I was exposed at a young age to mushrooms. My mom loved them, I hated them. (Of course, looking back, she prepared only canned, slimy, rubbery mushrooms.) When I married an aspiring chef, he was bound and determined to convert me. I thought it was impossible. I can’t remember the exact dish…or the type of mushroom…probably at that point, portobellos were the mushroom of choice. All I know is, I was a convert!
I love mushrooms of any shape and size! But, one of my favorites is chanterelles. If you’ve never cooked with these buttery, soft fungi, you are missing out! They can be a bit of a challenge to find. I finally found them at Whole Foods. They are a bit pricey, but well worth the splurge!
Devon and I had a date at Whole Foods. We were having our friends Irene and Albert, from Holland, over for a special love feast. You see, Albert has been here in the states without his beloved bride for six months. But, she finally arrived to join him for the rest of the year! This dinner had to be special! I had a taste for mushroom risotto. That was my only request. As we pursued the store, Devon’s risotto became inspired by what he found. First were the chanterelles, then the larger than normal, shallots….next the 10 year old aged gouda. This was shaping up to exceed my expectations, taste wise! As we wandered looking at all the food toys*, we knew there was one last ingredient needed to set this dish into a new realm…truffle oil!! Ah!! My mouth already yearned for that finishing touch on the risotto! We found it! It was a fungi love feast, in honor of Albert and Irene’s reunion! (a great excuse to make chanterelle risotto!)
Arugula (rocket) with apricot stilton, roasted pecans and sliced pears, finished with grapefruit vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.
Chantrelle risotto drizzled ever so delicately with truffle oil
Lemon mousse made with homemade lemon curd, fresh blueberries and whipped cream
Oh…and a few glasses of chianti!
* (definition of food toy: food that is not in your normal grocery budget… we strongly feel that every grocery trip earns one special, food toy splurge!)