5 to 6 ounces chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and sliced*
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped shallots
1 clove garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper
4 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups cream
1/2 cup milk
Arugula leaves, stemmed and washed
Hazelnut Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
* To prepare the mushrooms: Use a clean vegetable or pastry brush and a kitchen towel; brush and wipe the mushrooms clean. Be especially careful to brush away dirt in the gills. Any deeply embedded grit can be cut away with a paring knife. If the mushrooms are large, cut them by halving, quartering, or thickly slicing lengthwise. If mushroom buttons are small, leave them whole.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and butter. Add cleaned and sliced mushrooms, thyme, shallots, garlic, salt, and pepper; saute 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. When cool, chop the mushrooms coarsely.
Lightly butter six (6-ounce) custard cups and set them into a large baking dish. In a large bowl, beat eggs slightly. Add cream and milk; beat until well mixed. Pour egg mixture into prepared custard cups.
Bring the water for the water bath to a light simmer on top of the stove; carefully pour hot water into the baking pan to come half-way cup the sides of the custard cups. The water should come up to the level of the custard inside the cups. You must protect your custard from the heat. Carefully pour hot water into the baking pan to come halfway cup the sides of the custard cups.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until set around the edges but still loose in the center. The cooking time will depend largely on the size of the custard cup you are using, but begin checking at 20 minutes and check back regularly. When the center of the custard is just set, it will jiggle a little when shaken, that's when you can remove it from the oven. Remove from oven and immediately remove cups from water bath; cool on wire rack until room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
To Assemble and Serve: Dress the arugula leaves with the Hazelnut Vinaigrette. Unmold the mushroom timbales by running a small knife around the outside rim. Then, turn upside down on individual serving plates giving the mold a sturdy shake. Garnish with the dressed arugula.
DO NOT OVERDRESS YOUR SALADS - Too much salad dressing will weight down the salad ingredients and mask their flavors. The dressing's role is to highlight not to overpower the salad ingredients. A general rule is 1/4 cup of dressing for 6 cups of greens. As soon as your salad is mixed, taste a leaf to see if there is sufficient dressing. If not, drizzle some more over the salad, a tablespoon at a time; toss and taste again.
Makes 6 servings (depending on size of custard cups).