Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mushroom Duxelles on Bruschetta

Earlier in the month I used meaty portobello mushrooms in a savory appetizer.  The wonderful thing about mushrooms is how many different kinds abound, and their incredible versatility in terms of preparation.  In stark contrast to the meatiness of portobello, this dish features mushrooms chopped into a duxelles - a preparation of minced mushrooms and herbs that cooks nearly down to a paste - perfect for spreading on toasted baguette slices.  For your history lesson of the evening, the preparation is said to be named for the Marquis d'Uxelles, after his chef made him the dish.  Although I used shiitake and cremini, you can play around with different combinations of mushrooms.

  • 16 (1/2-inch thick) diagonally cut slices French bread baguette
  • 4 cups cremini mushrooms
  • 4 cups shiitake mushroom caps
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons plain non-dairy creamer
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1. To start, toast the baguette.  You have two options for doing so: Either place directly on a grill rack and grill for 1 minute on each side, or place on a baking sheet and broil for the same amount of time on each side.  I prefer the broiler method, as I find that it yields toast slices with the exact right crunch.

2. Meanwhile, place the cremini and shiitake mushrooms in a food processor and pulse about 10 times, until finely chopped.

3. Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute for 10 minutes; most of the liquid rendered from the mushrooms should be evaporated.  Add the parsley, creamer, thyme, salt, and black pepper, and cook for a final 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons duxelles onto each bread slice. 

This appetizer is best served immediately.

Nutrition Info:
8 servings (2 toast slices, 2 tablespoons duxelles), Calories 117 

Tasting Notes:
I loved the consistency of the duxelles - indeed, even knowing that a "paste" was to be expected, I was surprised and pleased with the texture.  Despite great mushroom flavor, I disappointingly found the rest of the preparation a touch bland; I would use more garlic, more herbs, and a touch more salt.  Although the baguette slices were great, you could easily skip and serve this on store-bought crackers to save time


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