|Goulash of Chanterelle|
Goulash of ChanterellesEdit
Goulash of Chanterelles is a typical Austrian main dish, which is served mainly during the summer season. That is because in Austria mushrooms only grow between June and September, which makes this dish even more special. Although it is possible to freeze mushrooms, the taste of frozen chanterelles cannot be compared to the taste of fresh ones. Another aspect that makes this dish so special is the mushroom hunting. Adults, as well as children enjoy it; but unfortunately, some people over do it and take mushrooms by the kilo out of the forests. In 2008, the government tried to impose a fee for mushroom hunting in order to protect the nature, however without success.
The goulash which consists of chanterelles, some chopped onions, sour cream, different herbs and spices, is traditionally served with either dumplings, or 'Spaetzle'. The most important spice is the paprika powder that adds the typical sweet flavor to the goulash. The preparation process is not difficult and usually does not take longer that 25 minutes.
The Chanterelle grows on the whole northern hemisphere, especially in conifer forests, but rarely in deciduous forests. It grows on moss-covered ground and primarily below pine and spruce trees, but you also find it below fallen off foliage. The term 'chanterelle' derives from Latin Cantharellaceae / Cantharellus cibarius. In Austria the mushroom is called 'Pfifferling' or 'Eierschwammerl'. The translation for 'Eierschwammerl' is egg-mushroom; that is because it shows an egg yolk yellow hat that can grow up to a size of 12 cm. In beech forests, its hat is almost white. Also, high solar radiation can cause the chanterelle to lose its color. At the start of the growth phase, the hat is curved and the edge of it is rolled up, but becomes funnel-shaped at an advanced age. On the bottom side of the chanterelle are thick egg yolk yellow irregular grooves. The stem thickens and smoothly proceeds to the hat.
First of all, the right equipment is of great importance. Mushrooms need air and therefore you should not use a plastic bag to collect them. Either a basket, or a burlap bag is suitable for transport. Especially in steep forests, a bag is more comfortable than a basket and should be preferred. Another helpful tool for collecting chanterelles is a jackknife, with which a little of the cleansing can be done on the spot. Furthermore, mushrooms in general need to be cut off rather than hoicked. This spares the mycelium, which is the vegetative part of a mushroom. Finally, taking along a mushroom guidebook increases safety for collectors who do not look for chanterelles only.
Only young and unscathed chanterelles are worth to be collected. Older ones are often seized with maggots that hollow out the stem of the mushroom. Whether a chanterelle still has a solid stem can easily be figured out with a soft squeeze. Furthermore, the larger the chanterelles are, the more the taste diminishes and the consistency of the mushrooms weakens, which means they are likely to break into parts.
For 4 persons
- 800g chanterelles
- 60g butter
- 100g onions
- 1/8l sour cream
- 10g paprika powder
- 3-4 tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. flour
- 1 tbsp. parsley
Before you start cooking, cut the big mushrooms into halves. All of them should have approximately the same size, which averages 2-3 cm. Peel the onions and chop them finely into small cubes. Then take out a casserole and heat the butter in it. Although the original recipe uses butter, many people prefer oil for the simple reason that it can withstand a higher temperature. When the casserole is hot enough, add the chopped onions and roast them golden brown before you append the paprika powder. Churn the powder and the onions and immediately deglaze it with the prepared white wine vinegar. It is important that the paprika powder does not get too hot because it turns bitter at a certain temperature. Now put the chanterelles into the saucepan and add pepper and salt. Put a lid on it and steam the mixture for about 10-12 minutes until the chanterelles are soft. Take off the lid and raise the temperature in order to preserve the escaping liquid of the chanterelles. After this, take a small bowl, put the sour cream and the flour into it and mix it thoroughly. Pour it into the casserole and reduce the temperature. After 5 minutes, the goulash of chanterelles should be done.