Mushroom Croustades



For the Croustades:
24 slices fresh, thinly sliced white bread
2 Tbsp very soft butter
Generously coat the insides of the cups of a mini-muffin pan with the butter. Use a cookie cutter (or an empty tin of the appropriate size) to cut rounds from the bread slices. Carefully fit the rounds into the muffin cups, pressing the bottoms down well and molding the sides with your fingers to form perfect little cups. Bake the croustades at 400°F for about 10 minutes, until browned lightly. Remove from the pan and let cool.
Mushroom Duxelles Filling:
4 Tbsp butter
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 lbs mushrooms, finely chopped
In a heavy frying pan, over moderate heat, melt the butter until the foam subsides. Stir in the green onions, and keep stirring for 3-4 minutes without letting them brown. Add the chopped mushrooms to the pan, stir well to be sure they are all coated with butter then leave them on their own. When they start to give off a lot of moisture, stir them occasionally, and let them continue to cook until all the moisture has evaporated -- about 10-15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 1/2 Tbsp fine chopped chives
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms, stirring until it has disappeared. Pour the cream over and stirring continuously, bring to a boil. It will thicken heavily. Reduce heat to a bare simmer and cook a minute or two longer. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the herbs and seasonings, transfer to a covered bowl and refrigerate until you are ready to use.
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Ten minutes or so before you want to serve them, fill the croustades with the duxelles, sprinkle with cheese and dot with butter and heat in a 350°F oven.
Croustades can be made any time and frozen. They keep well in the freezer, can be filled while still frozen and heated as instructed above, just before serving.
The mushroom duxelles can be used as the base for a delicious soup, as a sauce for pasta, or a sauce for a pork chop casserole, or any other use you can imagine. This is one of those truly classic recipes that can be adapted in a multitude of ways.
Makes 24 appetizers from Michael Field's Cooking School cookbook, 1965, George J. McLeod Limited, Toronto