Wild Mushrooms with Madeira Cream on Goat Cheese Croutons
(Yield: 4 servings)
Goat Cheese Croutons:
¼ cup fresh goat cheese, softened to room temperature
1 tbsp butter, softened
4 slices whole grain bread
2 tbsp shallots, finely chopped
1 cup Madeira
1 cup Heavy Cream
½ pound wild mushrooms, preferably oyster, shiitakes and/or chanterelles but any will do
2 tbsp butter
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper
2 tsp snipped fresh chives, plus extra for garnish (and/or fresh parsley)
First, prepare the goat cheese croutons. In a small bowl, use a fork to combine the goat cheese and butter. Lightly toast the bread. Spread equal portions of the goat cheese mixture on the toast. Trim the crusts and cut the squares in half to make triangles. The toasts will have a cleaner edge if you trim the crusts after spreading on the goat cheese mixture. Set aside to broil just before serving.
To make the Madeira cream, simmer the shallots and Madeira in a small saucepan until the liquid is reduced to ¼ cup. Add the cream, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer 5 – 10 minutes, until the cream thickens slightly. Set aside.
Turn on the broiler to heat while you cook the mushrooms. Remove the tough stems from the mushrooms and discard. Slice or tear the mushrooms into pieces. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is bubbling but not browned, add the mushrooms and cook until they’re golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic first and then the Madeira cream. Turn the heat to high and boil for about 2 minutes, until the mushrooms have absorbed most of the cream. Season with salt and pepper and fold in the chives.
Broil the croutons until bubbly and lightly browned. Arrange on plate and spoon mushroom cream over top. Sprinkle with remaining chives to garnish.