Gnocchi and chanterelles

I might join the entire Sweden with the statement that chanterelles is possibly the best mushroom that the forrest has to offer. Last year I hit woods with great intentions of finding lots of them, but I just got one or two. Way to few for making some real food out of them. I’m not complaining, last year offered to much mushroom anyway. It was strange though that there were no chanterelles since they often are one of the most common sorts. This year is different. It has been a really rainy summer and they are already here (very very early). A few days ago I went out shrooom-hunting and ended up in a golden ocean. So why not make chanterelles and gnocchi?

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I’m making the gnocchi gluten-free since there sometimes are intolerant people around, and since there seem to be a lack of gf-free vegan gnocchi recipes this one is self developed.

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Gnocchi
 
What you need
  • 2 pounds boiled potatoes
  • 1,5 cups rice flour
  • 2 tsp guar gum
  • 1,5 tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp oil
How to do it
  1. Mash the potatoes but don't use a food processor, use a masher or something gentler. If you use blades it will release starch and create a very gluey gnocchi, not the tender one we are looking for.
  2. Mix mix all the dry ingredients together, make sure the guar gum is well mixed since is gets very sticky if not.
  3. Mix all the ingredients until they are fully incorporated.
  4. Divide the dough into 8 balls.
  5. Sprinkle some rice flour on the countertop and roll the balls into inch-thick tubes.
  6. Cut into half-inch wide disks and flatten with a fork.
  7. Boil some water on the stow.
  8. And the gnocchi in batches so the bottom of pan doesn't get full. Once they start to float they are done.
  9. You could either serve them like this or add some oil and broil them in the oven, just to get some surface.

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Chantarelles
 
What you need
  • 3 minced onions
  • 1 pound of chopped chanterelles
  • 3 springs of thyme
  • 1 cup soy creamer
  • 2 tbsp rice flour
  • oil
  • salt and pepper
How to do it
  1. Fry the onions in the oil until brown.
  2. Add the chanterelles and the thyme.
  3. Fry until the mushrooms start to release their water.
  4. Mix the soy creamer and rice flour. Add to the pot, boil for a few minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.

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Harvesting mayhem, pumpkin risotto + mushrooms

Last weekend some people told me that this monday (the one that just passed) was Canadian thanksgiving. Well, we don’t celebrate it here in Sweden but I really enjoy some harvest food. And since I have been living in Canada it feel quite natural go for some thanksgiving hearty food. This one is for my Canadian heart.

Also I have been talking a lot about mushrooms but with out actually making anything from them. Besides those taste testings. I went for a run yesterday, and since runnings isn’t always the most motivating thing to get down to I have made it into a bit of a treasure hunt. I always bring a bag, and go for a route where I know there might be some goodness to bring home. Yesterday I ran through a big meadow with old viking settlements. You see the remains of all that activity that went on there long long ago. AND those grounds are great for some of those shroooms. Found some button mushrooms but they are quite scary, gotta be careful not to mix them with the european destroying angel that can be deadly, they are pretty similar. But for this recipe I’m going to use the parasol mushrooms I found. Huge ones, the Swedish name would translate into something like “proud grilled mushroom” and they truly look very proud.

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I guess this dish comes down to using pretty much everything the autumn has, and most of the things come from my own garden, besides the purple potatoes, and another things that I’m a bit ashamed of admitting: vegan cheese. I have always been against those substitute products, but last weekend I got insane cravings for the first time. Might have something to do with a little to much wine. Anyway found this cheese that wasn’t THAT awful in ingredients and based on coconut oil. I could at least count the additives on my hands (still terrible I know). Tasted fantastic and even melted. Well I decided to include some in the risotto, but you can just emit if, or substitute with some nutritional yeast instead.

Let’s make a mushroom plate with pumpkin risotto and some purple baked potato chips.

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Pumpkin risotto with sage and kale
 
What you need
  • 2 cups rice, I went for a blend of brown, read and wild rice, looks beautiful.
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp oil of choice
  • 5-6 cups stock
  • 0.5 cup white wine
  • ⅓ cup toasted walnuts
  • 2 cups winter squash
  • 1 bunch of dinosaur kale
  • 2 tbsp sage
  • Some vegan cheese, or nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper
How to do it
  1. Soak the rice for 12 hours.
  2. Mince the onion and garlic. Heat the oil on medium and fry until soft and a bit brown, about 15 min.
  3. Heat the stock on a different burner, it doesn't have to be boiling, just warm.
  4. Add the rice to the pot with onion. While stirring, add enough stock to cover the rice. Continue to add stock when it boils of. It will take about 45-60 min for the rice to get soft. Stirring will help the rice get more sticky.
  5. Halfway through the rice cooking, add some oil to a frying pan and lightly fry the pumpkins (half-inch sized cubes) until soft and with a nice browned surface.
  6. When the rice is almost ready, add the wine to it with the dinosaur kale. Allow the moisture to boil off.
  7. Add the rest of the ingredients, walnuts, cheese, sage, salt and pepper, and finally the pumpkin.

