After I made citrus peel that was such a gourmet trend back in the 70’s I thought I would post another recipe from that era. And it’s one I mentioned in that same blog post where proficient home cooks wouldn’t just serve something from a jar, or even serve a pickled onion and cube of cheese stabbed onto a toothpick left dangling from an orange, but would actually create their own appetisers.
A recipe I remember my mother serving was toast cups. These are fairly simple to make and you can make them in a variety of flavours like chicken, tuna and parsley, or cheese, bacon and tomato. I’ve made vegetarian toast cups using mushrooms and asparagus.
The toast cups are fairly inexpensive to make, use easy-to-source ingredients and can be made in advance and then re-heated prior to serving. As they are served straight from the oven, do warn your guests that the filling can retain a lot of heat.
I’ve seen other versions where the bread is cut into rounds but I prefer squashing square bread into a round hole as it gives a much more interesting (and irregular) shape to the end result.
If you’re thinking of hosting a 70’s party, I think these toast cups would be absolutely ideal. Even better in a range of flavours. So crank up Neil Diamond’s Hot August Night and Don McLean’s Starry Starry Night and cook like it’s 1972.
- 1½ cups milk
- 6 black peppercorns
- 1 shallot (spring onion), roughly sliced
- 30gm butter
- 2 onions finely sliced
- 175gm mushrooms, sliced
- 60gm butter plus extra
- ¼ cup plain flour
- 1 cup tasty cheese
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 340gm can asparagus spears drained and cut into 2cm pieces
- 18 slices of white bread, crusts removed
- 1 bunch chives
- Preheat oven to 180C (375F).
- In a small saucepan combine milk, peppercorns and shallots. Bring to the boil then allow to stand for 5 minutes.
- In a medium sized saucepan, melt butter (30gm) then add onions. Cook until translucent then add mushrooms and cook until soft. Remove mixture and set aside.
- Using the same saucepan and over medium heat, melt butter (60gm) and heat until foaming. Add flour and stir until smooth. Gradually stir in strained milk and allow to boil and thicken. Add cheese and stir until melted.
- Add sour cream, asparagus and mushroom mixture. Season, then stir until well combined.
- Gently flatten each slice of bread with a rolling pin.
- Melt extra butter and lightly grease 2 muffin tins.
- Place bread slices into muffin tins then place in the oven for a couple of minutes to ensure the base of the bread is is lightly toasted and won't become soggy when the mixture is added.
- Remove muffin tins from the oven. Fill each bread toast with a heaped tablespoon of filling then place in the oven for 15 mins or until golden.
- Remove from oven, top with a few chopped chives and enjoy hot.
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