Makes 6 servings. Difficulty
For Timbales: 3/4 pound assorted mushrooms (cremini, button mushrooms, shiitakes, oyster), rinsed and stemmed (larger mushrooms cut in half) 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter 2 medium shallots, minced 2 garlic cloves, minced 4 large eggs 1 cup half-n-half Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For sauce: 1-1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, quartered 1 Tablespoon tomato paste 1/2 teaspoon sugar Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Fresh oregano for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Butter six 1/2-cup ramekins. Arrange ramekins in a roasting pan so that they do not touch.
Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots; sauté for 1 minute. Add garlic; sauté for 30 seconds. Add mushrooms; sauté for 10 minutes or until very tender and all liquid from mushrooms has evaporated.
Transfer mushrooms to a food processor; process until smooth. Add eggs and half-n-half; process until just combined. Adjust seasonings to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Pour mushroom mixture into prepared ramekins. Pour hot water in baking dish - enough to come halfway up sides of ramekins. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until set. Remove pan from oven and keep timbales warm in pan.
Meanwhile, make coulis (sauce). In a medium saucepan combine tomatoes, tomato paste and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Transfer tomatoes to a food processor; process until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a small, clean saucepan. Add sugar and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Keep warm over low heat.
To serve, pool about 1/4 cup of tomato coulis in center of 6 small plates. Run a knife around outer edge of each ramekin to unmold. Invert ramekins over tomato coulis - tap to release. Spoon a tablespoon of sauce over timbales. Garnish with fresh oregano (optional). Serve immediately.