It’s no big secret that I have a full-on love affair with The Pioneer Woman. I watch the show every chance I get. On a recent episode, Ree dedicated a whole segment to the popularity of “toasts.” As of late, toast topped with various ingredients are becoming rather popular, not only for the home cook, but on many restaurant menus and especially food trucks. I guess the appeal is that they are easy to prepare, extremely easy on the wallet, and completely filling. I, for one, can make a complete meal on bread! Additionally, with toasts, each individual taste can be satisfied.
Being that I am on a mushroom kick, lately, I wanted to try my hand at these toasts and see what I could come up with. Little did I know that I would be piecing together the most delicious thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. I’m serious!
Now, my ex wife follows my blog. She loves mushrooms. We were together for 10 years and she endured 10 years of me bitching about mushrooms in her recipes. She watched for 10 years as I picked mushrooms out of whatever she had prepared. I recall how she loved to put mushrooms in spaghetti sauce and I would hoot and holler and howl all the way through dinner. And, I’d love to say that she quietly sat by and said nothing, but, darling, that wasn’t the case! (Right, Tanya?) I know exactly what she’s going to say when she reads this; it will go something like this: “What a contrary bitch!”
You see, I have found, after 39 years on this earth, that I love mushrooms as long as they are cooked my way. Oh, and I will only eat cremini mushrooms.
Cremini mushrooms are meaty and unlike other mushroom varieties that I’ve tried, do not have a slightly slimy texture. I’ve learned that cremini mushrooms are basically portobello mushrooms which are harvested before the cap has opened. Now, I’ll have to try portobello mushrooms as well!
When I prepare mushrooms, I like to sauté them in a little butter until they are a deep colour and have shrunk tremendously in size. Personally, I feel this adds to the meat-like consistency because the cooking process releases the moisture and allows the mushroom to take on a wonderful flavour.
When I arrived home from work yesterday and started to think about dinner, the idea of combining sautéed mushrooms with toast was all I could think of. I got to work sautéing the mushrooms in some butter with a little black pepper. I cooked them until they turned a deep, woody colour.
While they were cooking, I prepared the spread for my toasts.
It was very simple really. I added all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl, with the exception of the mushrooms. I stirred the ingredients together and allowed the mixture to sit a room temperature. When the mushrooms finished cooking, I removed them from the pan and allowed them to cool completely. Because I worry about the presentation of my food, I painstakingly sorted through the cooked mushrooms and separated the broken and smaller bits from the whole slices. The “nice” pieces I kept for topping my toasts with, while the rest I stirred into the cheese mixture.
Next, I sliced some bread. I used these toasts as a meal, so I used a larger bread, but you can certainly use a baguette if you are planning to use these toasts as an appetizer. I toasted the bread on a large sheet pan under the broiler, flipped the bread over and toasted the second side as well. I allowed the bread to cool slightly and then I spread the cheese mixture onto each toast. I used the spread rather generously.
Lastly, I topped the toasts with the “nice” mushroom slices which I had reserved and placed the entire sheet pan back in the oven and carefully watched while the cheese began to bubble and brown. Don’t burn the toasts, obviously, but keep them under the broiler until you are satisfied with the colour. You will also want to make sure the cheeses are melted all the way through if you decide to be generous with the spread like I was.
Lastly, you can double this recipe depending on how many toasts you need to prepare. The measurements listed below in the ingredients list will easily make 10-12 baguette slices.
That’s about as easy as it gets! In my humble opinion, you’ve got a complete meal on your hands. Of course, you can serve these up any which way you like. They might be good served with a mushroom soup or even a small portion of pasta. Either way, these toasts will be the highlight of your meal. Trust the guy who ate two of these even though he doesn’t like mushrooms. 😉
- bread (as many slices as you need)
- 2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup Havarti cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup Swiss cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon dehydrated onion flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup green onions, sliced