Steemit Iron Chef 2017 #10: Saffron Fingerlings and Wild Garlic Potato Puree with Chanterelle MushroomssteemCreated with Sketch.

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!

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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.

Saffron

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.

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Left: harvested Saffron crocus flowers. Right: dried flower styles, aka Saffron! One flower produces only three red styles.

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.

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Lower right: Wild chives have just started coming up again with our cool, wet, autumn weather. Left and upper right: Wild garlic heads. In a garden, I'd cut the garlic scapes so the cloves in the ground get larger. But out in the wild, these bulblet heads are easy to collect.

Chanterelles

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!

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Upper left: in the forest. Upper right: just picked. Lower left: part of my mushroom harvest. Lower right: braising the chanterelles in a cast iron skillet.

Potatoes

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.

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Left: banana fingerling potatoes, Italian flat-leaf parsley, wild chives. Right: Red Pontiac potatoes and wild garlic bulblets. See how the bulblets have started to sprout? Each would make a new wild garlic plant, except I'm going to eat them!


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

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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!

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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!

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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!

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**


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!


Plant List

  • 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

Haphazard Homestead

foraging, gardening, nature, simple living close to the land

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My YouTube channel: Haphazard Homestead

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Great post @haphazard-hstead, and as far as I am concerned your foraging skills are legendary. I am very intrigued about that wild garlic... I will take some pics of what we grow in our garden which we call 'wild garlic' and post so you can tell me if they are the same type of plant.
Another thing... I reckon you should consider doing 'foraging workshops which include practical outings' .. I reckon they would be a sell-out.

Glad you enjoyed my potatoes and mushrooms, @themagus! I am interested in the wild garlic that grows in your garden, for sure. This species, Allium vernale, is a widespread weed. It's even considered a noxious weed in some places! With all those little top-set bulblets, you can see how this plant could spread easily!

Thanks! I learned a few things here. I didn't realize saffron came from that pretty autumn crocus. And good to know about the #foraging category. Will be checking that one out as I would like to learn more, especially about edible mushrooms.

You're welcome! I'll make a post about the real Saffron crocus pretty soon. In the meantime, there's a little more information in one of my recent posts: A Small Fall-flowering Crocus. There are some great foragers here on Steemit! I've learned some things here myself!

I will watch for your post and also keep my eyes opened for some bulbs next year! It's always fun growing plants with an interesting usage or history.

Saffron crocus seem really easy to grow, too. I don't have to do much for them. I don't even water them in our dry summers. They do like good drainage.

Looks lovely and I bet it tastes wonderful

It all tasted so wonderful! I'm fortunate to have all these plants and mushrooms around me, that's for sure!

in my opinion, mushrooms and potatoes are a perfect pair. It's inspiring that you made such an incredible meal, and on top of it all, that nearly every ingredient came from the land. Foraging for the win!

I bet you have some good mushrooms around you this time of year. It's so fun to see what pops up here and there!

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Thanks, @fabulousfungi! Those chanterelles were pretty fabulous, too! : )

This dish sounds delicious, and as always, I absolutely love reading your posts to learn so much more about crops :-)

Thanks, @foodflaneur! It amazes me how many different plants are good for food. There's always more to find out and try out -- it keeps life interesting and delicious! : )

Looks great! I love chanterelles! I've only ever found two though. Sometimes we buy them from the farmer's market.

Looking at wild mushrooms in the farmer's market is a good way to get familiar with them. I'm surprised how many different kinds show up -- from the morels in the spring to chanterelles and lobster mushrooms in the fall. Good luck in finding more chanterelles! It's been a good season in western Oregon, at least. I hope in your area, too!

I would eat anything!!! you make!!! this, again, looks so delicious and I love how you always bring foraging into your recipes!!

Thanks, @mariannewest! I'd rather forage than go to the store, lol. And it's amazing how much good food is growing out there, all for the price of going for a walk! These potatoes and mushrooms were so good!

Yes!!! Especially in your area where you actually get rain. But even here, especially in the spring, lots can be found - just a matter to know what you are looking for - and in our case - to find nature and not houses upon houses with lawns..... And that is a whole other story which makes me sad....

Another dish that I will happily eat my friend! Oh yes I love saffron so much...shame that they cost so much!
I am so happy to read that one of my photo inspired you to do this amazing entry!
Looking forward to the chanterelle post!

Thanks, @progressivechef! That image of the potato with the chanterelle on its head -- it was good inspiration! ; ) I'll do a post on the chanterelles and one on saffron, too. I can understand why saffron is expensive. They are easy to grow, but so inefficient to harvest commercially. That just means everyone needs to grow their own! ; )

Great post. And you get total bonus points for presentation!

Great post! I just posted about mushrooms! I would love to learn more. Following you now!

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