Today’s chanterelle mushroom and potato stir-fry is based on a meal that’s been near and dear to me ever since I was a kid growing up in Russia. The chanterelle season in central European Russia falls on mid-summer, so this dish was always a treat we used to have a few times every June and July.
Since I came to the US eight and a half years ago, I never had a chance to find chanterelles again until Rob and I moved to the Pacific Northwest earlier this year. We found out that this type of mushroom grows pretty well around here, but the season falls on September-October.
A couple things to clarify:
1. No, I didn’t put on my brand-new rubber boots and set off on a mushroom foraging trip in the nearby woods to find me some chanterelles for this stir-fry, even though that probably would have been fun.
I simply stopped by the Whole Foods wonderland one afternoon, and picked up some chanterelles in their produce department. (Other less fancy stores in this area carry them too, but this was a rare time I was in the Whole Foods neighborhood, so that’s why I got them there.)
2. Since classic Russian food is not known for its abundance of herbs and spices, I took some liberty to add some rosemary, oregano and thyme to my stir-fry to make it more aromatic. Minced garlic also found its way into my pan because garlic makes everything way more flavorful.
Ideally, this stir-fry can be cooked in one pan: first, you sautée the coarsely chopped chanterelles, then remove them from the pan onto a plate, cook your potatoes, and add the mushrooms back to the pan at the end.
To make things quicker, however, I decided to use 2 pans at the same time, and started cooking the mushrooms and potatoes in separate pans.
Once both were cooked, I added the chanterelles to the potatoes, stirred them up, added some chopped parsley, and voila – the dish was ready to be served!
Also, back in the day in Russia, I used to make this stir-fry differently by sautéing mushrooms for a few minutes first, then adding potatoes and allowing them to cook right along with mushrooms – this method works too, but I find that potatoes come out a little mushy, making this dish come out more like a stew than a stir-fry.
Serving Suggestion: I used this stir-fry as the main course for dinner alongside a fresh salad, but it can just as well be used as a festive side dish at any holiday gathering – Thanksgiving, here we come!
Oil or No Oil? The traditional Russian dish is cooked in plenty of oil, but since I try to use as little oil as possible – or none at all – I found that the mushrooms can be cooked completely without oil as they release a lot of liquid, and potatoes can be sprayed with just a bit of olive oil spray to form a nice outer ‘crust’.
If you’re not oil-free, you can cook both potatoes and mushrooms in 1-2 Tbsp of oil.
Question for you: What’s your favorite dish with mushrooms?
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