So, it has been raining and raining here in Southwestern France for weeks. There have been some days of heat and sun and last week things almost began to dry out enough for us to plant our vegetable garden, but then the rain started again..
Yesterday was a day long deluge with storms that brought power outages twice. I realized that we were setting records when I was out in front of the barn and water was spouting from a mole hill, like a little fountain! Luckily, we are on high ground and the water flows down into the valleys surrounding us. The valley below was flooded and the little stream had widened into a raging torrent.
Today on the news, there were reports of the worst flooding in 42 years in some areas.
So the rain let up for a while and the sun came out. I took the dog for a walk in the forest, bringing a plastic bag. We waded into the entrance and down the trail which was gouged out by the torrent which had roared down hill yesterday.
Light rain started to fall, but in the forest, we were perfectly dry. I knew where I was going and soon, I started to see points of apricot golden yellow glowing in the leaf litter.
With in 15 minutes, I had collected over a kilo and a half of nice golden Girolles. Girolles are chantrelles. The name is used interchangeably, but there are a few varieties of chantrelles. The name girolle refers to the fragrant apricot golden mushrooms. They are impossible to mistake for anything else. The color, form and fragrance are unique. They do not have gills or pores, but ridges under the cap and they give off a heady scent which for me is very like apricots. I have seen them for sale in markets in the USA and I have found them in Michigan, Ohio and the Palisades on the Hudson River above New York City.
They are extremely delicious and there are many ways to enjoy them. They are quickly cooked, in fact they suffer from over cooking. I have found that they freeze well. I put them on a flat surface in the freezer and when theyy are frozen, I put them in a plastic bag.
Here is a very satisfying, classic and easy way to enjoy fresh girolles:
Omelette aux Girolles
For 4 persons
Take 500 grams of Girolles and clean them and make sure there is no sand.
You need a large frying pan or skillet. Put in a little, perhaps a soup spoon of oil and 20 grams of butter.
When the butter is melted and hot, add the girolles and a clove of garlic cut in two.
Let the girolles cook until the water they give off is evaporated, this does not take long.
Add some chopped parsley.
You need to break 10 eggs into a bowl and mix them with 20 grams of cream...creme fraiche if possible.
Pour the egg mixture into the pan and make your omelette. I always lift up the edges and let the uncooked egg flow under the omelette. Then it's a matter of letting it cook until it's set. For me, there is the moment when it "lets go" and slides around in the pan. If you have experience with omelettes, the smell changes when the eggs are just beginning to get brown on the bottom.
When the omelette is set to your taste, some people like them runny, some like them puffy...a hint, for a truly puffy omelette, finish it in a hot oven...
Slide the omelette out of the pan and fold it onto a serving plate and enjoy it hot!
Bon appetit, bien sur!