There are only 2 things that I love about July that’s chanterelle mushrooms and our annual weekend at Chesapeake Bay.
Ok maybe that’s a little extreme, but I’m just not a hot-weather person. July in Pennsylvania is the first of our 2 hottest months and I’m literally melting. Don’t get me wrong, there’s things that I love about hot weather but 9 times out of 10 I need to have a ice cold adult beverage in hand to enjoy them.. and it’s not healthy to do that EVERYDAY, ALL SUMMER.
A week in Mexico? Sure!! I’ll hang in the pool to keep cool and sip on fruity drink.
24/7 heat everytime I walk outside for 2+ months, no thanks. I’ll pass.
Likewise, our trip to Chesapeake Bay includes spending as much time as possible floating in the bay to beat the heat and you guessed it, adult beverages.. Specifically, I love stopping by St Michaels’s Winery to taste their latest and can’t resist but head back home with a case to enjoy throughout the year.
And after spending the first weekend of July drinking wine and eating Maryland Blue Crabs – it’s back home to start foraging for Chanterelles!
Chanterelles (Cantharellus cibarius) are one the most well known wild mushrooms. They’re sought after by chefs and foodies due to their delicious flavor – in our home these are Ray’s favorite wild mushrooms that we forage for.
‘Chants’ range in color from yellow to deep orange, golden chanterelles are easy to spot in the summer forest floor. The cap is wavy and generally funnel shaped. Their ridges (they don’t have ‘gills’) appear as wrinkles that are wavy with blunt edges and run down the stem and are the same color as the rest of the chanterelle. Chanterelles also have a distinct fruity apricot-like aroma.
It’s common to pick several baskets full of chanterelle’s in a good season. They will range in size from 1/2 inch button chants to large 4 inch vases.
When it comes to poisonous look-a-likes, be mindful to not excitedly confuse chanterelle with Jack O’ Lantern mushrooms. They are poisonous but not known to be lethal (aka belly-ache and lots of bathroom time). The Jack O’ Lantern usually grows in clumps on wood (not from soil like chanterelles) and has true gills. (see below for Jack photo)
I can’t think of a better way to celebrate July then enjoying my Chanterelle Mushroom Baked Fondue & my Grain Free French Bread with a glass of St Michaels Winery‘s newest Long Splice (this isn’t a sponsored post or endorsed by the winery, I just honestly love their wines, if you’re in St Michaels promise to stop, ok?)
This Chanterelle Mushroom Fondue is so easy to make (especially when you are new to cooking with chants and need a guaranteed delicious recipe).
And it looks amazing served in a rustic cast iron mini skillet, don’t you think???!
My mouth is watering just looking at these photos, yours too?? I’m sincerely contemplating making another batch of my Chanterelle Mushroom Fondue for lunch today…
- 2 tablespoons Organic Grass-Fed Butter or Ghee
- 1 to 2 cups Chanterelle Mushrooms cleaned & coarsely chopped
- 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup dry white white
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream + more as needed to thin
- 6 ounces Organic Cultured Cream Cheese
- 6 ounces gruyere cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- french bread lightly toasted
- In a large skillet over medium heat, saute chanterelles and shallots in butter until soft, about 5 minutes.
- *Reserve small whole mushrooms for garnish, if desired* ** For a smoother fondue, transfer cooked mushroom/onions to your food processor and pulse to finely chop, then place back in the skillet **
- Add wine and fresh thyme, increase heat to medium/high to a simmer. Allow to cook until nearly all the liquid is evaporated.
- Remove thyme
- Add heavy cream and cream cheese, stir while melting.
- Add shredded cheese and continue stirring until smooth.
- Fonude can be served immediately or topped with additional cheese, reserved cooked mushrooms and broiled to lightly brown.