The flavor inspiration for these little morsels came from one of Hollywood's oldest restaurants, Musso and Frank Grill. My husband took me
there a few months ago and we ordered their Mushrooms on Toast appetizer. The mushrooms were prepared in a red wine reduction sauce and served in a mini cast iron skillet topped with Roquefort Cheese and French bread. It was an amazingly delicious dish. I remarked to my husband that I'd like to try something like these mushrooms for the blog but, I was worried about how to photograph them and make them look as delicious as they tasted. The dark mushrooms in the dark reduction sauce would be problematic for a blog photo. Afterall, you can't taste the food on a blog, so the picture needs to make you want to make it and then eat it.
So I came up with a sort of deconstructed Mushrooms on Toast Appetizer. I decided to forgo the red wine reduction for a balsamic reduction butter sauce and I replaced the toast with a toasted garlic panko bread crumb with crumbled bleu cheese. The balsamic buttered mushrooms and roasted garlic sit on a small bed of crumbs so that when the kabob is picked up, the crumbs stick to the buttered mushroom, giving it just a hint of toast and bleu cheese. It's a delicious combination of flavors and the crunchy texture of the bread crumbs gives it the wow-factor!
I love Halloween and Halloween inspired appetizers but this recipe, just like all my Halloween recipes can be a regular appetizer. Just skip the part where you make the mushroom into skulls. :)
Happy (...early!) Halloween!
Death Cap KabobsMakes 6-8 Kabobs
1 lb crimini mushrooms, cut into skulls
6-8 cloves roasted garlic
2 T balsamic butter reduction
6-8 T bleu cheese panko crumble
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare Roasted Garlic and Balsamic Butter Sauce and Panko Crumble first and set aside.
Quick Roasted Garlic
8-10 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 T olive oil
Preheat oven 375 degrees.
Wrap garlic cloves in foil drizzled with olive oil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in foil.
Balsamic Butter Reduction
1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 t brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
Put the vinegar in a small saucepan. Simmer until approximately 3T remain. Turn off heat. Add butter and brown sugar and let sit until melted stirring until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
Unused butter can be stored in the refrigerator for a week and can be used on vegetables and pasta.
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 T butter
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t dried parsley
1 T crumbled bleu cheese
In a small skillet, melt butter and add panko bread crumbs, parlsey and garlic powder. Toast crumbs for about 5-8 minutes on medium heat, taking care not to burn them. Allow to cool completely before adding the bleu cheese. Set aside.
Skulls: Use a large straw to make the eyes of the skulls and a paring knife to cut out the nose. Use the tip of the knife to score the stem to make the teeth. Trim the stem if it is too long.
Bring a large pot of water to boil and blanche the mushrooms for 2-3 minutes. This will shrink up the mushrooms a little and allow them to stay plump when roasting in the oven. Otherwise they will wrinkle up.
Transfer mushrooms to a cookie sheet with a rack. Roast for 5 minutes. Toss mushrooms in a bowl and coat with balsamic butter. Assemble kabobs, starting with a roasted garlic and then a mushroom. Place 6-1 T of bread crumb/cheese mixture on a serving platter or in small salt and pepper plates, like I did below and top with the kabob. Serve immediately.
Check out more delicious Halloween dishes by clicking here.