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Wanderlust - Wild & Wonderful Recipes & Experiments

As many of you will have seen in my previous post, 'Wanderlust Part 2', I was lucky to come home with a variety of extremely exciting, interesting and tasty ingredients, namely fungi & herbs. So what did I do with those delightful ingredients....

 First things first, cleaning. Wild fungi, true wild fungi that is, grow in the wild and there is soil, grit, woodland/grassland debris etc..., fact. Some fungi that you pick will be pretty much free from any debris but if it isn't, then a clean prior to cooking may be required - think fish n chips on the beach as a kid, mmmm, crunch, grains of sand, doesn't put you off eating them but you wish that you'd been a touch more careful when stepping over your portion to grab the ketchup! Once the fungi were of a standard of acceptable cleanliness, I set about grading and sorting them for the various roles I had in mind. What follows is a peek into those recipes/ideas.

Chanterelles: One of the best things, in my honest opinion, is to eat them fresh. The soft, sweet delectable aroma is paired & completed by the wonderful flavour of these fungi. I'm a big fan of fungi dishes, especially when cream (among others) is added to the mix. If you are fortunate and savvy enough to have purchased yourself a copy of, Wild Food by Roger Phillips then you may well be familiar with the recipe for, 'Girolles a la Forestiere'. A cool combination of chanterelles, bacon & potatoes and a recipe I first made while holidaying in Applecross, Scotland approximately 6 Moons ago. Enjoyed by each of us that were present. Here's my twist on that recipe:

Creamy Girolles a la Forestiere

Fresh Chanterelles
Streaky Bacon (at least one smoked rasher!)
Double Cream
Dried Pepper Dulse
Bulrush Pollen

Wash & chop potatoes, place in a pan of salted boiling water, simmer until tender, remove and set to one side. Chop the bacon into strips and put in pan with the chopped onion, fry until onion is soft and cooked. Add the chanterelles & potatoes, cook for 6-7 mins or until most of the liquid exuded from the chanterelles has begun to receed, add the garlic, cook 2 mins more, add the cream, chopped spignel & crushed pepper dulse, turn up the heat for a couple of minutes until the creamy sauce thickens, add a teaspoon or two of the pollen, stir in, remove from heat and serve. Garnish with some fresh chopped spignel & pepper dulse.

Chanterelles, Angelica, Spignel & Douglas Fir Vodka:

This is very much a case of  'pop some of that in and see how it works'. I'm fairly savvy when it
comes to each of the ingredients but I am checking it's development on a daily basis (I've removed the spignel & angelica as they've already worked their magic) and so far, so good :)

Pickled Chanterelles:

I have a recipe for pickled mushrooms on another page and the link will take you to it. All I did with this recipe was use wild herbs & spices instead of shop bought ones but shop bought can be used in place of wild alternatives. I added spignel seeds/fronds & hogweed seeds. Link:
I also made three jars using shop bought spices as in the link. Feel free to change spices according to your preferences :)

Chanterelle & Cep Vodka:
This a wicked combination which can be tweeked by adding add other wild fungi to the mix too! I'm  keeping this one as it is (for the time being anyway). I have another mushroom vodka I started/made last year:

Spignel Infused Vodka:

This is particularly good. After 24 hours, it was good. After 48 hours, even better. After 72, serious wow factor. I've been adding to some experimental cocktails and the results are pretty good.


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