Chanterelle-Potato Salad with Bacon, Shallots, & Thyme

So I won a copy of the new Sunset cookbook, thanks to their amazing giveaway last October, as I explained in 75 words or less what makes me a “great Western cook”. Word for word, I couldn’t tell you exactly what it was that convinced them, just how I love to experiment combining new and unexpected spices, flavors, and reinventing classics. That I like to make up cupcake creations involving chocolate, coconut, and curry, for example.
So, cool. Yeah. I won a ginormous compilation of Sunset recipes.
I feel pretty special.
I bought some chanterelles the other day without any real particular plan in mind. It’s hard to pass them up when they’re half the price they normally go for per pound. I had faith that I’d find something interesting to do with them somehow. So after staring at them in the fridge for a bit too long, I turned to this nifty resource to find this lovely recipe involving chanterelles, baby yukon potatoes, bacon, thyme, and shallots. A fancy potato salad of sorts. Fancy restaurant status potato salad. I’m typically not a huge white potato fan, but I’ll go for these little creamers every once in a while if it’s paired with something worthwhile. And this was definitely worth while. I scattered it on top of some spinach and fried up an egg and it could definitely be a $15 brunch menu item at a restaurant in Portland. Just sayin’. The smells coming out of the kitchen were FANTASTIC.
Chanterelle-Potato Salad with Pancetta, Shallots, and Thyme
Serves 8 (I halved the recipe)
12 ounces fresh chanterelle mushrooms or 10 oz. shiitake mushrooms

6 ounces slab pancetta or thick-cut bacon, diced (I used cinnamon bacon)

3 pounds baby Yukon Gold potatoes, halved lengthwise (if potatoes are longer than 2 in., cut into quarters)

4 medium cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons butter

1 medium shallot, minced

1/3 cup Chardonnay or other white wine

2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon (skipped this)

1 tablespoon chopped chives

1/2 cup White-Wine Vinaigrette1. Preheat oven to 375°. Wipe chanterelles with a damp cloth or scrape with a knife to remove dirt; cut away dry, woody parts. Tear mushrooms into 1-in. pieces.

2. Cook pancetta in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until crisp and browned, about 7 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels, reserving drippings.

3. Toss potatoes with 3 tbsp. reserved pancetta drippings, garlic, thyme, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Divide potatoes between two 9- by 13-in. glass baking pans. Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until tender, well browned, and crispy, 25 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and keep warm.

4. Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add shallot and cook until soft, 1 minute. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Add Chardonnay, remaining 1/2 tsp. salt, and remaining 1/4 tsp. pepper; scrape up browned bits and cook until liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes.

5. In a large bowl, toss together potatoes, mushrooms, pancetta, tarragon, and chives. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Serve warm (with an egg!).

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