I love mushrooms, but chanterelles, by far, are my favorites. And when I can find them, I grab them right away. I found these at Costco, of all places.
I’ll admit, they are not the easiest to clean, (and you can’t eat them raw) and while I don’t like submerging mushrooms in water, it’s the best way to clean these intricate things unless you have an archaeologist’s brush and a couple of hours in front of the TV. As far as I know, there have been no successful attempts at commercially growing chanterelles - they grow on their own near hardwoods - hence the foresty fodder I still pulled out of the gills (see picture below).
But I don’t want to put you off of these if you’ve never had them - they are worth every extra step.
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup quinoa
7 ounces chicken or beef stock
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, divided
3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 pound chanterelles, brushed clean (halved if large)
1/2 cup heavy cream
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh oregano plus more for garnish
1/2 head new garlic or 3 large regular garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 lamb rack
Cover the chanterelle mushrooms with cool water and set aside for 10 minutes. Agitate the water 2 or 3 times during this period. Scoop out the mushrooms and rinse under running water then spread them onto a kitchen towel and discard the soaking liquid. Inspect the mushrooms, particularly the stems, and remove any attached debris or dirt pieces and cut the mushrooms in half or thirds.
Combine the quinoa, pinenuts and stock in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let it sit, covered until you’re ready for it. Fluff with a fork when you are.
Heat a dry 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until hot, at least 2 minutes. Meanwhile, pat lamb dry and rub meat all over with salt and pepper. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to hot skillet, then brown rack on all sides (not ends).
Stir together garlic, herbs, salt, pepper, and oil. Coat meaty parts of lamb with herb mixture, pressing to help adhere. Roast 15 minutes, then cover lamb loosely with foil and roast until thermometer inserted diagonally into center of meat registers 120°F, 5 to 10 minutes more. Let stand, covered, 10 minutes. (Internal temperature will rise to 125 to 130°F for medium-rare while lamb stands.)
Melt 3 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly golden, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in wine and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are more caramelized than golden, about 5 minutes. Add cream and nutmeg and cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon oregano. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
On a serving platter, mound the quinoa. Top with the mushrooms and some of the liquid.
Arrange the sliced chops around the dish.
Treat yourself to a nice bottle of 2019 Rombauer Chardonnay.
If you can afford it, go for the 2018, which is absolutely wonderful, but more than twice the price if you can find it. (You’re worth it).