Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Chanterelles and English Peas: Two for the Season

These recipes were inspired by a recent visit to the farmers’market where the first English peas, also called shell peas, and chanterelle mushrooms arrived. Fresh peas and chanterelles work well together so I paired them together with tagliatelle pasta for one dinner and for another with wild sockeye salmon.
The first time I cooked chanterelle mushrooms, I smelled the slight scent of apricots as they cooked which is, curiously enough, the title of a painting by Archile Gorky, “The Scent of Apricots on the Field.”
                                                  The Scent of Apricots on the Field (1944)

We made fresh pasta, but you don’t have; any wide pasta will work. Since we had to shell the peas, we made the pea pods into a broth to use with the pasta. You could just as easily use some of the pasta cooking water. The recipe calls for ricotta salata, but again, you could use Parmesan or Pecorino cheese. If you need one, a recipe for pasta dough is at the end.

Tagialtelle Pasta with Chanterelles and English Peas
While this was made for three people, it could serve four.

One recipe fresh pasta cut into wide noodles or 8 ounce dried pasta

1 quart basket English or shell peas, shelled, approx. 1 cup peas
¼ pound chanterelle mushrooms
1 Tablespoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon minced garlic
salt and ground black pepper
olive oil, for cooking
1 or 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 to 4 Tablespoons grated ricotta salata                      

2 Tablespoons grated Pecorino cheese

1. Shells the peas and set aside. If you are making the pea broth, rinse the pods in cold water. Place the pea pods into a medium-sized saucepan with one carrot, chopped, a small piece of onion, and a rib of celery, chopped. Cover the vegetables with cold water; season with ½ teaspoon salt and add 4 to 5 black peppercorns to the pan Place the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so the broth simmers until reduced by 2/3ds, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and strain the broth, reserving the broth and discarding the solids. Set aside until needed.
2. Place a pot of cold, salted water on the stove. Cover and bring to a boil. When the water boils, cook the pasta until al dente (cook about 1 minute less than suggested).
3.While the pasta is cooking, cook the chanterelles and peas: Wipe the chanterelles clean. Tear the mushrooms lengthwise and set aside. Place a large non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Swirl in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the shallots and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the chanterelles to the pan, season them with salt and black pepper, and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes; add extra olive oil if necessary. Add the garlic and continue cooking the chanterelles until tender, about 5 minutes total.
4. Add the peas to the pan. Ladle about ½ cup of the pea broth or pasta cooking water to the pan. Lightly season with some salt and cook the peas until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set pan aside until the pasta is ready.
5. If you are not using the pea broth, ladle some of the pasta water and transfer it to a measuring cup before draining the pasta. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the chanterelles and peas. Ladle some more of the pea broth (or pasta water) into the pan. Add the unsalted butter and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to the pan and toss to coat the pasta. Add the cheeses and toss together. The cheeses will melt and turn creamy. Remove the pan from the heat and divide the pasta between serving bowls. Serve.

Fresh Pasta Dough                                    

makes ½ pound of dough

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1. Place the flour and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the eggs and mix until a ball of dough forms. Remove the pasta dough and knead for a few minutes on a lightly floured surface. Wrap the dough and refrigerate for at least an hour before rolling out. The dough can also be mixed by hand.

Grilled Wild Salmon with Chanterelles, Fresh Peas, and New Potatoes

Wild Alaska salmon had been arriving for its short seasonal visit. Wild salmon needs little extra flavor enhancement, just a simple brushing of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkling of salt and some ground black pepper before grilling. If you are afraid that the salmon might stick to the grill, you can use a grill basket to hold the salmon. If you go directly onto the grill make sure the grill rack is hot and has been rubbed with oil. Avoid the common mistake of constantly moving the fish around on the grill as it cooks. It will lift off the grill when it is ready. You can also use a grill pan inside.
In preparation, you want to cook the bacon, boil the potatoes, and start the chanterelles and peas. The potatoes can be any variety; I had fingerlings so I used them.

For two servings:
Two  4 to 5 ounce filets wild salmon
4 small, new potatoes
1 piece bacon, thick sliced, but not necessary
2 ounces chanterelle mushrooms
½ cup shelled peas
1 to 2 Tablespoons minced shallot
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ cup chicken or vegetable stock
salt and ground black pepper
olive oil, for cooking
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, to finish the sauce.

1. Place the potatoes into a pot of cold, lightly salted water. Bring the pot to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender; a knife inserted into potato should slide easily into the potato. Remove from the heat, drain, and place the potatoes onto a plate to cool.
2. Slice the bacon crosswise into ½ “ wide pieces. Cook the bacon in a small pan until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan, drain it on a paper towel, and it set aside.
3. Wipe the chanterelles with a paper towel and tear them lengthwise into pieces, depending on their sizd. Place a medium-sized sauté pan over medium-high heat. Swirl in about 2 tablespoons olive oil into the pan. Add the shallots and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and sauté; season with salt and black pepper. After about two minutes, add the garlic and stir together. Add additional olive oil if the pan appears dry. Add the peas into the pan and toss them together with the mushrooms. Add the broth to the pan and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes; Set pan aside.
4.  Slice the potatoes in half and place them into a bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Brush the salmon with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and ground black pepper. Place the potatoes onto the grill; since they are already cooked you just want to heat them through and get some grill marks on them. Grill the fish; cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of the filet; sockeye tends to be about ½” thick, so grill for 3 to 4 minutes a side. Remove the potatoes after they have been grilled and taken on a nice color. Remove the fish from the grill to a plate. Cover and keep warm while finishing the sauce.
5. Return the pan with the chanterelles and peas to the heat. Add the reserved bacon and bring to a simmer. Add the butter and swirl until the butter has melted. Taste for seasoning and correct if necessary.
6. Remove the skin from the salmon, if necessary. Arrange the potatoes around the outside of the plate. Place a salmon filet onto the center of each plate. Divide the chanterelles, peas, bacon and sauce between the portions and serve.

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