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A good friend of ours likes to forage for mushrooms in the woods.  I have been the very lucky recipient of his hard work a few times, and most recently was gifted a huge bag of chanterelle mushrooms.  This is not even the full bag.  I had never been in possession of this quantity of gourmet fungi so I wanted to make a dinner to truly honor and highlight this windfall.

I made pork chops absolutely smothered in a chanterelle mushroom cream sauce.  It was divine!  Chanterelles are different than your garden variety button mushroom.  They are chewy and earthy and really hold up to cooking.  The flavor is subtle but wonderful.

While the sauce looks very rich, it was mostly white wine and chicken stock.  I added a splash of cream at the end for creaminess, but I did not want the dish to be overly heavy.  It is remarkable how a small amount of cream can make such a difference.

I had to pick out a stellar wine for this meal, and I wanted something earthy, so I opened a Tablas Creek red blend.  This wine is amazing.  The bouquet is mesmerizing and this was one of those wines I inhaled long before I even took my first sip.

This wine is from Paso Robles, however, the winery has strong ties to the Rhone region of France.  As a result, there is an elegance to this wine that is not often seen in California red wines.  A blend of Mourvèdre (44%), Grenache (29%), Syrah (21%) and Counoise (6%), the 07 Esprit de Beaucastel has aromas of red fruits like currants, earthy spices and a finish that lasts and lasts.  This wine retails for around $50.

I am a big fan of Tablas Creek wines.  I did not think I could love any of their wines more than the 09 Marsanne that I enjoyed earlier this year with seared scallops, however, the Esprit de Beaucastel gives the Marsanne a run for its money.

Pork Chops Smothered in Mushroom Sauce

4 pork chops

A large quantity of mushrooms (this would work with any fresh variety)

1 large shallot, minced

1 T butter

2 T flour (I used corn starch because it had to be GF)

2 cloves garlic

1 cup white wine

1 cup chicken stock

Splash of cream

chives (for garnish)

– Dry and season the pork chops with salt and pepper.  Pan sear in olive oil until halfway done.  set aside

– Lower heat and cook shallot and garlic until tender.  Add chopped mushrooms and cook until softened

– Add wine and reduce

– Add butter until melted.  Mix flour with some of the chicken stock to make a roux

– Add chicken stock and roux to pan.  Simmer until thickened.  Lower heat and add cream.  Taste and add salt if needed.

– Add pork chops back to pan to finish cooking.  Plate over mashed potatoes or rice and garnish with chives