The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

12:46 PM

What's on the side? Mini Mushroom Croustades

Posted by Magic of Spice

Mini Caramelized Mushroom Croustades
with Spiced Liqueur & Balsamic Glaze

To start off, I hope everyone had a lovely Holiday and are now looking
 forward to a wonderful New Year... I am sure that many of you may be
celebrating the end of this decade with food, loved ones and friends...
So today we will be preparing Croustade.
If you are unfamiliar, Croustade [kroo-stahd] is a French term for an edible
container, typically of pastry and then filled with savory ingredients or sweets.

I prepared these mini hors d'œuvre or appetizers over the Holidays and of
course they can be filled with a variety of  lovely ingredients. For these particular
croustades I had some organic Bunashimeji or Beach mushrooms, and decided
to caramelize them along with some shallots. And since ricotta basically makes
everything better, I have paired the two flavors together here. To top these off we
are going to make a glaze of balsamic and B&B liqueur. If you are not familiar with
this liqueur...B&B Liqueur is a delicate blend of spiced Benedictine Liqueur
 and fine French Cognac. And for a non-alcoholic version you could easily
replace the liqueur with an apple cider and still retain a similar flavor. 

What you will need:
*Note: This recipe is based on approximately 
8 mini croustades

For the glaze
1/4 cup high quality balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup B&B liqueur
Reduction pan or pan with high flared sides

For the filling
1/2 pound bunashimeji mushrooms
2-3 medium shallots
2 tablespoons butter
a splash or two of B&B liqueur
Freshly ground pepper
8 tablespoons ricotta cheese

For the pastry cups
9 sheets phyllo dough
melted butter for basting
pastry brush
mini muffin tin

Let's get cooking:

For the glaze
Place balsamic and liqueur or cider in a small reduction pan.
Bring liquid to a low boil then quickly reduce heat to low.
Continue to simmer on low until your liquid begins to have a
syrupy consistency and is reduced to about 1/4th. This should
take about 40 minutes. Note: Time for glaze will depend on both
the amount of liquid used as well as the size of pan used.
So adapt accordingly, and if using cider allow for a longer
 reduction time. And will thicken as it cools.
This can be made ahead of time and stored in a jar or
squeeze bottle and reheated in container with warm water.
This recipe should yield about 1/8th cup.

For the mushrooms and shallots
Melt butter in a medium sauté pan, then add shallots and mushrooms.
Continue to sauté over medium/high heat until shallots begin to brown.
Add a few plashes of your liqueur of sider for non-alcoholic version.
Continue to heat, stirring frequently until your liquid is reduced to thickened
sauce. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl, set aside.

For the pastry cups
Thaw phyllo dough as instructed on package.
You will want to work quickly and using three sheets at
a time. Place one sheet on a clean working surface and
brush with melted butter. Take second sheet and repeat the
process, then lay atop of first sheet. Now repeat with the
third sheet. Cut the stack into equal thirds. Now take each third
and cut in half. You can now take 2 of these halves and stack
buttered side down on top of each other...creating 8 points.

Get this look:
Taking a prepared mini muffin tin, place squares buttered side down
into muffin tin. Now add about 1 tablespoon of ricotta then equal amount of
caramelized mushrooms and shallots. Once you have filled your pastry cups
take the upper portions of your dough and squeeze together over the filling.
With culinary shears cut of excess dough above the filling.
Starting in the center fan out dough in a similar pattern a a flower blooming.
Continue this process until desired amount of pastry cups are created

Brush tops with additional butter and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven.
Bake until edges have browned, approximately 10 minutes or so.
Drizzle with glaze and serve warm ;)

Alisha~Magic of Spice

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