If you recall we were given some freshly picked chanties yesterday at Glenacres and we were venturing into territory that I have generally avoided. ( Let me clarify, about 10 years ago someone gave us a huge ( you could fit a medium sized Great Dane) bag of these lovely mushrooms but it was so overwhelming that sadly many of them became compost. I have tried to stay away since t help preserve the species.) I had done a brief foray online to assess how to clean them and bottom line learned that it is best to bring along a small brush ( paint or toothbrush style) to rid your finds of the dirt and forest debris in the field. Our beautiful schrooms were marred by a heavy coating of dirt that despite my best efforts at carefully brushing to maintain the beautiful fluting and caps I failed. I went from careful to crazy at the hour mark The survival rate of the mere 7 specimens was reduced to pieces. But they were clean!
After tossing the small bits and pieces off the front porch of the Inn for the outdoor critters that might enjoy, I jumped to the next step which I had read was to dry saute with salt to draw out the high water content of the fungus. I admit I have never heard of this nor tried it so I was rather surprised when it worked and my pan was flooded with mushroom water. As quickly as it had been squeezed out though it oddly disappeared! I had taken them off the heat to answer a call and in the 30 seconds or so of "hey" and" hey", suddenly the liquid was GONE! I put the pan back on the heat with the clearly stupid thought that it would slide back out of the chanties as if a tsunami wave had come back for seconds. Insert wry face here.
The pan had the remains of the Chanterelles, tiny wrinkled orange and coated with a white frost of salt which I ignored as again I was chatting on the phone and ready to be at the tasting part. Opps. Should have tasted them then and there. In the dim recesses of my mind I did recall in my quick read that mentioned rinsing off the chanties at this point but I rationalized that if you can't wash them to clean off 10 pounds of dirt, why should you be able to successfully wash off salt? So I tossed the butter in and kept talking on the phone - pulling them off the heat and puffing out my chest with what I felt was success.
Enter stage left- Steve who of course popped a freshly cooked still hot mushroom. Steve will eat anything and will always offer a positive comment on even the most dismal of dish failures. His comment? " Super salty, was this what you were going for?"