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Marinated parasol mushrooms
 
What you need
  • 4 parasol mushrooms, or portabello since parasols might be really hard to find.
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbps tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • pepper
How to do it
  1. Mix the tamari, tomato paste, olive oil and pepper.
  2. Cover the mushroom caps with marinade and let it sit for 30 min.
  3. Heat a frying pan to medium, add some oil, and gently fry the caps whole

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Purple oven-baked chips
 
What you need
  • 5 medium purple potatoes like Blue Congo. I used one called Violetta. Go for white ones if you can't find.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp sea salt
How to do it
  1. Heat the oven to 170C or 340F
  2. Thinly slice them, evenly, like ⅛ of an inch or even thinner.
  3. Place them on a baking plate with a parchment paper. Add the oil and salt. Mix.
  4. Then arrange them on the plate so that they don't sit on top of each other.
  5. Bake for 10-20 min, until crisp. Check them regularly, once they start to get crisp everything will burn in a sec.

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Add the mushroom to the plate, add the risotto on to, and finish of with some potato chips. I went for some pickled green tomatoes too. Something sour will be great to this one.

Hope you like those autumn flavors.

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Mushroom overload, part 2

Its later into autumn, things look different all around and so does the small things in the forest. Most of the mushrooms are of a different variety. We went out last weekend for another hunt. Looking especially for yellowfoot schrroms. I guess its one of the most popular and common mushrooms in Sweden. We did find quite an amount, but they weren’t everywhere, we really did have to look for them. There also was some wood hedgehog and a few horn of plenty. The horn is pretty rare, and hard to find, is is black and easily missed by the eye. My dad also got all exited about this one.

Yellowfoot

Yellowfoot

Its great to be outside for this, but you easily forget the amount of time it takes to get them clean of all soil and insects. This happened with the yellowfoot, to many small things and we ended up with a lot of work. Easy in the beginning but when the pile of dirty ones doesn’t seem to get any smaller the motivation fluctuates. But it was nice work anyway, talking to sis on the phone and things seemed to go more rapidly.

Horn of pleny

Horn of plenty

Anyway, harvesting directly form nature without the detour through an importer and a supermarket is really astonishing.

Wood hedgehog

Wood hedgehog

Mushroom overload

My dad and me decided to go for a mushroom hunt last weekend. We heard that there wasn’t going to be many shrroooms in the forest this summer. It has been extremely hot and dry for most of July and that is quite bad if you want to have a party from the woods. But august has been rainy, and that changes things. We were out for 2 hours and got back with almost 11 kilos (24 punds)! I have never experienced anything like this. They were literary everywhere. We had to go back since our baskets got full. The most common word we exchanged during the walk was: found one! Followed by the variety. We had about 10 different edible kinds when we got back. And a few extra we didn’t know so we had to dig some in various books and on the net. But they all turned out to be quite nasty, not necessarily dangerous but not “favourable”. They went into the recycling bin.

Father on the schrrroum hunt

Father on the schrrroum hunt

We froze and dried the majority of them. Cleaning and cutting occupied the entire day, and three of us. But now we have mushrooms for many years. I even got 4 extra kilos (9 punds) when I went out for a run (!!) the day after. I brought a plastic bag with me incase there were going to be any along the path. It was full when I retuned. Pretty hard to run with a bag in one hand.

Porcini in the big pile

Porcini in the big pile

So what did we do with the rest of them? Well, since you don’t get the change to have this many different kinds of mushy things in front of you to often, we decided to try them out and how different they are from each other. We fried them in some oil and salt, separately, and had a small testing. Here are some thoughts:

The porcini were mild but complex in flavour, without any “peaks”, just a smooth and wide taste, earthy. The consistency was a bit slimy.

Red-capped scaber talk, not smily, it’s consistency didn’t change much with prolonged cooking. Great as a “filler” mushroom. The taste was very mild, almost to mild, quite boring actually.

Velvet bolete, Birch bolete and Slippery jack were all similar, slimy like the porcini, milder, but with more peaks, the taste wasn’t as smooth. Quite different, and very good.

Chantarelle, don’t think I have to write anything here…

False saffron milkcap, became very crispy, with a few distinct flavours, a bit acid and earthy, very very delicious.

Scotch bonnet, very very crisp. Wide taste with a few distinct flavours, a bit acid as well.

Parasol mushroom

Parasol mushroom

And the last one, parasol mushroom. My dad got quite worked up when we found this one. Many years since he had one (i might have tried it before, not sure). Looking like a quite poisonous little thing it turned out to be delicious, crisp and extremely complex, like the false saffron but with ten times more flavour. It even smelled great, quite sweet, like honey from the ground. It’s also big so it’s perfect for a burger, like you use portabello sometimes.

Testing

Testing

This vas a great testing, now I really know the difference, you should try it out, side by side comparison!

Love!

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