Tag Archives: breakfast

White chanterelle and kale quiche

I know you have all been waiting on pins and needles to find out what we made with the Oregonian chanterelles. Well now you finally get to find out! We made a quiche!


Gorgeous white chanterelles (Cantharellus cascadensis) that we found in Oregon!

I know next to nothing about pastry, but turns out Roo spent 6 months training as a pastry chef while in college! He has so many skills hidden up his sleeve. I definitely could not have made this delicious recipe on my own, but thanks Roo for teaching me how to make the perfect pie crust. 


Roo measuring out the flour for the pie crust

Apparently it is essential to own something called a pastry cutter if you are to be a pie crust aficionado. In absence of a pastry cutter, Roo says you can use two butter knives. The object is to mix up the flour with the butter so that the butter and flour incorporate while still saying separate. Sounds tricky, right? It is also imperative to use tools and not your hands so that the butter stays cold. Apparently the secret to a good pie crust is keeping the butter cold until it hits the oven, so there are lots of waiting steps where you let the dough “chill out” the in the freezer.


Roo mixing up the butter and flour with the pastry cutter

After incorporating the butter and flour, slowly add 4 Tbsp of water a tiny bit at a time until the dough hits the consistency of corn meal.


Pastry dough is so simple! Just flour, butter, and flour. Make sure it hits the right consistency before rolling it out!

Once the dough hits the right texture, knead it and roll it into a ball. Then stick it in the freezer to chill some more. Pastry dough can be made in advance and frozen for weeks this way.


While the dough chilled in the freezer, we took the opportunity to hit up the local coop and buy eggs and onions for the filling. Once we got back we started to roll out the dough. Roo couldn’t find his rolling pin, so we got creative with our tools.


Being resourceful and rolling out the pastry dough with a glass!

Make sure to clean off the counter top really well and spread out some flour before rolling out the dough. Once it’s rolled out evenly, gently place it in the pie pan.


Pastry dough lining the pie pan

Cut off the edges with a butter knife and make fun pastry treats with them :)


Roo says it’s important to put parchment paper over the dough and weigh it down with something like dry beans to prevent air bubbles from forming. Then stick the dough in the freezer while you cook the insides of the quiche!


Weighing down the pastry dough with dry beans before placing it in the freezer

We started off our quiche filling by chopping up an onion and letting it caramelize in butter. Then we added 6 garlic cloves. So much flavor!


Caramelizing onions for the quiche filling

While the onions cooked I cleaned and cut up the chanterelles. God they were gorgeous!

This wasn’t going to be some frou frou wild mushroom quiche that you get at a restaurant that has 2 little pieces of mushrooms that you have to search out. No, this quiche will feature loads of meaty mushrooms!


Delicious mushroom, onion, and garlic filling for the quiche!

We added the mushrooms to the onions and garlic and let them get nice and brown. Once they got a bit brown, we added some salt and pepper.


This next part was a real treat for me – we cut 3 kinds of kale straight from the garden! I live in a bit of a concrete jungle so this was quite a novelty for me to have freshly cut greens.


Three kinds of kale fresh from the garden!

How beautiful is this kale?


Once we had cleaned and chopped the kale we braised it in olive oil for a few minutes.


Kale braised in olive oil.

Now we were finally ready to start putting together the quiche!


Roo says it is important to line the bottom of the crust with cheese to keep the crust crusty when the quiche cooks. He dropped so many nuggets of pastry knowledge!


It’s important to line the bottom of the crust with cheese to keep the crust crusty!

After cheese we layered in the garlic, caramelized onions, and chanterelles. This quiche is nice and shroomy so skimping out on mushrooms here!


No skimping out on mushrooms in this quiche!

IMG_2426Next, add the kale on top of the mushrooms.
IMG_2430At this point, we whisked 1 cup whole milk with 3 eggs and poured it on top of the mixture.
IMG_2431Then bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes.
IMG_2433Cutting into it you can see the thick mushroom layer! Roo says it was his best crust he’s made it years! There you go, now you can make bakery quality pie crusts from now on :)


Sun in my eyes but excited to eat this quiche in the lovely garden where the kale grows!        Photo credit: Roo Vandegrift


Pie crust:

  • 6 Tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1.5 cups flours
  • ~ 4 Tbsp water
  • extra flour for rolling the dough


  • 1 large onion
  • 3-6 cloves garlic
  • mushrooms
  • kale
  • jack cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk

White chanterelle and kale quiche. Photo credit: Roo Vandegrift

Hedgehog and chanterelle wild mushroom frittata

Thanks to all of this wonderful rain, the hunting is finally good for mushrooms! I was super lucky at the annual Mendocino mushroom foray and this time I found the mother lode of hedgehog mushrooms :) Hedgehogs are related to chanterelles and many of my mushroom hunting friends like them even more than their beloved cousins.  The scientific name is Hydnum umbilicatum, but they are called hedgehogs because they have spiny teeth instead of gills !

Check out the spiny teeth on un the underside of these beautiful hedgehog mushrooms!

Check out the spiny teeth on un the underside of these beautiful hedgehog mushrooms!

I’ve never found so many choice edibles in one spot before. I was very excited to bring some home to Los Angeles over Thanksgiving break! On that Friday morning, I went to my friend Lauren’s house to share my mushrooms with friends and enjoy a post-Thanksgiving day breakfast.  With all of these gorgeous mushrooms, I decided to make a frittata. A frittata is a simple, baked egg dish where you can basically add any ingredients you want (any vegetable you have lying around, meat, cheese, herbs, you name it!), and then you throw it in the oven. Since I’ve been so mushroom deprived until now, I decided to keep it simple and keep mushrooms front and center in this dish. I caramelized a white and red onion to add some flavor, but that was the only other ingredient besides mushrooms and eggs (and salt and pepper of course!).

