-inducing) story--an excellent argument for respecting the yield of a good foraging.

12/07/2007 9:39 AM

Blogger Farmer de Ville said...

Ack, you're killing me with this stuff. The snow has just barely covered over the chanterelles in the foothills above my Oregon home. And yet I am still hungry for them...

Good stuff!


1/07/2008 6:34 AM


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Locate CP Restaurants:
Check, Please! Google Map
KQED Food Sites
Check, Please! Bay Area
Jacques Pépin Celebrates!
Jacques Pépin:
Fast Food My Way
Jacques Pépin:
The Apprentice
Jacques Pépin:
The Complete Pépin
KQED Wine Club
KQED.org Cooking
Weir Cooking in the City
Tasty Food Sites
Chowhound SF
Eat Local Challenge
Edible San Francisco
Food Network
Food Talk
Group Recipes
Hungry Magazine
Leite's Culinaria
Mighty Foods
NPR: Food
Om Organics
Serious Eats
SFGate: Food
SFGate: Wine
SF Station: Restaurants
Slow Food SF
Top Chef
Wikimedia Commons: Food & Drink
Yahoo! Food
Yelp: Reviews
Tangy Food Blogs
101 Cookbooks
A Full Belly
Accidental Hedonist
An Obsession with Food
Anna's Cool Finds
Becks & Posh
Between Meals
Bunny Foot
Butter Pig
Cellar Rat
Chez Pim
Chocolate & Zucchini
Confessions of a
Restaurant Whore
Cooking For Engineers
Cooking with Amy
Cucina Testa Rossa
Culinary Muse
Denise's Kitchen
Eater SF
Feed & Supply
Food Blog S'cool
Food Musings
Food Porn Watch
I'm Mad and I Eat
In Praise of Sardines
Knife's Edge
Life Begins at 30
Love and Cooking
Mental Masala
Moveable Feast
Organic Day
Passionate Eater
San Francisco Gourmet
SF City Eats
Simply Recipes
The Amateur Gourmet
The Ethicurean
The Food Section
The Grub Report
The Petite Pig
The Wine Makers Wife
Vin Divine
Wandering Spoon
Well Fed Network
Word Eater
World on a Plate
Yummy Chow
Search BAB

