Perserving Hedgehog Mushrooms

Surprise, surprise, turns out golden chantrelles and hedgehogs love the same kind of woods as Sitka black tail deer!

Last week amidst deer hunting we collected a couple of huge bags of mushrooms.  We thought they’d keep fine until we got home.  Then the temperatures dropped and the mushrooms froze. I was worried about how they would stand up and finally last night took them out of the fridge to look them over. The flesh actually looked pretty good and low and behold they were still delicious!

They’re large, a little blown-out, and their texture isn’t quite as firm as usual, but they’re still worth the work.  These are actually the medium-sized chantrelles from the giant patch we found, the majority of the really large chantrelles and the tiny ones were too soggy and mushy to pick.  These, however, were lovely.

Some giant hedgehogs on top and some golden chantrelles below.

Since chantrelles are notorious for not being preservable, Andrew dry sauteed them and then tossed them with some caramelized onions, cooked garlic, salt, pepper, and butter and deglazed in dry sherry for a delicious side to some baked chicken and kale from the garden (still going strong through the frosts!).

Yummy golden chantrelles in the lower right of the plate.

For the hedgehogs, I went ahead and processed them to preserve. The best way to preserve hedgehogs, especially when they’re this large, is go ahead and dry saute them to get the majority of their water out.  These hogs were soggy soggy as you can see:

This is after 10 minutes of cooking. 1/2 inch of water in the pan!

Once much of the liquid has been either reabsorbed or evaporated, throw a healthy dose of butter into the pan. These mushrooms will freeze well in the fat. I kept them in big hunks to give me options for what I’ll turn them into on the other side.

I came out with a 1/2 pound package of yummy hedgehogs ready to use in pasta, sauce, soup, or gravy. Thinking of dreaming up some clever use for them for Thanksgiving.

Hopefully I’ll be in town for more mushroom season next year and can do some pickling experiments.

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