Evening glow in the greenhouse

Evening glow in the greenhouse
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Friday, October 31, 2014

Cleaning and processing Chantrelle mushrooms

If you are lucky enough to find some of these delectable forest treats, then you need to clean them so you can eat them, and dry or freeze them. I think the most important rule is to keep everything dry.Introducing water makes a mess. Dry brushes are the best tools for the job. I picked my mushrooms in an old growth forest where I felt their surroundings were pretty pristine. That really helps to know they are free from pollution. The ones I picked were covered with fir needles, some dirt, and bits of this and that from the trees above. No bugs. Again, that helps to know they are ready to clean the rest of the way. I haven't seen bugs on Chantrelles, but I guess there cold be anything that might be in the woods anyway. So using a stiff painting brush, I start sweeping the debris away. If there is any convolution with dirt in it, I use the tip of my knife to flick it out. I can also use the side of the blade to scrape lightly if there is any tissue brown or damaged. As a last result, I can trim any of the mushroom off that isn't going to clean up.

Cut clean mushrooms into thick slices for drying or chunks for freezing. I dry saute the chunks until they have reabsorbed the moisture that fills in around them as they are cooking. They are a wonderful addition to spaghetti, pizza, stroganoff, or any other meat dish.

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