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Gail’s Croustades

ReneeRenee Gleason

These are a great appetizer and I made them a lot as a Christmas starter. They were always little Steve’s favorite. You can use all kinds of fillings, but these two are my first choices.

servings:Filling and shells enough for about 60 croustades


Croustade Shells
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (much less--about a half a cup or less)
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 loaf sourdough bread (must be very fresh), sliced
Spinach and Ham Filling
  • 2 Tbl unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 Tbl all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp Dijon (less)
  • 3 Tbl brandy
  • One 10-oz package frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry, and pureed.
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped ham (less than 1/4 lb)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • Ground white pepper and freshly grated nutmeg to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan (sprinkled over the top of each croustade before baking)
Asparagus and Mushroom Filling
  • 3 Tbl unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbl mined fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbl minced shallots
  • about a 1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 Tbl all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Madeira (can use Sherry)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (can use light)
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed, minced and blanched about 3 minutes
  • Grated muenster, teleme, jack, gruyere or havarti, to taste
  • Salt, ground white pepper, fresh lemon juice, dried thyme, and freshly grated nutmeg to taste
Gail’s Croustades photo


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    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

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    2. Combine the olive oil with the garlic and salt in a food processor fitted with the metal blade, or in a blender or a bowl.

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    3. Roll the bread slices out with a rolling pin then cut out 4 rounds from each slice with a 2 inch round cookie cutter.

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    4. Brush the rounds with the oil and press them into mini-muffin tins.

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    5. Bake until completely crisp, about 15 minutes.

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    **Can store in an airtight container for up to 1 week, or can freeze for up to 6 months. No thawing is needed.**

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    1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When it begins to foam, add the garlic and onions and cook, stirring, until tender. Do not brown.

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    2. Whisk in the flour. Cook for 1 minute without browning.

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    3. Whisk in the cream, mustard, and brandy and cook until thickened.

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    4.Stir in the remaining ingredients, except the parmesan, and cook, stirring, until the cheese melts and the flavors develop. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

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    1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. When it begins to foam, add the parsley, shallots, and mushrooms and cook until tender. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for a minute.

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    2. Stir in the Madeira and cream and simmer until the cream reduces and the sauce thickens.

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    3. Stir in the asparagus, cheese, and seasonings and cook until the cheese melts.

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    Fill croustade shells with filling. Either place under a preheated broiler for a few minutes or bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes.


Fillings can be made up to 3 days in advance, refrigerated, or frozen for up to 3 months. Can assemble croustades up to 3 hours in advance, left at room temperature.



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