If you like the idea of hot, buttery, garlicky mushrooms smothered in gooey melted cheese then you’ll love this wickedly good appetizer.
English Stilton cheese is mouthwateringly tangy but you could use any good blue cheese such as Gorgonzola or Roquefort if you can’t find the real thing.
It’s really easy to make and I’ll occasionally eat this on its own for supper with some really good, crusty wholegrain bread to soak up the delicious sauce – followed by a green salad with a lemony dressing, just to balance things out.
You can use any button mushroom – I like the crimini/baby portabella/brown chestnut variety as they tend to have more flavor that the white champignons.
The recipe says ‘for two’ but as it’s rather rich, it could stretch to 4 as an appetizer.
SAUTEED MUSHROOMS with GARLIC & MELTED STILTON CHEESE
8 oz (228g) of button mushrooms, stalks trimmed, wiped clean and quartered
8 oz (228g) of English Blue Stilton, crumbled to fill one cup (240ml) measure
2 fat cloves of garlic, crushed through a garlic press or finely minced
1 tablespoon (15ml) of unsalted butter
1/3 cup (80ml) of heavy cream or crème fraiche
A good handful of chopped flat leaf parsley to finish
Chunks of wholegrain crusty bread for dunking
Preheat the oven to 425F (220C)
In a heavy skillet, heat the butter over a moderately high heat and sauté the mushrooms until golden, stirring frequently for 2-4 minutes.
Add the garlic and cream and simmer gently until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes, then season with freshly ground black pepper and a small amount of sea salt – the cheese will be slightly salty so be careful not to overdo the salt (the mushrooms can be done ahead to this point – cover and chill for up to 24 hrs).
Divide the mushrooms and their sauce between two shallow, one-cup (240ml) gratin dishes and top with the crumbled Stilton.
Place on a baking sheet and bake in the center of the preheated oven until the cheese is melted and bubbling – approx 8 minutes.
Scatter with lots of freshly chopped parsley to serve.
It will be difficult to resist but allow it to cool slightly before you eat it otherwise you’ll scald your palate!