The end of summer into the beginning of Autumn is absolutely the best time to get your hands on some wild mushrooms, and, in our humble opinion, the best place to get them is Scotland (we’ve brought them to the deli for your convenience!). Whether it’s Chanterelles, Trompette de la Mort or Morels, have a go and try something different! I like a Chestnut or a Portabello as much as anyone, but these mushrooms are worth it while they’re around.
Here’s a couple of recipes for Scottish Chanterelles (pictured) , which we have in the deli right now.
Scottish Chanterelles on sourdough toast with Blackhand bacon and poached eggs
This isn’t a challenging one, but is mighty delicious and satisfying, especially if the weather closes in.
Serves 4 – or 2 greedy people
1 Dusty Knuckle sourdough
8 rashers of Blackhand bacon
4 free range eggs
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 clove of garlic
Handful of chopped parsley
As much butter as you dare
De-rind the bacon – you can use any bacon you like, but Blackhand is the best – leaving the fat on and chop into something resembling strips, or lardons if you like. Dry fry in a heavy bottomed saucepan on a medium heat until the lovely bacon fat starts to melt into the pan and the bacon is slightly crisped around the edges. Remove from the pan but leave all that fatty goodness in there to fry the mushrooms. Put the garlic clove in its skin on the worktop and lean on it with the heel of your hand. Add this to the pan with your desired quantity of butter, turn the heat up and add the mushrooms. Fry for about 3 minutes on a high heat. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the chopped parsley. I like the curly stuff, but either will do. Add the bacon back in for the last 30 seconds.
In the meantime, make some toast and poach some eggs. Best method is a big pan of simmering water, a teaspoon of vinegar, swirl the water into a whirlpool and add the eggs one at a time… or get someone else to do it. Butter the toast (essential) and arrange in as cheffy a fashion as you like, with the poached egg sitting jauntily atop the mushrooms. A final grind of pepper and devour.
Turbot with chanterelles, baby turnip, spinach and an English Sparkling wine butter sauce
No denying that this one is for pushing the boat out, both in terms of ingredients and effort. However, if you’ve got someone to impress, this is a real winner.
4 turbot fillets, skin on (about 200g per person will be plenty)
200g chanterelles (substitute for morels if you like for an earthier flavour)
300g Chegworth Valley organic spinach
12 baby turnips
1 clove of garlic
A big knob of butter
Splash of oil
For the Sauce
1 large shallot, finely diced (banana best, but not a deal breaker)
1 tbsp Chardonnay vinegar
150ml English Sparkling Wine
150ml fish stock
120g butter, cold and cubed
Start with the sauce as it will hold nicely while you cook everything else. Put the finely chopped shallot, peppercorns, bayleaf and vinegar into a saucepan and reduce on a medium heat until all the liquid has evaporated. Add the wine and reduce by almost as much and then add the stock. If you’re lucky enough to be buying a whole turbot, make the stock with the bones and a few root veg, bayleaves and peppercorns. If you’re one of us mere mortals, but a good fish stock from your fishmonger. Reduce the stock until there is almost no liquid left. Take the pan off the heat and start adding the butter, a few cubes at a time and whisk into the mixture. Once all the butter is whisked in, your sauce should coat the back of a spoon. Pass through a sieve and leave to one side (NOT IN THE FRIDGE) until just before serving. Don’t worry if the sauce looks like it might have split – you can normally bring it back by whisking in a touch of cream.
Give your baby turnips a peel and a trim and put them into boiling salted water for about 5 minutes or until they give little resistance to a sharp knife. Drain and refresh in iced water and save for later. Add some butter and a touch of oil to your favourite frying pan and get the heat up high. Season both sides of your turbot fillets and sear skin side down for a couple of minutes, or until the skin is crisped and the filet is opaque about 2/3 of the way up. Turn the fish over, cook for a further minute and then remove from the pan to rest while you cook your mushrooms.
Return the pan to the heat, add the garlic and the mushrooms and cook on high for no more than 2 minutes. Add the turnips and cook for another 30 seconds to reheat them. Blanch some spinach if you have any more room on the hob and give the sauce a gentle reheat.
Pile the seasoned spinach in the middle of your plate topped with the turbot. Arrange the mushrooms and turnips around the fish and finish with the sauce. The rest of the bottle of English Sparkling wine would be a great accompaniment, if you haven’t drunk it all during the cooking process. Eat, smugly.