24 small open cup mushrooms
125 g (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 eggs, beaten
75 g (3 oz) dry white breadcrumbs
sunflower oil, for deep-frying
salt and freshly ground black pepper
chicory leaves, to garnish
1. Trim the stalks from the mushrooms and chop very finely. Put the softened butter in a bowl with the chopped mushroom stalks, garlic. parsley and seasoning to taste. Beat together well. Spoon into the mushroom caps, then sandwich the mushrooms together in pairs, using wooden cocktail sticks to secure them.
2. Dip the mushroom pairs one at a time into the beaten egg, then roll in the breadcrumbs. Repeat once more. Chill for 1 hour.
3. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 190°C (375°F), or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds. Fry the mushrooms a few at a time for about 5 minutes, turning frequently with a slotted spoon until golden brown and crisp on all sides. Drain on kitchen paper and keep hot while frying the remainder.
4. Remove cocktail sticks and serve immediately, garnished with chicory leaves.