Friday, September 13, 2013


Best Blog Tips

Chanterelle season is here on Denman Island-- always eagerly awaited.  Here are some of the beauties on the cutting board:

Night before last I needed to make a quick meal for the two of us, and I had chanterelles waiting in a bag in the fridge, and some of my neighbor's pears needing to be used.  I thought pears and chanterelles (with some fresh tarragon from the herb garden) would work well together with a mild, slightly creamy white wine sauce, so this is what I came up with.  It was delicious on rice with some homegrown pattypan squash sauteed with tomatoes and peppers. (I would ordinarily use brown basmati, but I had already-cooked white basmati that just need to be heated up, so that's what's in the photo.)  Lucky me-- I get the leftovers for lunch today!

Printable Recipe

Serves 4
3 cups reconstituted Soy Curls®  (see here for info on Soy Curls® and how to reconstitute) 
OR 16 ounces [450 g] low-fat vegetarian chicken substitute strips  (Gardein; Yves; Morningstar Farms; Lightlife; or President's Choice)
2 tablespoons fresh, chopped tarragon, OR1/2 tablespoon dried tarragon 
freshly-ground black-pepper to taste
1 1/2 tablespoon unbleached flour
2 tablespoons vegan butter (try my homemade palm oil-free vegan "Buttah")
8 oz. firm but ripe pears, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
6 oz. chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed and sliced 1/4” thick
1  medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2/3 cup dry white wine (can be non-alcoholic)
1 1/2 cups vegetarian chicken-style broth (see here for info on broths- I used Better Than Bouillon Vegan No-Chicken broth base)  
3 tablespoons unflavored, not-too-sweet nondairy creamer, such as So Delicious Original Coconut Milk Creamer
Chopped fresh chives or parsley

In a medium bowl, toss the Soy Curls® or alternative with the tarragon, freshly-ground black-pepper to taste, and the flour. 

In a large (12”) non-stick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the vegan butter over high heat.  When it’s hot, add the strips and sauté them briefly, just until they start to brown.  Remove them from the pan and set aside. 

Add the remaining vegan butter and heat until melted.  Add the chanterelles and salt lightly.  Stir-fry them until they brown lightly.  They should exude their juices and then evaporate most of them.  Place the chanterelles in a bowl and set aside.

Add the onions and garlic back to the pan and sauté without fat (what I call “steam-frying”) over high heat, squirting a bit of water into the pan to keep them from sticking and burning.  Keep them moving!  When they soften a bit, pour in the wine and cook over high heat until the wine is reduced to a few tablespoons.  Add the broth and cook over high heat until this is reduced to about half. 

Add the “chicken” strips and the chanterelles back to the pan, along with the pear slices and simmer briefly over low heat.  Add the creamer to the sauce, stirring well.  Taste for seasoning and serve immediately over steamed brown basmati rice or quinoa, or with crusty bread.


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