The Chanterelles, Oysters, and Puffball Mushrooms are all coming out in droves with the cooler weather here in Northern Michigan. Thank GOD! We love mushrooms, they are so delicious. I took my 5 year old nephew out with me yesterday to show him the ropes of Chanterelle hunting. We found more than Chanterelles which was great. My nephew told me we had to make something for dinner which included the mushrooms. The recipe I made is included in this post.
Chanterelles grow on the ground, either singly or in groups. The ones we are finding are called “cantharellus cibarius”. They are yellow. Anywhere from a light buttery yellow if they have been under leaves and haven’t gotten much light to a dark yellowy orange if they are getting older and drying out some. They have a flat to slightly depressed cap usually, though occasionally it can be more trumpet like. Chanterelles have “false gills”. What are false gills you ask? False gills look like this:
They are false gills because they are more like folds in the mushroom. You can not pull them off individually. They tend to fork at the end of the mushroom. It’s really important to know the difference between false gills and true gills. There are very dangerous look alike mushrooms out there. The Jack-o-Lantern mushroom is a look alike to the Chanterelle.
Think about a button mushroom you buy at the store. Turn it over. On the underside you will see that it has gills. They are detached from each other. You could pull each one off individually if you like. They are plate or blade like. These are true gills.
Chanterelles also have a fruity smell. You may not notice it individually but if you get several together it’s undeniably apricoty. Chantharellus Cibiarius once broken will stain a darker orange to brown color. They are usually a few inches tall (between 1 and 5) and and inch to several inches across. The spore print is pale yellow to creamy white. Chanterelles can be preserved by sautéing them in some butter and garlic, cooling, and then putting in freezer bags and frozen. If preserved other ways they tend to lose their flavor.
We also found oyster mushrooms. They tend to grow on deciduous trees and tree stumps. They grow in clusters mainly but can be found individually. The ones we find are typically a light tan to creamy whitish tan color. They are slightly slimy when wet. They look like a fan and have true gills. The Oysters in the pictures below are not ones I picked yesterday but some my wonderful neighbors gave me a few days back.
Oyster Mushrooms come in many shapes, colors, and sizes. There are a lot of different types of oysters out there and you need to know which are which. If your unsure you can ask a mushroom expert for identification. Never eat ANY mushroom that your unsure of. You could get sick and at worst die. Now we wouldn’t want that would we? Oyster are a good addition to many main dishes. They are also great dehydrated and then ground into a powder that can later be used for adding a mushroomy flavor to food.
Wild Mushroom Risotto
- 1/2 stick of salted Butter
- 2 TBSP Olive Oil
- 1 medium Onion, diced
- 2-3 cups wild mushrooms, I used Chanterelle, Oyster, and Pear Puffball
- 1 C Arborio Rice (Risotto)
- 2 C beef broth
- 2 C Sherry
- 2 C water
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Optional: Fresh Chives (3-4 TBSP) and Fresh Oregano( 1-2 TBSP)
- Melt butter over medium high heat in a large skillet
- Add in Olive Oil
- Add Onions to pan and allow to simmer until onions are translucent, 3 minutes or so
- Once Onions are translucent add wild mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes or until mushrooms shrink in size and pan has lots of liquid.
- Add in Arborio rice. Stirring continuously until all liquid is absorbed.
- Mix beef broth and Sherry together in a 4 cup measuring cup or bowl
- Add 1 C of beef/sherry liquid to pan. Stir continuously until all liquid is absorbed.
- Continue adding beef/sherry mixture to skillet 1 Cup at a time and stir until all liquid is absorbed in between each addition
- Test Arborio Rice. Taste a piece of rice and see if it is still hard in the middle, if so add water 1 Cup at a time in the same manner as above until rice is soft.
- Add in salt and pepper and Fresh Chives and Oregano, cook a few minutes more. Rice should be a creamy consistency.
I hope you enjoyed the Mushroom Issue of my Blog. David and I both really enjoy mushrooms and hope you do too!