I recently hosted a meet the candidates function at my house and sent out a request for appetizer recipes on this blog. I received some really good recipes and wanted to share some of them with you. This recipe for Mushroom Croustades has now become one of my favorites. The recipe came from my friend Lyla in Michigan. I wrote about her here. What I love about the mushroom croustades is that you can do everything ahead of time and just assemble and bake at the last minute. The shells are made from bread which is cut into rounds and fitted into 2″ muffin cups and baked until browned. They are then frozen until you are ready to use them. The mushroom filling can also be done ahead of time. What’s not to like about that? (I think I am channeling Ina. ) And they taste great and do not fall apart when you bite into them. There is nothing worse then standing around at a cocktail party balancing a drink and trying to eat crumbly food. Food needs to be easy to handle and be eaten in one or two bites. This is a definite winner. Thank you Lyla.
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
24 slices white bread (I used Pepperidge Farm Sandwich Bread)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat the inside of 24 (2 inch) muffin cups generously with the butter. Using a 2 1/2 inch plain round cutter, cut out a circle from each bread slice. Using fingertips, press a circle of bread gently but firmly into each muffin cup so that it fits snugy. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until bread is golden brown. Remove from oven and place each bread basket on a cooling rack. When cool place in zip lock bag and freeze. Without defrosting them, fill them with the mushroom mixture and bake following the directions to follow.
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, finely chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/3 cup finely snipped fresh chives
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablepoon butter, cut into tiny pieces (I skipped this)
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley leaves
In a large frying pan, melt the 4 tablespoons butter. Add shallots and cook three minutes stirring frequently. Add mushrooms, increase heat to moderately high and cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently until some water cooks out of mushrooms and is evaporated.
Remove skillet from heat. Sprinkle flour over mushrooms and stir in. Put skillet over moderate heat, gradually stir in cream and then cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and simmers for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in salt, cayenne, parsley, chives, and lemon juice. Allow to cool before filling croustades.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place frozen croustades on baking sheets. Fill each with a heaping tablespoon of the mushroom filling. Mound the filling slightly. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and dot with butter. Bake approximately 10 minutes or until heated and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with minced parsley leaves. Makes 24 Mushroom Croustades.