Here is a little appetizer I threw together one night last week for the evening menu for our guests at Eaton Hall. A few croutons, a fricassee of mushrooms and some brie cheese is all that is required to make this fast, simple and decadent dish. Pictured here is a single portion, but several could be combined on one plate for sharing with friends with a nice bottle of wine
- The croutons were cut from a French stick and were brushed with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, sea salt and pepper. They were then toasted in a 350 degree oven until crisp.
- The mushroom fricassee is a simple combination of butter, white wine, minced garlic, slivered shallots, julienne of white onion, shitake mushrooms*, fresh tarragon, chopped flat leaf parsley, sea salt and pepper. The butter is melted in a pan at a high heat, The mushrooms are added next and sauteed until golden. The garlic, shallot and onion are next into the pan and are cooked out until softened and aromatic. White wine is added - and perhaps a few knobs of butter - to make a small amount of sauce for the croutons to soak up. The fricassee is finished off with the tarragon, sea salt, pepper and chopped parsley.
- The hot fricassee is spooned over the croutons. Here I have used three croutons per portion. A thin wedge of French brie cheese is laid over the mushrooms and is then glazed under the salamander. A broiler or a blow torch can be used for softening and browning the cheese as well.
Note: *If possible try to use some nice woodland mushrooms in this dish. My personal choice would be chantrelles, but others would work equally well too.
There you have it - fast, simple and damn tasty!