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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.
FOR THE CROUSTADE SHELLS:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
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.
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.
4. Brush the rounds with the oil and press them into mini-muffin tins.
5. Bake until completely crisp, about 15 minutes.
**Can store in an airtight container for up to 1 week, or can freeze for up to 6 months. No thawing is needed.**
FOR THE SPINACH AND HAM FILLING:
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.
2. Whisk in the flour. Cook for 1 minute without browning.
3. Whisk in the cream, mustard, and brandy and cook until thickened.
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.
FOR THE ASPARAGUS AND MUSHROOM FILLING:
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.
2. Stir in the Madeira and cream and simmer until the cream reduces and the sauce thickens.
3. Stir in the asparagus, cheese, and seasonings and cook until the cheese melts.
TO ASSEMBLE AND BAKE CROUSTADES:
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.
Source:Gail Giufre Pirodsky
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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