Recipe for Mushroom Croustades


4 wholemeal cottage loaf rolls
1 lb small cap mushrooms
1/4 pint double cream
3 oz butter
1 small garlic clove
1 fresh rosemary


Cut the knobs off the rolls and reserve as lids. Scoop out most of the crumb from the rolls, taking care not to pierce the crusts. Crush the garlic with a pinch of salt, about 1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary and a good grinding of black pepper. Mash these flavourings into 2 1/2 oz butter and spread it thickly over the insides of the hollowed-out rolls.

Season the cream generously with salt and pepper, add 1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary and leave in a cool place to infuse. Slice the mushrooms thickly, and heat the oven to 400 F (200 C) gas mark 6.

Sit the rolls on a baking tray and put the lids beside them. Bake for 10 minutes until heated through and slightly crisp. Meanwhile heat a large frying pan. Add 1/2 oz butter (don't be tempted to use more) and, when the foam dies down, saute the mushrooms. Cook them, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes to reduce them and intensify their flavour. Pour on the cream and let it bubble up for a few seconds. Turn and stir the mushrooms for a minute or so until every slice is coated with the scant but richly flavoured sauce.

Away from the heat, check and adjust seasoning. Pile the creamy mixture into the freshly baked croustades, top with the lids and serve straight away with a large green (or tomato) salad on the side.

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