Skip to main content

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

Ingredients:
Fresh Chanterelles
Streaky Bacon (at least one smoked rasher!)
Potatoes
Onion
Garlic
Double Cream
Spignel
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: http://edible-leeds.blogspot.co.uk/p/recipes_26.html
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: http://edible-leeds.blogspot.co.uk/p/alcoholic.html





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.





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum).

'What did the Romans ever do for us' is a phrase synonymous with the UK. Many ancient tribes, cultures and societies have landed on these shores and settled here. Some came with peaceful intentions and others not so (the Romans). Contrary to what is/was reported, there are many members of these various tribes still scattered around the UK. Not only did they leave their genetic imprints behind but also many a plant. I'm not going to delve into the 'horrors of histories past' but I am going to delve into one of the plants of histories past.

Smyrnium olusatrum or as it is more commonly known, Alexanders, is a member of the Apiaceae or Carrot family. Native to the Meditteranean region, it was apparently introduced by the Romans (ta da!) and used widely & extensively as a fodder crop, pot herb and vegetable (all parts are edible and tasty), until it fell out of favour and was superseded by celery. Given the Romans occupied much of the UK, both inland and coastal ar…

Juniper - A Day In The Mountains, Months In The Making...

Foraging doesn't get much more hardcore than
climbing halfway up the side of a mountain in early winter in order to obtain your desired pickings and my recent trip to the Lake District saw me doing just that. My quarry, wild Juniper!

My first encounter with wild Juniper was back in 2010, on the very same mountainside I recently visited in the Lake District.
A low level mountain walk, coupled with introducing a friend to the delights of the Cumbrian Fells, resulted in the discovery of a small forest of Juniper trees, a pleasing encounter. I recall picking a small handful of those purple, black, aromatic berries, receiving many a spiked needle in my fingers while doing so, and eventually savouring their culinary attributes, mainly in the form of wild game dishes, hearty stews and the odd pickling experiment. Prior to that visit in 2010, my first encounter with Juniper was via a sketch in Monty Pythons' 'The Life of Brian', those of you who have seen the film will rememb…

Recipe: Potted Pheasant

Christmas is coming the goose is getting fat... I'm not having goose for Yule, among various things me and my guests will  be eating...
Potted Pheasant

500g Pheasant Meat - Breast & Upper Thigh  150g Streaky Bacon 1 Onion 4 Garlic Cloves 500ml Crab Apple Wine or Medium Cider 500ml Game Stock 50g Wild Duck Fat or Goose Fat 4 Sprigs of Thyme 5 Points of Star Anise 30 Peppeercorns 1/2 Tsp Ground Mace 1/2 Tsp Ground Cloves 4 Bay Leaves Sea Salt
Preheat oven to 120 degrees C. Finely chop the onion, grate the garlic and put into a pan with the wine, stock, sprigs of thyme & two bay leaves. Bring to boil and boil hard for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and leave to cool. Remove skin from pheasant and chop meat into very small pieces, do the same with the bacon and combine the two meats together in a bowl.  Using a pestle & mortar, grind the star anise & peppercorns. Add the ground mace, clove & 1/2 a tsp of sea salt, mix them together, add to the meats, add the duck fat …