Hedgehog mushrooms cleaned and cut in a heated pan

Hedgehog mushrooms cleaned and cut in a heated pan

I kept the stems on the mushrooms but cut off the dirt off from the tip. I then rinsed them under water in a colander. Some people will tell you never to wash mushrooms because they soak up all the water and get soggy, but it’s really hard to get off all that dirt if you don’t rinse them in a colander, and if you cook them in the pan long enough all the water will boil off. I heated up a pan on medium heat, added oil, then added the cleaned and roughly chopped hedgehogs.

Hedgehogs starting to cook and giving off a lot of water

Hedgehogs starting to cook and giving off a lot of water

Mushrooms are something like 80-90% water, so they will cook down a lot. Good thing I had so many :) It will take a while for all of the water to boil off, but be patient and let them cook for a long time until they start to brown.

Beautifully browning hedgehogs

Beautifully browning hedgehogs

Kinda crazy how much they cook down, huh? Notice the nice brown color that they are starting to get – keep sautéing them and mixing them with a spatula for a few more minutes. We also chopped up the last of my yellowfoot chanterelles and added those to the mix.

Whisking together the onions, mushrooms, and eggs for the frittata

Whisking together the onions, mushrooms, and eggs for the frittata

I cracked about 10 eggs and added them to a big mixing bowl with the onions and the mushrooms. I mixed well with the whisk, added some salt and pepper, and put the mixture into Lauren’s lovely baking dish.

Frittata mixture ready to go into the oven!

Frittata mixture ready to go into the oven!

Baking a frittata is not an exact science. It really depends on the oven and the size of the frittata. I suggest setting the oven to around 400 degrees and checking it every 5-10 minutes. I had preheated Lauren’s oven to 400 degrees prior to cooking, but the frittata took a lot longer to cook than expected. After 10 minutes it was still completely liquid! What can I say, I’m still learning :P I ended up cooking the frittata for about 30 minutes – it was a really big and the baking dish was heavy and thick. There is no rule of thumb as to how long it will take – but expect 10-30 minutes depending on your dish, oven, and the size of the frittata. Luckily, when it finally came out it was beautiful :)

Me showing off my wild mushroom frittata with mushrooms that I foraged myself :)

Me showing off my wild mushroom frittata with mushrooms that I foraged myself :)

Here are my friends enjoying the frittata in Lauren’s lovely apartment:

Sara, Sarah, and Lauren enjoying the frittata with bagels

Sara, Sarah, and Lauren enjoying the frittata with bagels

What is better than mushrooms and friends? Not much! Here is a closer look at the gorgeous hedgehog and chanterelle frittata:

Hedgehog and chanterelle wild mushroom frittata

Hedgehog and chanterelle wild mushroom frittata

Porcini and leek frittata with mozzarella cheese

I went rock climbing for the second time ever last week and I swear I thought my arms were going to fall off as I started cutting into the porcini. I was soo thankful that I had cleaned and cut the leeks the day before.  Leeks are super dirty so you have to be really careful and clean them really well. I ended up plugging my sink and filling it with water and slicing up the leeks and letting them soak in the sink overnight on Sunday night. Then when I woke up Monday morning I drained the sink, put the leeks in a colander and rinsed them off again before sticking them in a tupperware in the fridge so they would be ready later in the week. As I said, my arms hurt so badly from rock climbing so I was really thankful for the foresight!

I was starving after rock climbing for nearly 3 hours and couldn’t wait to get the porcinis in the pan although my arms were stinging while I held the knife. So my cutting of the porcinis was not as precise and beautiful as in the previous post, but unfortunately you will not be able to see the photo-documentation of this as I accidentally left the memory card outside of my camera while I was preparing this meal so all of the pictures that I thought I had taken do not exist! Drat! At least I got a beautiful picture of the finished product :)

Something to keep in mind is that the Boletus barrowsii turns a bit purple after cutting it and it seems a bit alarming when cooking them and they start to turn purple, but I ate them on Sunday night and I’m still alive :)  To speed things up I heated up two pans with olive oil, filled one with leeks and the other with porcinis, and left them to saute for a long time while I worked on writing this. You really want to just leave them alone for a while so they cook enough and get nice and browned. Once the leeks were well cooked, I decided to toss in some fresh thyme that I had sitting in my fridge leftover from one of my recipes from last week. Then I cracked 8 eggs, added salt, pepper, and oregano, and then whisked it really well before pouring the eggs over the leeks. Next, I added the browned porcinis and let it set up in the pan a bit. At that point I realized that I had completely forgotten to preheat the oven so I turned it on and let the eggs sit on the counter while it heated up – it’s just a simple frittata so I figured it should be fine! I also remembered that I had 8 oz of fresh mozzarella in my fridge and I only needed 4 oz for my next recipe so I went ahead and chopped that up and added it to the frittata for good measure. My friend and former California Mushrooms student Claire (featured in this post) came over to enjoy the frittata with me and she loved it!  This turned out to be a super simple and filling meal that worked great as leftovers throughout the week. It also tasted really delicious when accompanied by the sorrel sauce that will be featured in the next post!

Porcini and leek frittata

Porcini and leek frittata