Posts Tagged ‘chanterelle’

People, Places and Pizzas

Here are 50 some-odd photos I took while doing this blog.  Some good, some great, just little snippets of time, space and life in my little neck of the woods.

I chose these pictures because they best capture the people, foods and places that have brought me and others memories, along with great pizza and bread. I hope you like them.


Organic farmer Rich Tomsu with his German Hardy Garlic. Shade, Ohio, July 2009.

pizza chowdery farms 012

Schiacciata Margherita.  Athens, Ohio, July 2009.

cowderyi 155

Ripe paw paws ready for picking, Integration Acres. Albany Ohio, August 2009.


My sons with forest-fresh blonde morels.  Athens Ohio, April 2009.


Matt Starline, Starline Organics, nurturing his baby leeks.

cowderyi 090

Concord grapes, Cherry Orchards. October, 2009.


Asiago Fougasse, Farmer’s Market. Athens, Ohio, May 2009.

hilton head and farmers market 242

Chris Schmiel, Integration Acres, with raw goats’ milk. Albany, Ohio, July, 2009.

pizza chowdery farms 011

Fresh picked tomatillos, Cowdery Farms. Longbottom Ohio, August 2009.

june 2009 022

Large Turkish Pide with spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, tomato and cheddar. Athens, Ohio. January, 2009.


Matt Starline, Starline Organics, with early summer organic purple kohlrabi. Stewart, Ohio, June 2009.

Turkish Pide

Varieties of Turkish Pide. Athens, Ohio, June 2009.

July 2009 051

Larry and Kim Cowdery, Cowdery Farms. Longbottom, Ohio, July, 2009.

cowderyi 036

Schicciata Con L’uva with grapes from Cherry Orchards. Athens, Ohio, September 2009.

hilton head and farmers market 265

The Goon stretching schiacciata dough. Athens Ohio, July 2009.

July 2009 ii 027

Just-picked wild chantrelles. Athens, Ohio, August 2009.


Goats size up the Goonish-looking  interloper. Albany Ohio, May 2009.

October 3rd and pear pizza 281

Guanciale and fig pizza. Athens, Ohio, October 2009.

French Fingerling and Peruvian Purple potatoes

French fingerling and Peruvian purple potatoes ready for roasting. Athens, Ohio, June, 2009.

cowderyi 017

Peppers from Cowdery Farms. Longbottom, Ohio, August 2009.

mushroom blog

Blonde morels in the forest, undisclosed location. Ohio, April, 2009

July 2009 047

Early Tomatoes, Cowdery Farms. Longbottom Ohio, June 2009.

hilton head and farmers market 149

Whole wheat couronnes with cherry and walnuts. Athens Ohio, May 2009.

October 3rd and pear pizzaiii 166

Bosc pears from Neil Cherry Orchards. Ohio, September, 2009.

Illinois 2009 and food blog pics 333

Geoff Roche and a channel catfish, Lake Snowden fish farm. Hocking College, Albany, Ohio, 2009.

hilton head and farmers market 180

Green kohlrabi from Starline Organics. Athens, June, 2009.

cowderyi 122

Neil Cherry of Cherry Orchards, picking the last of the 2009 peach crop.

chicago 2008 & bread 445

Assorted schiacciata, Athens Farmers’ Market. February, 2009.

shrimp 064

Giant Malaysian Blue Prawn. Athens, Ohio, September, 2009.


Matt and Angie Starline, Starline Organics. Athens Farmers’ Market, August, 2009.

Amish Joe and the Spelt

Joe Hirshberger harvesting spelt the Amish way. Chesterhill, Ohio, July, 2009.

december 2008 068

Last of the great tomatoes, made into pizzas. Athens, Ohio, September, 2009.

rich organic 039

Washing greens at Rich Organic Gardens. Shade, Ohio, July, 2009.


Milking goats at Integration Acres. Albany, Ohio, June, 2009.

July 2009 127

Pattypan squash at Cowdery Farms. Longbottom, Ohio, July, 2009.

