Inadvertently, I’ve made a few meals recently that I realized are not only healthy, but actually coincide well with the Thanksgiving holiday. You could certainly make the Tomato-Basil bread pudding as an alternative to Stove Top stuffing. And despite the fact that Boyfriend and I simply ate these as our dinner one night, these Mushroom and Goat Cheese Tapas would be great to serve if entertaining your family or having a small gathering for Turkey Day.
Cookbooks for parties and large dinners, like “Great Gatherings-Star Chefs Entertain at Home,” which is where we found this recipe, have ended up being very useful for me. “Great Gatherings” is full of dishes that are perfectly large enough to be doled out at a packed dinner table. So when occasions and holidays that warrant tons of eating roll around, the books get lots of use. In addition to that, having recipes on hand that make one very large portion, which can be slowly eaten by one or two people throughout the week, proves their use on non-holiday times of the year. Now, I wouldn’t fully assemble these tapas and eat them throughout the week. But you could make the mushroom mixture, reheat the next day or after, and put on top goat cheese and bread or baguette slices.
However or whenever you decide to serve these, I don’t think you (or your guests) will be disappointed. Unless you really despise mushrooms. However, The Bf normally hates mushrooms, yet he devoured these tapas. For him, it’s a texture issue, but the creaminess of the goat cheese and the toughness and crunch of the bread significantly lessens that squeaky chewiness from the mushrooms that he hates.
If I was hosting Thanksgiving Dinner this year, these would be on the menu. Prep and cooking is not hard or time-consuming, thus leaving enough time and energy for more arduous dishes. Not to mention it’s a delicious recipe. I just loved the spiciness of the paprika mixed with the goat cheese’s tartness. There are many strong flavors that go into this dish, the combination of which should make your palate open up and stand at attention, ready for whatever is served next.
Chef Elizabeth Brown’s Mushroom & Goat Cheese Tapas
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound large cremini or button mushrooms, trimmed and quartered through the stem end
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/3 cup dry sherry
- 1/4 teaspoon Spanish hot smoked paprika (I didn’t have Spanish paprika on hand; regular works just fine here)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Minced zest of 1/2 lemon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 pound fresh goat cheese (I tried this with Laughing Cow Swiss and shaved Parmesan and both also tasted yummy)
- 16 slices baguette (we used a whole-grain baguette and it tasted great with everything else)
Directions (adapted slightly)
Slice baguette and spread the goat cheese on top of each piece. Set aside.
In a large saute pan, melt the butter with olive oil over medium-high heat. When the butter froths, add the mushrooms and cook, tossing and stirring frequently, until just cooked through and beginning to brown. This will take 3-5 minutes. My mushrooms ended up browning quicker than my timer set at 4 minutes, so just watch them carefully while continually stirring. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer, or until fragrant. Add the sherry, paprika, parsley, and lemon zest, toss to combine, and stir for 30 seconds, or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
Take the pan off the heat and spoon about a tablespoon of the mushroom mixture on top of the baguette slices. Or, you can pour the mushroom mixture into a deep bowl or dish and have guests spoon the mixture onto their cheese and bread.