Sunday, June 10, 2012

Girolles June 2012

Yesterday mornings girolle pin up photo

Actually, this was from Friday, yesterday, Saturday, I got up again and went out at 8 am and found more. 
The early hot pre spring, then the brutal freezes, with alternate periods of heat, cool, dryness and rain might be wreaking havoc on the gardens, but I think the trees and the wild life of the region seem to have only benefited from the cold and rain. We are experiencing a very lush early bloom of girolle mushroom.
I think so far, I have found almost 4 kilos and we are cleaning them and letting them dry then freezing them. They should keep quite nicely frozen for about a year. Today, the rain returned with a vengeance and it looks from the forecast, that we will have 4 days of cool non stop rainy weather.
Today was also the first tour for the legislative elections here. The Mairie in Badefols was packed and full of good cheer. We are a little commune, perhaps 800 registered voters, but I guarantee a 87% turnout. I think the Socialistes are going to take the legislature. Here in the Aquitaine, The Ecologists (there are 3 "green" parties) are going to make a strong showing for the first tour. Next week, in the run off, those votes will go to the Socialistes. Probably the most watched election will be in Henin-Beaumont in Calais, where Jean-Luc Melenchon, the charismatic leader of The far left Fronte Gauche is challenging Marine Le Pen of the far right borderline fascist party which was formerly known as Le Front National, now renamed and repackaged as the more user friendly Party Blue-Marine. Melenchon picked his battle well. He was LePens biggest nightmare in the Presidential election, intellectually and ideologically destroying her in debates. She is fighting back using underhanded il;legal propaganda and outright lying. She seems to echo the tactics of Mitt Romney in her lies, she is to her credit, much more intelligent than Mitt Romney, but she has not denied her tactics and boldly acknowledged them when confronted in the press with aggressive pride. The upshot is though, that things look good for Melenchon and pretty bad for LePens Party, what ever they call themselves. Like Greece's fascist party, they rode the wave of economic discontent in eastern France to a seeming revitalization, but they may end up with out any base after the legislative elections...Next week may be the next nail in the coffin of the one time Front National and the nascent LePen attempt at a fascist xenophobic French dynasty.
So what does one do with all these girolles? A Girolle omelet is a wonderful thing...simple, Girolles must be cooked as little as possible. Pommes de terre Saute aux Girolles is a classic...cook the girolles fast, separately, saute the potatoes in a little duck or goose fat and add the girolles at the end with fresh parsley and some garlic if you dare! Yum!
I did a Poulet Saute aux Girolles....pretty simple...I have a few versions, but this is the one we had last night:
Take a cut up chicken, or as I did last night, chicken legs and thighs cut up and fry them in a pot which you can cover and put in the oven. I lightly salted them. Fry them in oil and a little butter and let them get golden.
Cover the pan and put it into a 220 degree oven for 20 minutes or so. When they are done, take the pan out of the oven, remove the chicken pieces and keep them warm.
You can pour off some of the grease if there is too much, but you will need some to saute 500 grams of girolles and a chopped shallot on the stove top. Cook them quickly. The girolles will give off a bit of liquid. Make sure to scrape the pan as the girolles cook to get the crusty chicken bits off the bottom and incorporate it into the liquid.
When the liquid almost evaporates, add a splash of cognac or armagnac and flame it.
When the flame is out, only a few seconds of terror...add 30 cl of cream and stir over the heat until the cream thickens. This only takes a few short minutes.
Put the chicken back in the pot and coat with the sauce and serve!
This is really good with Pureed potaotes.

You can saute chicken breasts with out putting them into the oven and do basically the same sauce on the stove top.
You could use regular mushrooms, but girolles are especially good like this and a rare seasonal tre

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