July 2009 139

Dog, Cowdery Farms. Longbottom Ohio,  July, 2009.

pizzas and breads farmers market 342

Farmers at the Athens’ Farmers Market. Athens, Ohio,  June, 2009.

mom 013

Toro pepper and Gruyere pizza. Athens, Ohio, August, 2009.

rich organic 021

The garlic flower that Rich missed, Rich Organic Farms. Shade Ohio, 2009.

July 2009 085

Larry Cowdery showing how big his tomato plants are. Longbottom, Ohio, 2009.

june 2009 314

Vibrant Bangna Cauda, braised hearts of romaine. Athens, Ohio, July 2009.

hilton head and farmers market 136

Broken obelisk to a long-forgotten farmer, Starline Organic Farm.  Stewart, Ohio, June, 2009.

june 2009 302

Kohlrabi and potato pizza. Athens, Ohio, July, 2009.

hilton head and farmers market 418

Matt Starline and his monsterous sheepdog tend to a lamb. Stewart, Ohio, July, 2009.

pizzas and breads farmers market 035

Fresh vegetable and local goat cheese schiacciata. Athens, Ohio, May, 2009.

rich organic 043

The whole crew at Rich Organic Gardens. Shade, Ohio, July, 2009.

blog pic 7

Three morels in the hand is worth…. Forest in Ohio, 2009.

October 3rd and pear pizza 223

Sweet italian peppers fire roasting on guaniciale. Athens, October, 2009.

pizzas and breads farmers market 352

Will De Freis, Athens’ Farmers cultivar extrordinaire. Athens, June, 2009.

rich organic 018

From organic farmer to pizza guy. Shade, Ohio, July, 2009.


Yea guys, it’s all fun and games until someone gets pooped on!

Dances with Chanterelles

                         July 2009 ii 027

“No kidding John, you haven’t been chanterelle hunting yet?” my astonished foodie-friend asked while buying a hunk of  pizza from me.
“Aaaaaaa no,” I said, my response sounding more ignorant than usual.
“Well, you gotta get your head out of that pizza oven and get out there dude, there poppin’ everywhere!”  He walked away.
Within the next 30 minutes, three more people said it was a bumper year for the chanterelles, and I goaded them on to tell me where to look.
“Under big beech trees,” came one response.
“On the north side of ridges with big oaks,” came another.
Now, nothing tweeks the goon’s brain like the challenge of a forest forage. The lure of free booty taken easily from mother nature, and all you have to do is hunt. The hunt was on.
                                                   July 2009 473

The name chanterelle comes from the Greek  cantharos, meaning cup. In France, it’s known as the girolle; in Italy as canterello, galletto, gallinacci, finferlo, margherita and garitula. The mushroom’s firm, eggshell yellow flesh has the fruity taste of apricot with a peppery finish, which is why the Germans call it pfifferling.

Often the simplest preparation is the best:  sauteed in butter with chervil or flat leaf parsley and shallots. Some northern Italian cooks add cream. Since 1893, it has been the favored mushroom to throw into  thick-ass bechamel for Maxime Gaillard’s famous Croutes Aux Champignons (baked mushrooms on toast) at Chez Maxim’s in Paris. Damn the heart attack, full speed ahead.

          July 2009 ii 032 July 2009 ii 018

My own chanterelle memory brings me back to Le Ciel Bleu restaurant in Chicago in 1988, where I was a dining room captain and served  hundreds of appetizers called “Champignon en Papillote,” or mushrooms baked in parchment paper.

For this dish, our belligerent yet talented Chef  Dominique folded a round piece of parchment paper around a pile of chanterelles he had tossed in a bowl of white Bordeaux, paper thin slices of garlic, chopped thyme and parsley, and sea salt. He baked the package at  375 degrees until the steam from the wine-soaked mushrooms bloated the air-tight bag into beautiful Hindenburg-like ball. As he yelled epithets like “Hurrrry, you Amer-eee-Keeen Dog,” I scurried out of the kitchen and brought the bag and a sharp knife to the table.  In front of guests, I cut the bag open with great finesse, releasing the herbal steam into their receptive faces. A drizzle of mushroom jus and brioche toast points made it a superb dish.

