Steemit Iron Chef 2017 #10: Saffron Fingerlings and Wild Garlic Potato Puree with Chanterelle Mushrooms
Everything is homegrown or foraged, except the butter and salt. Banana fingerling potatoes simmered in saffron stock, on bed of thinly sliced cherry tomatoes. Red Pontiac mashed potatoes with wild garlic bulblets, wild chives, and parsley, topped with braised Chanterelle mushrooms. It doesn't get much better than this! Thanks, homestead, field, and forest!
Getting the Ingredients Together
This potato plate was inspired by one of the images that @progressivechef used to announce this week's Steemit Iron Chef ingredient. In that announcement, there was an image of a potato -- wearing a Chanterelle mushroom hat! I have homegrown potatoes -- and I had just returned from the forest with some Chanterelles! This dish was destiny! But first, I had to get my ingredients together.
This time of year, my saffron crocus, Crocus sativus, are blooming. So I can harvest their flower styles for saffron spice! I'm working on a couple posts about saffron crocus and harvesting saffron. But here's a quick peek at some of the flowers and the dried saffron that costs so much at a store.
Garlic and Chives
In the late summer, I collect wild garlic, for the cloves in the ground, and for the little bulblets that grow at the top. These bulblets are so characteristic of garlic. When our weather turns, these little bulblets change from being hard little balls into tiny sprouts. I can either plant them or eat them! I have quite a few to plant, so I'm using some to mix with my potatoes, too.
Each little bulblet tastes pretty hot and harsh when it's raw. But braise them slowly until they are soft, and then are smooth-tasting.
Oh yes! It's that time of year! I found some wild chanterelle mushrooms in the Siuslaw National Forest last Thursday. They are so beautiful and so tasty! They go so well with potatoes, too! I'll make a separate post about foraging for chanterelles, so stay tuned!
Banana fingerlings are, by weight, some of the most productive potatoes that I grow. And Red Pontiac potatoes can produce some lunkers -- potatoes that weigh over a pound. I have a YouTube review of growing and using Red Pontiac potatoes that may interest you, if you are searching for a good garden potato.
In the Kitchen
I soaked the saffron strands in hot water, while I browned the banana fingerling slices in a cast iron skillet. Then I simmered the potatoes in the saffron stock until it had thickened to a glaze.
I slowly sauteed the wild garlic bulblets in butter until they were soft, but not browned. I mashed them to a paste, and mixed them in as I pureed my boiled Red Pontiac potatoes. Then I added the finely chopped parsley and chives, with a touch of salt.
That's it -- pretty easy!
On My Plate
These two potato tastes are so different, but each is delicious! The saffron fingerlings have a complex, rich flavor that seems so right for autumn. The contrast with the summer taste of the cherry tomatoes is just right!
The Red Pontiac - wild garlic puree is so bright and summery. The garlic bulblets, fresh chives, and fresh parsley give the potatoes such a fresh flavor. The contrast with the deep, rich, autumn flavors of the chanterelles is just right, too!
And just a note about that water in my glass. That's wild water, from a spring in the Siuslaw National Forest. The spring is near where I foraged the Chanterelles. You'll see that spring in an upcoming post. It's good wild water!
What Do You Think?
- Have you ever grown potatoes?
- What's your favorite kind of potatoes?
- Have you ever used Saffron in cooking?
- Have you ever foraged for wild mushrooms?
- Would you eat my plate of potatoes?
I eat a lot of wild plants and show you how, because I believe that we can all have lives that are richer, more secure, more grounded, and more interesting by getting to know the plants and the land around us – in our yards, our parks, and our wild places.
I would like Steemit to be the premier site for Foraging on the Internet! If you have any thoughts about foraging, or experiences to share, write a post and be sure to use the Foraging tag. And check out the @foraging-trail to see curated quality posts about foraging. Happy Foraging!
Thanks @progressivechef for creating the Steemit Iron Chef contest series!
- Chanterelle mushrooms - Cantharellus spp.
- Wild chives - Allium schoeneprasum - leaves from fall through spring
- Wild garlic - Allium vineale - flowerhead bulblets
- Saffron - Crocus sativus - flower styles
- Italian Flat-leaf parsley - Petroselinum crispum - leaves
- Cherry tomatoes - Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme - fruit