California Central Coast Recipes
Sauteed Mushrooms on Grilled Crostini
I always wondered what was the difference between a Bruschetta like Fresh Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta
and a Crostini. They are both slices of a grain based "loaf" and grilled. I finally found the answer from a good Italian friend, Bruschetta is always a slice of grilled rustic bread. A crostini on the other hand can be bread or something else like a slice of Polenta as is the case here.
When polenta crostini is grilled, it has a nice, slightly crisp top and a creamy center. It is a very easy but elegant "base" for an appetizer or even an entree like Rock Cornish Game Hens Balsamico
The Mushroom topping is very quick and simple and complements the crostini very well. If you are not concerned with the fat content, add the little extra enrichment butter for a little more complex taste - there is something special about the relationship of butter and mushrooms!
Preparation time: 10 minutesCooking time: 15 minutes
4 slices Basic Polenta , about 1/2 inch thick
6 ounces Mushrooms , preferable Italian Brown type
2 Tablespoons Shallots , chopped
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoons Fresh Thyme , finely chopped
1 Tablespoons Italian Parsley , chopped
1/4 cup Brandy
1/2 cup Dry White Wine.
Salt and Pepper , to taste
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1 Pre-heat the broiler to broiling temperature.
2 Clean the mushrooms and slice into "T" shaped slices.
3 Place the Polenta Slices (crostini) on a broiler pan. Bush the top of the crostini with a little extra-virgin olive oil.
4 Place the crostini under the broiler for 5 minutes or until the crostini tops are lightly browned on the edges. There is no need to flip and brown the bottom side. Put the crostini aside but keep warm.
5 Now for the topping. Heat the olive in a non-stick saute pan over medium heat until the oil becomes fragrant. Add the the chopped shallots and saute until just translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes.
6 Add the Mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms give off their liquid, abut 5 minutes. If the Mushrooms seem very dry, you can add a little extra olive oil. Add the chopped thyme, and continue to cook a minute or so longer.
7 When the mushrooms have shrunk and completely given off their liquid, turn off the heat to the pan and carefully add the brandy. Turn the heat back on, and reduce the brandy to allow the alcohol to evaporate.
8 De-glaze the pan with the white wine, and turn up the heat to reduce the liquid by half.
9 Add the chopped parsley and butter if you are using it to the pan, and mix well.
10 To serve, place a grilled crostini on individual warm plates, spoon some of the Mushroom mixture on top of the crostini and serve immediately.
This is a very wine neutral recipe, it goes with just about anything, except a sweet wine.
If you are following the appetizer with a course that will be served a white wine you can use the same wine, or Fume Blanc.
If you are following the appetizer with a course that will be served a red wine you can use the same wine, or a young Cabernet Sauvignon.