Back on planet earth and 22 hours after deciding to hunt, I struggled up a ridge in my usual mushroom hunting grounds. I had checked all the low-lying swampy forest but found no chanterelles so I gave up, caving in to my boys, who ranted about going to a large rocky ridge they call “Indian Rock.”
                   July 2009 466 July 2009 467

Just as we approached the top, Sam shouted, “Shamdrell…er… kantrell!” My eyes followed his point and sure enough, on an almost vertical, moss covered wall above the trail, he had found chanterelles. They were small, beat-up and dirty, but chanterelles nonetheess, perfect on pizza with an organic duck breast.

A word about chanterelle hunting: Beware of false chanterelles and Jack O’Lanterns. These mushrooms mimic the real one. False chanterelles have sharp gills, thinner stems and more orange brown than the funnel-shaped real ones. Jack O’Lanterns grow on wood in large clumps, and in the dark. The best rule is: If you wonder whether it’s a chanterelle, don’t pick it.

Chanterelle Pizza with Grilled Duck Breast and Apricots

3-4 ounces fresh chantrelles

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons chicken stock

1 tablespoon dry white wine

1 tablespoon chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

1 duck breast

Salt and freshly-ground pepper

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup shredded Gouda cheese

2 tablespoons shaved dried apricots

1/4 cup arugla

Use the Easy Dough recipe for round pizza (found in the right sidebar). Make it 4 hours before the bake.

Preheat oven. Place a pizza stone or the upturned bottom of a heavy sheet pan in the middle rack.

                  July 2009 ii 036 July 2009 ii 038

Chanterelles are notoriously dirty and hard to clean. Luckily, mushroom fanatics revel in the fact that they don’t have to wade through forests of prickly bushes and mosquitoes to do this. Do not soak chanterelles. They act like sponges and soak up an amazing amount of water. To clean, use a dry brush or blow on them. For really dirty ones,  turn on the shower and use one or two streams to blast some dirt away fast, then dry like mad.

I always eat as much of the chanterelle as possible. You may have read the stems are tough. Bullocks! The meatier the better, with this beauty. I cut the stems down the center or quarter the big mushrooms.
                                    1. July 2009 ii 040 2. July 2009 ii 045 3. July 2009 ii 050

1. Saute garlic in a skillet on medium-low heat with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and the mushrooms as you turn heat to medium. 2. Cook for 3 minutes, tossing frequently. Remove mushrooms from the pan, keeping all liquid. Turn heat up to high and add the chicken stock and wine. 3. Reduce for 2 minutes, stirring gently, then add mushrooms again. Add parsley and stir for another minute. Remove from heat.
                                   1. July 2009 ii 042 2. July 2009 ii 053 3. July 2009 ii 059

1. Cut a cross hatch pattern on the duck skin to alleviate curling of the breast while cooking. 2. Salt and pepper the duck breast and place on the grill at high (500 degrees) temperature, skin side down. Do not walk away as the duck fat may cause a firestorm. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the skin is crispy and starting to turn dark brown. Turn the breast over and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove and rest on a plate for 10 minutes. 3. Place skin side up and slice thinly on the bias across the breast (not lengthwise)

Make a pizza round according to the Easy Pizza Dough recipe and place it on a cornmeal-dusted pizza peel or the bottom of a sheet pan. Add the shredded Parmesan and gouda, then the mushrooms. Transfer it to the pizza stone or upturned pan and cook for 7- 10 minutes or until golden brown. (See video)

                     July 2009 ii 062
Top the cooked pizza with slices of duck breast, shaved dried apricots and a chiffonade (strips) of peppery arugula. Serve Immediately.

                                                              July 2009 ii 061

           July 2009 ii 065