One of the most exciting things that happens for me is discovering something that I haven’t found before. This year, one of those things was red chanterelles.
One day I got a picture message from an old coworker, and I was shocked to see a big basket of what looked like red chanterelles. I didn’t think it was possible-I hadn’t ever heard of them before in the Midwest.
I told my friend I’d do anything to get my hands on some to play with. He told me he’d see what he could do, but the person that had picked them lived a couple hours away.
A day or two later, I got an online message from someone around the St. Cloud area in Minnesota requesting an I.D. They shot me some pictures of the mushrooms, and sure enough, they looked to be the same species that my friend’s buddy had found. Now I was really interested, how on earth could I have never found these before?
The next week, I went on a little hike on a farm in Wisconsin. We were in an area with mixed hardwoods, with plenty of oak, maple, and aspen-the same type of habitat I hunt golden chanterelles in the same area. On a large slope I started to see some lobster mushrooms and dried up golden chanterelles (their season was over by this time in August). After picking a couple lobsters, I noticed a few pink mushrooms hiding under the duff. Could it be?
I picked one up and noticed the tell-tale chanterelle veins under the cap, running down the stem. They had the scent that anyone who’s hunted chanterelles or black trumpets will know too-they, and most of their related species (hedgehogs excluded) have a very similar aroma.
That night, we went to a local brewery outside Menomonie Wisconsin for a couple drinks. I decided to walk down the dirt road since it was still light out, and because there was plenty of oaky looking, open woods across the street. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted more. More oaks and dead golden chanterelles, and more of the red guys in their prime.
The next day I brought them home and played around with them in the kitchen. Here’s how they cooked up:
- The aroma of the red chanterelles was not as intense as golden chanterelles or black trumpets.
- Their flavor ended with some peppery notes, almost a bit spicy.
- Their season in the Midwest, from what I can glean, is definitely after golden chanterelles as they were growing in mid-August.
- They were all much smaller than golden chanterelles, but still had the meaty stem you would associate with one. Given this, since their texture is closer to a chanterelle than a hollow black trumpet, or yellowfoot chanterelle, drying is not a great way to preserve these in my opinion. I would pickle, marinate or saute in butter and freeze to preserve them.
Heres some recipes specifically for chanterelles, or places they could be substituted. My advice: the first recipe you make should be mushroom conserve.
- Wild Mushroom Conserve
- Wild Mushroom Duxelles
- Chanterelle Torte
- Potted Chanterelles
- Mangalitsa Pork Chops With Chanterelle-Skyr Sauce
- Herb Gnocchi with Cockscombs and Chanterelles
- Black Trumpet Bouchées With Chanterelle Mousse
- Chanterelle Custard, Hedgehog Mushrooms And Chives
- “Last Chance” Cream of Chanterelle Soup
- Heirloom Tomato Salad with Pickled Chanterelles and Ramp Leaf Oil
- Squab With Gooseberries And Chanterelle Wild Rice
- Whole Chanterelles Roasted With Thyme
- Rabbit Poached In Wild Carrot Broth With Chanterelles
- Classic Chanterelle Omelet
- Carbonara of Chanterelles and Black Trumpets
- Sole With Chanterelles
- Chanterelle Infused Vodka
- Mixed Wild Mushrooms With Garlic And Parsley
- Bavette Steak With Mushroom Pan Sauce
- Chanterelles With Sweetcorn, Cream, and Chervil
- Veal Liver With Chanterelle Cream Sauce And Garlic Mustard