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Foraging for fungi

Joe Buley, a chef at New England Culinary Institute, offers some secrets for savory ‘shrooms.

Whether you pronounce it fun-jee, fun-ghee, or fun-guy, you know what we’re talking about — mushrooms. Recently “Today” went on a trip with the students of New England Culinary Institute who showed us how to forage for the elusive chanterelle mushroom. Joe Buley is a chef at the institute. He shares some tips for cooking mushrooms on “Today.” Check out the recipes here:

SAUTÉED CHANTERELLES WITH SUMMER CORN AND FRESH THYME

This dish makes a great side for grilled fish or chicken.

Makes four servings.

Ingredients:

Fresh chanterelles: 4 ounces

Fresh corn (cut off the cob): 6 ears

Thyme (leaves only, chopped): 1/4 teaspoon

Shallot (finely chopped): 2 shallots

White wine: 3 ounces

Salt and pepper to taste

Butter 2 tablespoons

Procedure:

* Heat the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until it starts to bubble.

* Add the chanterelles and shallots and sauté about 2-3 minutes until the shallots begin to caramelize (turn brown).

* Add the thyme and corn. Stir gently to mix all the ingredients and cook for another 3 minutes until the corn becomes tender.

* Add the white wine and simmer for 1 minute.

* Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, and finish with a few drops of lemon juice to balance the flavor. Serve immediately.

CHANTERELLES ON GRILLED FOCACCIA WITH EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

This is a very simple and decadent way to eat chanterelles.

Makes four servings.

Ingredients:

Chanterelles, cleaned: 4 ounces

Fresh focaccia: 4 pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

Garlic, peeled: 1 clove

Olive oil: 1 tablespoon

Butter : 2 teaspoons

White wine (dry)

Parsley (chopped)

Procedure:

* Slice the focaccia into 1/2-inch pieces. Brush each slice with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and rub with the cut end of a garlic clove. Set the prepared bread aside for grilling later.

* Cut the chanterelles into fairly uniform 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces.

* Heat the butter and olive in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat until it starts to bubble.

* Add the chopped chanterelles and sauté until they are tender (about 2-3 minutes, but this will depend on the water content of the mushrooms).

* Finish the dish by adding the white wine, and cooking for another minute or two.

* At this time grill or toast the prepared focaccia

* Finally, pour the mushrooms onto the warm grilled focaccia, sprinkle each piece with a bit of chopped parsley, and serve immediately.

SAUTÉED NEW ENGLAND SCALLOPS WITH CITRUS AND CHANTERELLES

This is a great dinner entrée served over basmati rice or some other light grain.

Makes four servings.

Ingredients:

Scallops (dry pack): 1 pound

Shallots (peeled and chopped): 2 shallot

Lemon: 1 lemon

Orange: 2 orange

White wine: 1 cup

Butter: 5 tablespoons

Scallions (chopped): 1 bunch

Prepare the citrus mixture:

* Collect a pinch of zest from both the lemon and the orange.

* Section one-third of the lemon and the entire oranges

* Collect 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice, and all of the juice from the oranges.

* Mix all of the above together.

Procedure:

* Clean the scallops by removing the tiny side muscle, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

* Heat the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Place the scallops into the pan, and slowly brown them on one side.

* As the scallops begin to brown, add the chanterelles and the shallots. Turn the scallops over, and continue to cook the mixture on a medium flame.

* When the scallops become firm to the touch — almost a springy consistency, they are nearly done. At this point, turn the flame to high and add the citrus mixture and the white wine. It should boil furiously so that the liquids emulsify with the butter forming a nice sauce.

Add the scallions to the pan, then plate and serve.

Recipes provided by New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont. Copyright 2003. All rights reserved. For more on the institute, you can visit their Web site at: www.neci.edu.