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November 16, 2009

Apologies for the absence, The Daydream Kitchen has been on holiday in the New Forest, picking mushrooms and daydreaming…

A few days in the New Forest were spent in a blissful romantic and gastronomic haze: splashing and squelching and strolling arm in arm down paths and through trees, shuffling and searching and peering and crouching and picking and checking, just to be sure, the mushroom book. The thrill of the find, as the dense bloated stem of the Cep is grasped beneath its penny bun cap and plucked from the crumbly black forest floor. The rush for the next and the next, as the eyes tune into the forms and camouflage of the quarry.

To devour our foraged fungus we kept it simple, matching buttery pan-fried mushrooms with rich, golden scrambled eggs, briny bacon and nutty spelt toast – a filling and motivating breakfast to fuel another day’s shuffling through the woods with eyes to the ground.

Firm, nutty Ceps are a meaty, substantial mushroom, accented by the delicately flavoured corrugated sunset of the Chanterelle. They combine earthy, autumnal looks with depths of flavour and texture, which would be well suited to a range of dishes, provided the temptation to throw them straight into the frying pan is resisted. Our fungal forays have got me a dreaming of mushroom dishes: oozy unctuous risottos; firm, earthy terrines; mellow, creamy soups; stuffed meats; and fat, flat field mushrooms topped with blue cheese, breadcrumbs and garlic butter before grilling to a golden top. Hearty, robust fare for lengthening evenings and biting winds, and ideally followed by a wine in front of the fire evening: warm, drowsy, end of the day fatigue and a satisfied slumber.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 21, 2009 13:38

    Mmmmm mushrooms fried in butter… I went mushroom picking in Denmark this summer – they’re so much tastier when they’re fresh!

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