French Appetizerfrench stuffed mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms
Champignon Farcis
(Makes 12 pieces)

Our mushrooms are stuffed with a savory filling of Gruyere cheese, walnuts and spinach.

2 T olive oil
1/2 C onion (finely chopped)
2 T walnuts (chopped)
1 clove garlic (crushed or minced)
5 oz. frozen chopped spinach (thawed)
1/4 C fresh dried breadcrumbs
2 oz. Gruyere-type cheese (grated) (see sidebar)
12 medium to large mushroom caps (cleaned, stems removed)

Thaw spinach and squeeze dry. Preheat oven to 400.

In a medium skillet, heat oil and sauté onion till soft. Add walnuts and garlic and cook 5 minutes longer, stirring. Add spinach, breaking up clumps and mixing evenly with onions, nuts, and garlic. Remove from heat, let cool for 10 minutes, then stir in cheese and dried breadcrumbs.

Spoon filling into mushrooms caps and place, filling side up, into lightly oiled baking dish.* Bake for 10 minutes in oven, till lightly browned and bubbly. Serve immediately.

*Alternatively, spoon stuffing into miniature puff pastry or tart shells.

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Tips & Glossary

Bouquet Garni: (boo-kay gar-nee) bundle of herbs tied together with string or wrapped in cheese cloth square; usually parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Flavor is released during long cooking.Remove before serving.

Chervil: (sher-vil) related to parsley but has a delicate anise flavor. Long cooking kills flavor, so add at the last minute.

Cornichon (kor-nee-shon) teeny-tiny pickle, served with pates & smoked meats; found in specialty food stores.

Fines Herbes: (feen-airb) mix of finely chopped herbs: parsley, chives, tarragon, & chervil. Not as strong as a bouqet garni. Buy it at most grocery stores.

Fromage: (fra-mahj) Cheese! The French eat more than any nationality, 45 pounds per capita per year; and the country makes more cheeses than any other country, about 400.

The three great pedigreed French cheeses are:
• Brie (East of Paris)
• Camembert (Normandy)
• Roquefort (Southwest France, from sheep’s milk)

There are also wonderful lesser-known cheeses:
• Beaufort (Rhone Alps, hard, yellow Gruyere-type)
• Chevre (Loire Valley, soft, goat’s milk)
• Comte (Alps region, hard, yellow Gruyere-type)
• Emmental (Alps region, “Swiss” cheese with holes)
• Gruyere (hard, yellow cheese—originally French, now most is Swiss)
• Tomme (means “cheese”; soft, many varieties, all from skim milk)

Herbes de Provence (airb-duh-pro-vonce): mix of dried herbs, usually thyme, rosemary, marjoram, basil, & bay leaf Can be found at most grocery stores.

Mutarde: (moo-tard), mustard. Most famous:
• Dijon ( from the town in Burgundy)
• Meaux (from Meaux, east of Paris; whole-grained; made by Pommery).

Nicoise Olive: (nee-swaz- oh-leev) small, purplish-black olive with a mellow, nutty flavor; used primarily in Salade Nicoise. The Picholine variety is a green, medium-sized olive with a light, nutty flavor.

Roux: (roo) paste-like mix of melted butter and flour, into which liquid is gradually added. The basis of every classic French sauce.
Basic Roux: 1 part butter to 1 part flour. Melt butter and add flour, stirring vigorously, till it becomes a paste-like consistency. At this point, add slowly whatever liquid your recipe calls for


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