Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Goin' Hog Wild

Ha! Just when you thought it was safe to visit FOTL again, what with change everywhere apparent and all, we're still stuck on this blasted mushroom trail.

Well, there are worse places to be.

Anyway, the time is now to go hog wild. Wild for hedghogs, that is, Hydnum rapandum, the hedgehog mushroom, named for the bristly teeth under the cap. Hedgehogs are hearty fellers, which is why we're still on a mycological roll. While most of the good fungal edibles succumb to the first hard frost, the hogs are just getting started.

One of my favorite recipes for hogs I snagged out of David Arora's All That the Rain Promises: Dice up some pancetta (or reg'lar ol' bacon) and saute in a pan. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon when it's almost crispy and add chopped hedgehogs. Cook a couple minutes in the bacon fat and add pine nuts. Be careful not to burn the nuts. Season with salt and pepper and a generous pinch or two of chopped fresh rosemary. Add the bacon back in at the end, stir, and serve atop toast points or thinly sliced baguette.

Most of the serious hedgehog hunting in these parts takes place at the coast, but the mountains produce some hogs as well, and I'm lucky enough to have a Cascade honey hole that puts out more than a few. If you look carefully you'll notice in the video below a dusting of snow on a few of these hedgehogs that I found at the 4,500-foot level in a mature hemlock forest. (You'll also hear gunshots and the croaking of a raven.)


Anonymous said...

What pretty mushrooms. I'll have to get some the city way. Your recipe sounds super simple and delicious, maybe even with pasta too.

Langdon Cook said...

Hi Audrey, yeah it's really quick n' easy. But one warning: don't get heavy-handed with the pine nuts or they'll overwhelm the 'shrooms; you can see in the image that I was a tad too generous with the nuts. You should be able to find lots of hedghogs in the markets now.

Anonymous said...

I'm getting hungry just looking over your blog!

drfugawe said...

Damn Fin, are you guys getting hogs already up there? I think ya'all have had a much better pickin season than we down here. Hey, want to make that Arora recipe even better, throw some shirmp in while sauting, and serve over pasta - might need a little white wine or chic broth too!
Oh yeah, I just read the latest fishing report here, and the Chinook are on the move! Your timing couldn't be better.

Dora Renee Wilkerson said...

I love mushrooms.

I know I don't know enough to forage for them yet but maybe one day!

Your recipe looks GREAT!!!