Eye Candy: Food Photos
BAB on flickr.com
Join Flickr for free and share your photos with the Bay Area Bites and Beyond group pool.
Food Books
The Moosewood Cookbook
by Mollie Katzen
Baking: From My Home to Yours
by Dorie Greenspan
Grand Livre de Cuisine: Alain Ducasse's Desserts and Pastries
by Alain Ducasse, Frederic Robertmison
The Big Book of Outdoor Cooking and Entertaining
by Cheryl Alters Jamison, Bill Jamison
Tasty: Get Great Food on the Table Every Day
by Roy Finamore
Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way
by Lorna Sass
The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa
by Marcus Samuelsson
Michael Mina: The Cookbook
by Michael Mina, Photographer: Karl Petzktle
What to Eat
by Marion Nestle
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
by Michael Pollan
Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate
by John Scharffenberger, Robert Steinberg
Romancing the Vine: Life, Love, and Transformation in the Vineyards of Barolo
by Alan Tardi
What to Drink with What You Eat: The Definitive Guide to Pairing Food with Wine, Beer, Spirits, Coffee, Tea -- Even Water -- Based on Expert Advice from America's Best Sommeliers
by Andrew Dornenburg, Karen Page, Michael Sofronski
The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook: Stories and Recipes for Southerners and Would-be Southerners
by Matt Lee, Ted Lee
Bread Matters: The State of Modern Bread and a Definitive Guide to Baking Your Own
by Andrew Whitley
Coloring the Seasons: A Cook's Guide
by Allegra McEvedy
All-new Complete Cooking Light Cookbook
by Anne C. Cain
Modern Garde Manger
by Robert B. Garlough
The Spice and Herb Bible
by Ian Hemphill, Kate Hemphill
The Improvisational Cook
by Sally Schneider
Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children
by Ann Cooper, Lisa M. Holmes
Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia
by James Oseland
My Life in France
by Julia Child, Alex Prud'Homme
A Passion for Ice Cream: 95 Recipes for Fabulous Desserts
by Emily Luchett, Sheri Giblin (photographer)
Au Pied De Cochon -- The Album
by Martin Picard
Memories of Philippine Kitchens
by Amy Besa, Romy Dorotan
Simple Chinese Cooking
by Kylie Kwong
An Invitation to Indian Cooking
by Madhur Jaffrey
Hungry Planet
by Peter Menzel, Faith D'Aluisio
Sunday Suppers at Lucques : Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table
by Suzanne Goin, Teri Gelber
Simple Soirees: Seasonal Menus for Sensational Dinner Parties
by Peggy Knickerbocker, Christopher Hirsheimer (Photographer)
The Cook's Book
by Jill Norman
Molto Italiano : 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home
by Mario Batali
Nobu Now
by Nobuyuki Matsuhisa
Cheese : A Connoisseur's Guide to the World's Best
by Max Mccalman, David Gibbons
Bones : Recipes, History, and Lore
by Jennifer McLagan
Whiskey : The Definitive World Guide
by Michael Jackson
The New American Cooking
by Joan Nathan
by Lisa Yockelson
Easy Entertaining: Everything You Need to Know About Having Parties at Home
by Darina Allen
Cooking at De Gustibus: Celebrating 25 Years of Culinary Innovation
by Arlene Feltman Sailhac
Dough: Simple Contemporary Breads
by Richard Bertinet
Chocolate Obsession: Confections and Treats to Create and Savor
by Michael Recchiuti, Fran Gage, Maren Caruso
The Food Substitutions Bible: More Than 5,000 Substitutions for Ingredients, Equipment And Techniques
by David Joachim
Recipes: A Collection for the Modern Cook
by Susan Spungen
Spices of Life: Simple and Delicious Recipes for Great Health
by Nina Simonds
Mangoes & Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent
by Jeffrey Alford, Naomi Duguid
Chocolate: A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light
by Mort Rosenblum
Vegetable Love: A Book for Cooks
by Barbara Kafka, Christopher Styler
A History of Wine in America: From Prohibition to the Present
by Thomas Pinney
Fonda San Miguel: Thirty Years Of Food And Art
by Tom Gilliland, Miguel Ravago, Virginia B. Wood
Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South
by Marcie Cohen Ferris
Washoku: Recipes From The Japanese Home Kitchen
by Elizabeth Andoh, Leigh Beisch
Weir Cooking in the City: More than 125 Recipes and Inspiring Ideas for Relaxed Entertaining
by Joanne Weir
Rick Stein's Complete Seafood
by Rick Stein
The Great Scandinavian Baking Book
by Beatrice A. Ojakangas
Serena, Food & Stories: Feeding Friends Every Hour of the Day
by Serena Bass
John Ash: Cooking One on One: Private Lessons in Simple, Contemporary Food from a Master Teacher
by John Ash
The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook: Eating Well for Better Health
by Donald Hensrud, M.D., Jennifer Nelson, R.D. & Mayo Clinic Staff
Foods of the Americas: Native Recipes and Traditions
by Fernando and Marlene Divina
The Provence Cookbook
by Patricia Wells
Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World
by Gil Marks
Last Chance to Eat: The Fate of Taste in a Fast Food World
by Gina Mallet
by Thomas Keller
A Blessing of Bread: The Many Rich Traditions of Jewish Bread Baking Around the World
by Maggie Glezer
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
by Molly Stevens
On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen
by Harold McGee
Entertaining: Inspired Menus For Cooking with Family and Friends
by George Dolese
The Breath of a Wok: Unlocking the Spirit of Chinese Wok Cooking Through Recipes and Lore
by Grace Young, Alan Richardson
Cooking New American: How to Cook the Food You Love to Eat
by Fine Cooking Magazine
The Japanese Kitchen: A Book of Essential Ingredients with 200 Authentic Recipes
by Kimiko Barber
Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food: An Opinionated History and More Than 100 Legendary Recipes
by Arthur Schwartz
Poet of the Appetites: The Lives and Loves of M.F.K. Fisher
by Joan Reardon
Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes
by Jeffrey Hamelman
Everyday Dining with Wine
by Andrea Immer
Copyright © 2005-2008 KQED. All rights reserved.