Ah, Chanterelle Mushrooms.... the scent of apricots, forest floor, and black pepper waft through the kitchen, making my mouth water as I try to prepare dinner.
This is an important consideration, since Vitamin D production in the skin only occurs when the UV factor is above a 3. Why is Vitamin D so important? That is a good question, considering that this fat soluble substance isn't really even a vitamin.
Nope, it's a secosteroid hormone. I am not going to get in the full metabolism that is necessary to create the "Active" form your body actually uses, but suffice it to say that it is the most active hormone in the body. Active D is responsible for unlocking the binding sites on the human genome (there are 2,700 sites) as well as controlling the calcium level in your blood. There has even been research into your own cells' ability to utilize D in fighting some 17 types of cancer. Pretty darned impressive I'd say.
Sadly, if you are not out in the sun absorbing UVB for at least 30 minutes a day, then you are deficient in D. You can take a supplement, but most are sorely lacking in the amount of viable D that one needs. Thus, most of us are running around with a significant shortage of this vital vitamin (5,000 IU per day). To get enough, per day, from milk, you would have to imbibe somewhere around 50 glasses and most multi-vitamins would require the consumption of up to 10 pills before you have replenished your D stores.
All that being said, there are other ways of getting D into your system, especially in the winter. For in the temperate climates the Chanterelle mushroom is available from September to April. AWESOME!
So with that I present to you a dish that is High in D as well as C & potassium. Granted, this is a little high in fat, but I am on a roll with the Mascarpone sauces. This is a variation of the Spinach Mascarpone pasta that I made a week ago. Earthy & spicy chanterelles and shallots, sauted in olive oil, deglaced with white wine, a touch of chicken stock to round out the flavors... a delicate hint of tarragon (cause mushrooms + cream + tarragon = bliss) all bound together with, that ever so unctuous, Mascarpone with a touch of Parmigiano-Reggiano. It's heaven on a plate.
Torchiette with Chanterelle Mascarpone Cream
10-12 oz Chanterelle Mushrooms
3 TB Olive oil
2 medium Shallots, minced
1/2 cup White Wine (I chose Pinot Gris)
1 tsp fresh Tarragon, chopped fine (just a pinch if using dried)
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
Black Pepper, freshly ground
8 oz Mascarpone
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
optional fresh Chives
optional shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano
Clean the Chanterelles, then dry them with a paper towel.
Slice off the very bottoms; I usually leave the smaller ones whole and slice the larger ones in half.
Cook until the chicken stock has reduced by half and thickened slightly.