Chanterelles are a fabulous foraged food
We have foraged many fabulous foods from our forest for sure, but the chanterelles are probably our favorite. We didn’t even know what chanterelles were before we bought our house many years ago, but thank the heavens we do now. I didn’t even like mushrooms when I was a kid. My dad, grandpa and uncle used to go hunting for the amazingly delicious morel mushroom, but I thought those were a bit scary looking and was not even going to touch one… Let alone, eat one. Many things have changed since I was a child and now I can’t get enough of almost any mushroom.
This amazing chanterelle and saffron risotto with seared scallops is luxurious with complex flavors, but not really hard to make if you are organized.
Know Your Mushroom
We have about 75 acres of wooded land behind our house and we have eaten at least seven different kinds now. There are so many more, but if we are not 100% positive that it’s edible, we won’t take that risk. There are some very poisonous mushrooms out there that will kill you if you have even the tiniest little nibble. Do your research and be safe. Here is a very helpful video to help you identify the chanterelle.
Food Prep is Important too
Pepé may like to hang out in the kitchen, but he’s not quite ready to be foraging for food in the forest. There is no way he’s getting his hands in the dirt or fighting off the mosquitoes… although he should probably be more concerned with termites since he’s made of wood. You’d think since he was not hunting chanterelles he would do the food prep while I was gone, but of course he did not. Instead, he was just taking a nap as usual.
This chanterelle risotto and seared scallops comes together quickly with a lot of action. I recommend you get your stock simmering, do all your food prep, place setting and wine pouring before you start cooking.
Note the difference between fresh chanterelles and cooking with a duxelles
Chanterelle & Saffron Risotto with Seared Scallops
- 8 Ounces Fresh Chanterelles 1 heaping cup chanterelle duxelles. See notes and recipe adaptations below
- 4-5 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
- 3/4 Cup Dry White Wine
- 1 Small Shallot finely chopped
- 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter divided 3 + 1
- 1 1/3 Cups Arborio Rice
- 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese grated, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 Teaspoon Saffron
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Clove minced (about 1 large clove)
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 1/4 Teaspoon Lemon Zest plus more for garnish
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground White Pepper black pepper is fine too
- 16 Scallops 4 per person, patted dry
- 24 Asparagus Spears 6 per person
- Get all of your food prepped, table set, stock simmering in a sauce pan and everything ready to go because once you start, you will be busy until you are finished. This entire meal, including the scallops and asparagus comes together in 30 minutes or less (not including prep time - which is minimal).
- Combine the saffron with about 1 or 2 tablespoons of warm stock to a small ramekin and set aside.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan on medium heat, then add shallots and a pinch of salt. Let that cook for about 1-2 minutes.
- Raise the heat to medium high and add your arborio rice. Let that toast for about 2 minutes, then stir in your garlic and let that cook for 1 minute. Pour in the wine and let that evaporate, but not completely.
- Then start ladling in your chicken or vegetable stock one ladle at a time – each time, letting the rice absorb most of the liquid. After about the 3rd ladle has absorbed, add your chanterelle duxelles into the mix along with the saffron/stock mixture, white pepper, a pinch of lemon zest and another ladle of stock. Keep adding stock and letting it cook down, while stirring until it’s almost done. You want the rice to have a little bit of bite to it, like al dente pasta (not mush), so keep tasting it.
- Once you think you’ve added the last ladle of stock (you may not need it all), fire up 2 more skillets. One for asparagus on med-high, the other for scallops on a bit higher. You want a really hot skillet for a good sear on the scallops. I prefer a non-stick skillet for this.
- Turn risotto off.
- Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in each of the other 2 skillets. Place asparagus in one skillet and season with salt and pepper.
- Gently place the scallops, clockwise around the skillet, one at a time. Season one side with salt and pepper. (do not season until they are in the skillet or just before)
- Incorporate the remaining butter and parmesan cheese to the risotto, and stir.
- Each scallop will take no more than 60-90 seconds per side. Start flipping the in the same order you put them into the skillet and season the second side. Toss the asparagus.
- Add a touch of lemon juice to the risotto. Taste it and season accordingly.
- Plate it and garnish with a small amount of lemon zest and parmesan cheese.