From Patti Londre, publisher of Worth The Whisk:
If ever in need of a mood lift, throw a dinner party that’s potluck. Invite an interesting mix of people, hand out food assignments early (quite easy: appetizer, side dish, salad, vegetable, dessert) – the host does the main entrée. Surprise! wine always seems to show up with the delicious eats.
Recently invited to a gathering of fellow high school classmates of my husband Larry’s, I felt the urge to go MUSHROOM. Larry attended an all-boy’s Catholic prep school, Loyola High, so “the guys” were going to be the main focus of the evening. And we all know, guys do like mushrooms. Grilled, stacked and stuffed, try these Grilled Mushroom and Ham Crostini appetizers.”
GRILLED MUSHROOM AND HAM CROSTINI
16 whole mushrooms, approx. 1 ½ inches in diameter
2/3 cup olive oil, divided
¼ teaspoon minced garlic
3 teaspoons stone ground mustard, divided
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 large baguette of bread (you will use approx. ¾ of the loaf)
1 cup diced ham
Fresh chives for garnish
Remove stems from mushrooms and carefully peel the caps (or brush with dry mushroom brush). Place cleaned mushrooms in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, blend together 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon mustard, garlic, and a little salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over mushrooms; gently mix around with a pastry brush to coat all inside and out. Set aside at room temperature for one hour.
In a small bowl, mix together ¼ cup mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon mustard. Refrigerate.
In another small bowl, mix diced ham with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon mustard, refrigerate.
Cut 16 one-inch slices of bread, use remaining olive oil to brush both sides of each piece very lightly. Heat grill to medium-hot; toast both sides of bread and remove to serving platter.
Grill the mushrooms starting with the smooth side down. Turn over and cook the interior of the mushrooms. You will see them darken in color and soften. Once cooked through, place on a paper towel to drain until cooled to room temperature.
To assemble: spread about ½ teaspoon mayo-mustard mix onto the toasted bread. Top with mushroom interior side-up. Fill mushroom with diced ham mixture, top with a tiny dollop of the mayo-mustard mix and affix fresh chives. Serve within an hour at room temperature, makes 16 appetizers.