Foraging for Chanterelles

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In what feels like Monsoon season recently here in Charleston, we have gotten so much rain that once again, the local Chanterelle mushrooms have started popping up all over town. I’ve been picking Chanterelles in different spots around town for about 10 years, so I know what to look for and how to safely identify them. We are lucky to have them here in the summer and early Fall months after lots of rain.

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A Summer Feast

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Last night I made a simple, easy and delicious supper from mostly local ingredients. Roasted Rosa Bianca eggplant, sweet white corn with basil-parmesan butter, an arugula-avocado-cucumber salad, and roast chicken with a simple spice rub put together from what was already on hand. It was unbelievably fresh and so good, and I can’t wait to make it again. The corn, eggplant, cucumber and arugula came from Ambrose Farms.

If the Eggplant are small and tender like these were, just slice them in half and place on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Roast at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through.

For the Spice Rub, I combined equal parts Hungarian paprika, dried mustard, dried oregano, cumin and chipotle chile powder and rubbed it on both sides of the chicken before roasting at 400 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. I like to use bone-in, skin-on chicken whenever possible because it imparts much more flavor into the meat.

While lightly boiling the Corn, I combined a stick of softened, room temperature butter with 5-6 leaves of chopped fresh basil, about 2 Tbs of fresh grated parmeggiano-reggiano (never pre-grated), and salt and pepper to taste. The corn was amazing with all of those summer flavors bursting through in the butter, and that butter will last us a while and accompany other summer delicacies.

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