Petits Pots de Champignons

A sophisticated hors d’oeuvre, Petits Pots de Champignons (peh-tee poh d’sham-peen-yon) is mushrooms and bacon in a brandy cream sauce, topped with Gruyere cheese. It is best followed by a light main course.

8 oz. streaky baeon, coarsely chopped

1 oz. butter

1 lb. small button mushrooms, wiped clean . cream 4 tablespoons grated Gruyere cheese 4 parsley sprigs

Preheat the grill to high.

In a large frying-pan, fry the bacon over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes or until it is crisp and has rendered most of its fat. Add the butter and, when the foam subsides, add the mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes or until the mushrooms are just tender.

Meanwhile, in a ladle, warm the brandy over a flame or over low heat. Pour the brandy over the mushroom mixture and set it alight. When the flames have died down, stir in the cream.

Remove the pan from the heat. Spoon the mushroom mixture into

4 flameproof ramekin dishes or cassolettes. Sprinkle

1 tablespoon of cheese over each serving.

Place the dishes or cassolettes under the grill and grill for 3 to 4 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is lightly browned.

Remove the dishes or cassolettes from the heat. Garnish each with a parsley sprig and serve.

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