Sunday, July 13, 2008

... and the living is easy

This is my absolute favorite summertime meal. This is what summer tastes like. And how chanterelles should be treated.
They're the rulers of all mushrooms and I've often been bewildered at how they get used in cooking. For example fried whole on a pan that is far too hot, so that they dry up. Or killed by boiling them in a soup.

This is an Estonian summer-staple - A creamy chanterelle sauce over fresh baby-potatoes. (Värksed kartulid kukeseenekastmega). - it literally melts in your mouth.

Chanterelles (however many you managed to pick or buy)
knob of butter
freshly ground salt and pepper
fresh-pickles, for serving
fresh tomato, for serving

Clean the chanterelles (get rid of all the forest and the dirt you brought home with them), wash them and chop them up.
Scrub the baby potatoes and boil them with some salt.
Melt the knob of butter on a medium-hot pan and add the chanterelles. They have a lot of water in them and that'll be coming out. Sautee them in their own water for ~7 minutes, then add the sour cream to make it a sauce. Stir and if necessary add a little bit of water (usually not necessary). Add the salt and pepper in the end.
Serve the sauce over the boiled potatoes with some fresh tomato and some summer-pickles.

I must admit that I just ran out of the fresh-pickles, so on these pics. I'm using the ordinary ones, but honestly, do try the fresh ones-

What are the summer pickles?
They're so called fresh pickles - no vinegar and no natural lagering process yet. They just spend at least a day (to 3) in salt water marinade.

This is how you make them:
a suitable amount of cucumbers
black-currant leaves
dill weed (preferably nearly whole plants, with stalks and flowers and all)
garlic (whole cloves)
some horseradish

per 1 l of water
2 table spoons of sea-salt

Wash the cucumbers in cold water and place them in a big glass jar or an enamel pot with the herbs and spices. If you'er not sure how long ago the cucumbers were picked, leave them submerged in cold water for a couple of hours, this way they'll be crispy.
Dissolve the salt in cold water Boil and pour it over the cucumbers. If you're using a pot, take a big plate and place it on the cucumbers and weigh it down with something heavy (my mom has a special stone for this :), so that all the cucumbers stay submerged.

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