Notice anything different around here? Yep, I decided it was time to give the site a more modern look, so the textured blue background is gone in favor of lots of white space, and the navigation menu at the top stays in place so you can find your way around without so much scrolling. Let me know if you have any thoughts or feedback; I’ve definitely got some other ideas for improvements, time permitting.
These tostadas had a very simple inspiration: wildly inexpensive chanterelles. Although they grow prolifically in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve never learned how to hunt them, so I’m typically stuck paying retail when I want my fix – unless, I’m hanging around with my friend Lang, whose new book The Mushroom Hunters just came out. And retail price can easily be $20 or even $30 per pound. So I kind of freaked out when I saw them for under $10/pound at a few local markets, and snatched up several pounds. Not only were they cheap, but they are beautifully plump and dry, not the soggy or woody leftovers you sometimes see.
When you think of wild mushrooms, you might be inclined towards European dishes: pasta, risotto, omelettes and so forth. But chanterelles and other wild mushrooms are used throughout the world – we just don’t often get to see those uses when those cuisines travel to the US. Chanterelles are enjoyed from Mexico to the Himalayas and back. The only challenge is to use them in a way where their unique flavor and texture isn’t overwhelmed by the big flavors of the supporting ingredients. For that reason, I made these tostadas without any intense salsa, just a scattering of tomatoes, onions, radish and jalapeno.
And in case you get carried away like I do, here are a few more of my favorite chanterelle recipes: Farro with Chanterelles and Apples, Potatoes, Chanterelles, Shallots in Red Wine Sauce and Baked Eggs with Chanterelles and Chard.
Makes 4 small tostadas, which would be a light main course – double this if you aren’t serving much else; multiply by 1.5 if using larger tostada shells
Vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and kosher
- Vegetable oil
- 40 small or 20 larger chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned (and cut into bite size if needed)
- Kosher salt
- Cumin powder
- 4 six-inch tostada shells (or make your own by pan-frying corn tortillas in a shallow layer of oil)
- 1 cup refried beans, heated and thinned with water if needed to make smooth and spreadable
- 2 ripe tomatoes (preferably green zebras for color, but any good tomato will do), cut into bite-sized chunks
- 4 radishes, cut into sixths
- 1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup diced sweet onion
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Maldon salt or other finishing salt
- Place a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil, and when it is shimmering, add the mushrooms, a pinch of salt , and a pinch of cumin and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender and aromatic, about 5 minutes.
- Spread the tostada shells with the refried beans.
- Arrange the sauteed mushrooms, tomatoes and radishes on top of the beans.
- Garnish with the jalapeno, sweet onion, cilantro, and finishing salt. Serve hot.