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Stuffed Mushroom Crositini
Mushrooms on Naan Bread
Stuffed Mushroom Crostini
Light yet filling, this delicious dish can either be eaten as a refreshing snack or a satisfying meal. Inspired by my world famous Breakfast Mediterranean Style, OK well maybe not exactly famous but it tastes darn tootn' good! This dish will take your taste buds by storm. It has lots of bold flavors and could not be simpler to make. Great for a warm, summer's day it is a perfect dish for people that either can't cook or just don't like to. Simple and nutritious, everyone that tries this recipe will love it.
Cheap And Healthy
Two things that I love about this meal, aside from the great taste, is that it is very cheap to make and it is incredibly healthy. Packed with a number of so-called super foods like cilantro and mushrooms, this dish discredits the notion that if something tastes good then it can't be good for you.
It's vegetarian friendly too!
What Is A Crostini?
To put it simply, a crostini is a small piece of toasted bread. So, for this particular dish, it's a small piece of toasted bread with melted cheese on it and a mushroom on top that is stuffed with some tangy salsa type preparation. Great for a quick meal, with almost no actual cooking involved at all, non-cooks will add this recipe to their stable of regular meals.
- Nan Bread, (or lavash or pita bread or even English muffins)
- Cheese, something that melts and has zing. Smoky cheeses like smoked applewood don't work as well with this.
- Olives, black or green (I prefer green)
- Onion, white or red
- Mushrooms, Porcini or portobello
- Mint, fresh, preferably
- Paprika, smoked or sweet
- Lemon Juice, fresh delivers a better taste
- Thyme, fresh is best.
Rate This Dish
An alternative to creating the salsa type filling is to get a jar of Kimchi from your local grocery store, supermarket or Asian foods store. Kimchi is a pickled cabbage dish that is loaded with flavor and works well with this dish.
Marinate vs Marinade
Marinade is the liquid in which you soak the food. Marinate is the act of soaking the food substance in the liquid i.e. you marinate the food in the marinade. Hope that clears everything up.
Sautéing is a method of cooking that uses a small amount of oil or fat in a shallow pan over relatively high heat. The food being Sautéd is usually thinly sliced so that it cooks faster.
Sautéing is supposed to brown the food while preserving its texture, moisture and flavor. If meat, chicken, or fish is sautéed, the sauté is often finished by deglazing the pan's residue to make a sauce.
Mashed Potatoe Crostini
One of my absolute favorite toppings for crostinis is either mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower. Even better is Bubble and Squeak (recipe coming soon!) on crostinis. Mashed potatoes or cauliflower are extremely filling and easy to develop by adding things like peas, corn or carrots or, of course, mushrooms.
How to Make Stuffed Mushroom Crostinis
- Toast the Nan bread. I like to brush it with a little garlic oil for additional flavor but you don't have to. In fact, you could use butter or any flavored oil. To make garlic oil, just add a clove of fresh garlic and a little oil into the food processor. A dash of salt and pepper and a few seconds of blending and viola! Fresh made garlic oil. You could also buy it but wheres the fun in that?
- Prepare the stuffing. Chop up some olives, some onion, some tomato and some mint as well as cilantro and mix it all together. Add some lemon juice, salt and pepper and fresh thyme. Now I have never been a big fan of olives but I do like them this way because the mint seems to be a great counter-point for their flavor. Personally I prefer the green olives but black ones work too. Set it aside and let it marinate together for a while. I also like to add a little queso fresco or other salty, crumbly cheese into this stuffing but it also tastes wonderful without it.
- Cover the nan bread with cheese. It is preferably to use several different flavors of cheese, about three is perfect. Find cheeses with bold flavors that compliment each other, not bland hard cheeses that don't melt. Put the nan bread under the broiler (or you could zap it in the microwave if you must) and melt the cheese.
- When the cheeses are melted, take the nan bread out and sprinkle paprika on the meted cheese. I like smoked paprika but sweet paprika works very well too.
- Cut the nan bread into small crostinis big enough to serve as a 'plate' for the stuffed mushrooms. So if you got big mushrooms like a portobello then you'll need to cut larger crostinis.
- Saute the mushrooms. Heat a sauce pan and dollop some butter in it. You can also use oil or coconut oil if you prefer. When the butter is melted and sizzling, put the mushrooms in, top cap down. Spinkle on a little pepper but don't salt them until AFTER they are cooked because salt will draw out their water and they will steam in the pan instead of browning. Cook until the mushrooms take on a delicious, golden brown color. Then flip them over and cook the rim of the cap for a few minutes.
- Take the mushrooms out of the pan, put them top cap side down on the nan bread and fill them with the stuffing.
- Eat them. As they say in the Land Down Under, wrap your laughing gear around them and enjoy. Fresh, bright taste that will fill you up without making you feel stuffed and bloated.
Mushrooms & Chives
A tasty variation on this meal is mushrooms and chives. Simply saute the mushrooms in a little oil, put them on the crostini and sprinkle with salt, pepper and chives. Flavor Tip: for another layer of deliciousness, after you have sauted the mushrooms, add a little (white) whine and continue to cook the mushrooms until the wine has evaporated.
Simple, Delicious Party Appetizers
We've all been to a part or potluck where the so-called finger food are an open plastic container of store bought dip and some crackers but making tasty appetizers is actually very easy and they will taste far better than anything you can buy from the grocery store. Say goodbye to boring old meat and cheese platters and say hello to gourmet dining. Try serving some of the following crostinis a your next party and your friends will definitely be pleased and impressed.
Mushroom and Goat Cheese
Although the classic cheese and tomato still tastes great, it unfortunately gets a few raised eyebrows when served up at a party. Taken for granted and overlooked, this amazing flavor combination has a few quick and easy alternatives such as mushrooms and goat cheese. Playing against the earthy flavors of the sauted mushrooms, any creamy, spreadable cheese will work great but try goat cheese for a sophisticated alternative.
Tip: the meek cheese and tomato can be elevated to noble status simply by adding diced basil on top.
The famous British cucumber sandwich lends itself marvelously to crostini appetizers. Spread some Greek yogurt over the crostini and top it with a round of sliced cucumber. Sprinkle on some dill or even some fresh cilantro and you have just made one of the best finger foods anyone has ever tasted. Remember to use Greek yogurt because it is thick and spreads like cream cheese.
Greek yogurt comes in different flavors so experiment until you find the one you like the best.
Best Bread For Crostinis
Just like when you are making a burger or a sandwich, choosing the right bread is a vital part of getting the flavor right. For party appetizers your two best bets are to slice up a few of those thin, french bread sticks or buy a few boxes of those pre-sliced, cruton style breads.
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