Saturday November 6 was probably the last good day to pick chanterelles, as the heavy rain wants to turn them into mushy fungi. The rain, however, did not stop Michel, Dunnery, Jules (the mushroom sniffing Jack Russel) and I from tramping through steep forest to pick a few baskets of chanterelles and a bag or so each of hedgehogs, and only two matsutakes. The pro pickers had taken all the pine mushrooms which is not so bad as they don’t usually bother with the other kinds. So we got drenched, then came home to the fire in Annabelle and Michel’s Cowichan valley chalet for a raclette Savoyarde for 20 people, the majority French. We all pitched in cleaning chanterelles and had a great time devouring the charcuterie, the melted raclette cheese over new potatoes and many salads.
I had also made the chanterelle and onion tart in advance and we just warmed it up. First thing to do is to sauté 2 sliced onions in a couple table spoons olive oil for a few minutes without browning them at all. To that, I added 2 tbsp chopped parsley, a sprinkle of thyme, 2 tbsp cut-up sun-dried tomatoes, 2 tbsp balsamic, salt and pepper and a cup of red wine. Keep cooking on low until reduced by half. Add a tbsp tapioca flour and stir briskly letting thicken. Turn off. To this mix, add about two cups sautéed sliced chanterelles and 1/2 cup 30% cream, salt and pepper. Stir and pour into a pie-shell that has been pre-baked 10 minutes at 360 with weights. Top with 3 slices of cheese. Bake 40 minutes at 350, cover with a loose foil if the top wants to brown too much. Wait 10 minutes before serving.