Last evening I dug out the rug hooking I started when I visited Nova Scotia. My how time flies. That was in 2007. I can't believe so many years have passed since that epic road trip. It was the first car ride for my Himalayan cat, Miss Sugar. It took her all of the three weeks to acclimatize to living every day in a moving vehicle. At times she looked a tad car sick, poor thing.
Soon we will be driving to the other coast and on to Vancouver Island. By now she is a seasoned traveller and cozies up in her soft carrier on the seat beside me.
As Canadian Thanksgiving leftovers are but a fond memory our neighbours to the south are making preparations for their Thanksgiving dinners. It’s fun in the blogging world to celebrate feasts all over the world. What better excuse to cook beautiful food. This month our Cooking Light Supper Club is saluting one of our favourite herbs, thyme.
I am also highlighting a premium ingredient, Saskatchewan chanterelles. Mine come from the northern part of the province and I had the opportunity to chat with my forager, Elisabeth. I learned so much.
Wild chanterelles are the most coveted of mushrooms. They are delightfully aromatic, beautifully shaped and highly nutritious. They are picked from forests across the country between mid-July to mid-October but Saskatchewan chanterelles are special.
“They are premium because they grow in a semi-arid climate. Saskatchewan chanterelles are dry, perfect round shapes, small size, clean, velvet touch, and the aroma is unbeatable. You don't need to see them but you can smell them when you walk into the forest,” boasts Elisabeth Poscher, professional forager and owner of Prairie Infusions out of Love, SK.
Areas with more rainfall produce large, water logged, floppy chanterelles. Saskatchewan chanterelles are small and dry, because it rains briefly then it's dry, so they come in a hurry and then stay dormant in that shape until it rains again briefly, then they grow a bit more. The drier the climate the more concentrated the chemical compounds in the plant. That is why their scent and flavour are so intense.
Poscher continues, “A customer in Toronto picked up her chanterelles at the airport and she phoned me immediately and said that she could smell them as she entered the building. She has never before seen this type of quality, ever.”
Roasted chanterelles are my side dish for this month's Virtual Supper Club. Thyme is the theme. It pairs perfectly with the earthy mushrooms. Let's see what else is on the table....
Sandi with Whistlestop Cafe is hosting this month's dinner. Her main course is Tacchino Arrosto con Sale e Pepe or in English Salt and Pepper Turkey. I'm sure we will find some thyme in there, too.
Val at More Than Burnt Toast whets our appetite with Flatbreads with Honey and Thyme.
Jerry at A Life Lived shares the appetizer course with Val and presents Pear Chutney Bruschetta with Pecans and Blue Cheese
Susan at The Spice Garden takes the next course with Golden Winter Soup.
My side dish also features the beautiful chanterelle. The Roasted Chanterelles with Thyme can stand alone or be added to a risotto. I am bringing both.
Shelby at Grumpy's Honeybunch has the grand finale and is leaving thyme alone this time and bring the trending Texan Sheet Cake cupcakes for dessert.
Roasted Chanterelle Mushrooms
Because my chanterelles are small I have left them whole to show off their beautiful shapes.
8 oz. rinsed and trimmed chanterelle mushrooms, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 thinly sliced peled shallot
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. melted butter
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
In a 12 x 15 inch baking pan, mix all ingredients. Bake in a 400 F oven, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and beginning to brown on edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Use immediately or let stand until ready to use, up to four hours.
Chanterelle Mushroom Risotto