In a few weeks one of my girlfriends is having a birthday cocktail party and I am helping her get it all together. It is not going to be too big, and we both love to cook and entertain, so it seemed natural that we would make all the goodies rather than cater.
A bonus when you do it yourself, you can splurge on better ingredients and better booze, rather than that extra going to someone bringing in the food.
And while the gathering will be intimate, it will be a bit decadent too. It is after all, a “big” birthday and smack in the middle of holiday season. And really, what’s wrong with a bit of simple, comforting decadence? Nothing, if you ask me!
One of the little nibbles we were thinking of is a truffled mushroom toast. My lady lives in Venice, and therefore Gjelina is obviously one of her faves. They have a fab-u-lous mushroom toast with hen of the woods, creme fraîche and truffles. Out of this world. So I wanted to channel that, but as a neat bite-size canape. (The real deal can be a huge, albeit good, mess).
Mushrooms and truffles go together beautifully – both woodsy and earthy, but while mushrooms (especially basic button and cremini) can be humble, a bit of truffle butter takes them over the top. Sliced truffles would add even more to that – but we aren’t going that far. Thankfully, truffle butter has actual bits of truffles, as opposed to the oil, which is just flavoring.
So this past weekend I did a trial run. Sliced the mushrooms super-thinly and sauteed them s-l-o-w-l-y with shallots, butter and oil. Once they were melt-in-your-mouth soft and golden, I took them off the heat and stirred in a touch of cream to make them more velvety and then a (good) bit of truffle butter (maybe a tablespoon).
Heavenly, I tell ya!
For the base, I cut triangles out of a rustic loaf, and baked them until slightly golden. I didn’t add butter or oil because I didn’t want it to compete with the goat cheese that was going to be added, and that may have been a mistake. Something was amiss.
As for the goat cheese, I folded in a bit of cream, to make it more spread-able and to tone down the tanginess of the cheese – to not fight with the silky mushrooms too much. Again – wasn’t quite right.
So – dear readers – please help. I know all the components are there and the truffled mushrooms are just right, but any ideas for the goat cheese crostini? How can it better compliment the mushrooms?
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!