Creamy Mushroom CroustadesMakes 24 pieces
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
For the croustades:
24 slices fresh, thin-sliced bread
2 Tbsp butter
For the mushroom filling:
4 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp finely chopped shallots
1/2 lb mushrooms, finely chopped
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 1/2 Tbsp finely chopped chives
1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp of grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
Heat oven to 400°.For the croustades:
Coat the inside of the muffin tins generously with the butter.
With a 3-inch plain or fluted cookie cutter, cut a round from each bread slice.
Carefully fit these into the muffin tins, pushing the center of the bread down with the tip of your finger. Be careful with this step, the bread may tear.
Bake the croustades for about 10 minutes, or until they are lightly brown on the rims and the outsides. Remove them from the tins and let them cool.
For the Duxelles:
Melt the butter in a heavy frying pan. Before the foam subsides, add the shallots. Cook them, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes.
Stir in the mushrooms. Mix them will with the shallots and butter. Stirring from time to time, cook them about 10-15 minutes until all the moisture has evaporated.
Remove the pan from the heat. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and stir until no trace of the flour can be seen. Return to the heat.
Immediately pour in the heavy cream and, stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil. Turn the heat down to simmer and cook a minute or two longer to remove any taste of the flour.
Stir in the seasonings and herbs along with the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Allow to cool before filling croustades. It can also be transferred to a bowl, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated until ready to use.
Right before serving, to finish the croustades with mushroom filling:
Preheat the oven to 350°
Use a small spoon to fill the croustades with the mushroom mixture. Mound the filling slightly.
Sprinkle with some of the Parmesan cheese and dot with a speck of butter.
Arrange the croustades on a cookie sheet and heat for 10 minutes. Serve.
Croustades freeze very well. Without defrosting them, fill them with the mushroom mixture and heat as described above. This way you are able to make a batch or two in advance.
Croustades are little bread cases made with plain white bread, pressed into tiny muffin tins and then baked. They can be made ahead and frozen. They can also be filled with all kinds of different ingredients and make a nice presentation. It really is a rather elegant hors d'oeuvre that can be made with very little labor.
Chef Kevin Wagner is chef/owner of “Cooking Solutions”, catering, teaching & consulting… providing gourmet food service and cooking advice to foodies everywhere. You can access his delicious recipes, cooking advice, menu information, and more on the web at www.cooking-solutions.com.
Complementary Wines: Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris, Riesling
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