Mushroom Croustades Recipe
This mushroom croustades recipe is great when you’re throwing a party. They are always such a bit hit… and any leftover duxelle (fancy name for mushroom filling) may be used as a delicious topping for potatoes, eggs or on top of a filet mignon.
The “cups” which are often referred to as “croustades” in other recipes and are little bread cases made with round slices of soft white bread that are pressed into tiny muffin tins and slowly toasted so they hold their cup-like shape. Filled with a creamy, herb-flavored mixture based on the classic mushroom “duxelles”, they are an elegant cocktail horse d’oeuvre that requires very little labor. However, your friends and family will think you are quite the “gourmet!” This recipe is easily doubled for larger parties or to be frozen for those last minute entertaining opportunities.
- 24 slices fresh, thinly-sliced white bread (Believe it or not, Wonder works the best – bad bread works better than good bread – however, Whole Foods white bread in the bakery does work if you’re a snob and don’t want anyone to see Wonder in your shopping cart)
- 2 tablespoons very soft butter
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
- 3/4 lbs pound button or crimini mushrooms (finely chopped)
- 2 level tablespoons of flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley (you may want to add more)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3-4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (may want more)
For 24 cups, you need a 3-inch plain or fluted cookie cutter and 24 tine muffin tins, each about 2 inches wide at the top. You can buy them, usually combined in panels of twelve in most hardware stores or possibly Williams-Sonoma.
With a pastry brush, coat the inside of the tins heavily with the 2 tablespoons of soft butter. Cut a 3-inch round from each slice of bread. Carefully fit these into the muffin tins, pushing the center of the bread into the well and gently molding it around the botton of the tin with the tip of your finger (if you have a small wooden pestle or small round bottle slightly smaller than the bottom of the muffin tin, use this to force the bread in, but don’t be rough or the bread will tear. Each bread round, however you mold it, should form a perfect little cup.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake the cups for about 10 minutes, or until the brown lightly on the rims and on the outsides. Remove them from the tins and let them cool.
The mushroom filling is made as follows:
Chop the shallots and mushrooms very, very fine. In a heavy 10-inch frying pan, slowly melt the 4 tablespoons of butter and, before the foam subsides, add the shallots. Stir them almost constantly, over moderate heat, for about 4 minutes without letting them brown; then stir in the mushrooms. Mix them well into the butter and see that they are thoroughly coated before leaving them on their own. In a few minutes they will begin to give off a good deal of moisture. Stir them now from time to time, and continue to cook until all the moisture has evaporated – 10 to 15 minutes. Then remove the pan from the heat.
To finish the filling, sprinkle 2 level tablespoons of flour over the mushrooms and stir thoroughly together until not a trace of flour is visible. Immediately pour over this 1 cup of heavy cream and, stirring the whole time, bring the mixture to a boil. It will thicken heavily, turn down the heat to the barest simmer, and cook a minute or two longer to remove any taste of raw flour. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the seasonings and herbs; salt, cayenne, parsley, chives and lemon juice. Taste, transfer the filling to a bowl. Cover with saran and cool in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble them.
Fill the cups, mound the filling slightly. Sprinkle each with Parmesan cheese, dot with a speck of butter and arrange on a cookie sheet. Heat about 10 minutes in a preheated 350° oven (do this about 10 minutes before you intend to serve them); Watch them carefully as they burn easily.