I've only foraged for wild mushrooms once in my life and let me tell you, it was not a great success. Walking around in the woods for hours was nice and the mission to find mushrooms made it seem like quite an adventure. But as enjoyable as the hunt was, I ended up with a measly three or four sad-looking mushrooms.
The worst part was my paranoia. Even though they looked completely safe according to my mushroom forager's guide, a fear still lingered in the back of my mind. What if they were poisonous? Eventually I threw them out (sad but true). I'd love to try hunting the elusive wild mushroom again but for now, I've been sticking to the store-bought ones.
The most wonderful part about wild mushrooms is they taste, well, wild. The distinctly woodsy flavor is a constant reminder of their shady damp roots. This recipe for Black Trumpets and Sweet Corn in Tarragon Cream Sauce from Tracey Medeiros's Dishing Up Vermont is a fantastic end-of-summer recipe. Earthy mushrooms mingle perfectly with sweet corn, finished off with some licorice-y tarragon and a healthy dose of heavy cream. Whether you decide to hunt for your own black trumpet mushrooms or grab them at the store, this sophisticated take on creamed corn is the prefect partner for simply seared fish.
Win 'Dishing Up Vermont'
As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Dushing Up Vermont to give away this week.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup diced shallots
- 1 cup fresh sweet corn kernels, cut from 2 ears of corn
- 1/4 pound black trumpet mushrooms, left whole (see Note)
- 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 6 squash blossoms, thinly sliced lengthwise (optional)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the shallots and saute until soft and translucent, stirring frequently. Add the corn and saute for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms, tarragon, and coarse salt and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Add the squash blossoms (if using) and continue to cook for 1 minute.
Reduce the heat and add the heavy cream. Gently simmer mixture, stirring occasionally, until the cream thickens, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at once.
Note: The black trumpet mushroom, otherwise known as the "horn of plenty," is a wild variety that has a deliciously rich and elegant buttery flavor. For the most part, they are imported or harvested wild and are available in many specialty produce markets. The chanterelle mushroom is a great substitute for the horn of plenty.