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Shiitake Mushroom and Goat Cheese Toasts

Shiitake Mushroom and Goat Cheese Toasts

From: Chef Cindy Pawlcyn, Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen, St. Helena, CA. Yield: 6 servings.

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

4 tsp. butter

2 shallots, thinly sliced into rounds

4 cups fresh shiitake mushrooms, quartered lengthwise and carefully cleaned

to taste, salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

¼ cup Calvados, Madeira or Cognac

¼ lb. fresh goat cheese

2 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream or half-and-half

6 slices rustic country bread, each ⅓" thick

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat the olive oil and 2 tsp. butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring for 3-5 minutes, until they begin to caramelize. Add the mushrooms and saute, stirring occasionally for 8-10 minutes, until tender. Sprinkle to taste with salt and pepper. When mushrooms start to caramelize and give off juices, add thyme and saute for 1 minute more. Stir in Cavados and remaining 2 tsp. butter; keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.

In a bowl, mix goat cheese together with whipping cream to make it spreadable. Toast or grill bread; smear each slice with a nice layer of creamy goat cheese and place on serving plates. Pour mushroom sauce over, sprinkle with parsley and serve at once.