To Brie, Or Not To Brie?

Thanks to my friends at President Cheese, I received this wonderful package of their special Brie log, Stonewall Kitchen Raspberry Jam and Carr’s Water Crackers. This comes at a perfect time especially after my busy weekend.

I happen to love President Cheese that (little did they know!) I always have a large wheel of their Brie on hand. However their Brie log is a perfect shape for crackers and appetizers. The rind on President’s Brie log is so thin, even those that don’t like to eat the rind (like myself) won’t mind it at all!

So what kinds of recipes do you use brie in? I’d love to hear from you and learn some new recipes to use it in or perhaps other accouterments you eat brie with! In the meantime, here are some recipes I have within my blog using brie…

Pumpkin Walnut Baked Brie

Pumpkin Walnut Baked Brie
original Joelen recipe

1 cup pureed pumpkin
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 large round of brie

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice brie round in half, horizontally and place on a foil lined baking pan.
Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl until fully incorporated.
Spread half of the mixture on top of one half of the brie.
Top with the second half of brie.
Spread the remaining mixture over the second half of brie.
Bake in preheated oven for 5-7 minutes until warmed through.
Serve with crackers or crostini.

Who Moved My Cheese?

Thank goodness I’m not lactose intolerant. And thank goodness cheese is one of my favorite food groups! Today I hosted 2 tasting sessions focused on soft French cheeses. It was a great way to try a slew of various cheeses without having to buy them all.

In hosting a cheese tasting session, friends came over with a cheese to share… specifically soft French cheeses. As the hostess, I provided a nice variety of accompaniments such as wine, crackers, artisnal bread, cured meats, & fruit for the tasting. To encourage learning about the cheeses and how to taste cheeses, I also provided everyone with a “Cheese Passport” – a small journal of sorts where folks can write notes of each cheese they tried at the event. It even included a lot of basic cheese information about purchasing, storing and serving cheese… even wine pairings!

I started my cheese tastings with a short talk on cheeses and how they are made. In many ways, cheese making is similar to wine making. Just as grapes make wine, it’s milk that makes cheese… and similar factors like the terroir, source, aging and storing all provide cheese very unique characteristics. But rather than bore my friends (and you) about cheese science, I had everyone break into small groups to try the various cheeses each person brought. Here are some pictures of the tastings:

My accompaniments for the tasting included:
strawberries, apples, Bosc pears, red & green grapes, honey, kalamata olives, walnuts, dried apricots, dried bing cherries, french baguette slices, 4 types of crackers (whole wheat, vegetable, cracked pepper and water crackers), sopressata salame and a black pepper salame. For wines, we had a variety of whites – Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chadonnay, Pinot Grigio and Viognier…

And here are the various cheeses that came to the party,
although there are still others I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of:…

Pizza… Sweet & Savory

After a big and flavorful Vietnamese lunch today, we opted for a lighter dinner. Tonight I made a brie, apple & proscuitto pizza using prepared pizza dough.Here’s my simple recipe for a light and flavorful Brie, Apple & Prosciutto pizza:

1 ball prepared pizza dough (I used Trader Joe’s plain dough)
1 large wedge of brie cheese
1/3 cup finely chopped havarti cheese
2 medium sized granny smith apples, peeled & sliced thin
1/4 cup finely chopped prosciutto
fresh basil, chiffonade

Preheat your oven to 425.
In a pizza pan or baking sheet, flatten pizza dough & spread out.
Bake pizza crust in preheated oven for 5-7 minutes.
Remove partially cooked dough from oven.
Spread softened brie on dough of dot the dough with brie (whichever is easier).
Place a layer of apple slices over the brie layer.
Sprinkle the prosciutto over the apples.
Top the pizza with havarti cheese.
Place pizza back in the preheated oven and bake until golden brown and cheese has melted.
Serve hot and garnish with fresh basil.

Brie & Caramelized Onion Bites

We made these appetizers during the holiday appetizer cooking class I hosted. You can view pictures, the entire appetizer menu and get links to the other recipes from the class HERE.

Brie & Caramelized Onion Bites

1 can of biscuit dough
¼ cup flour
1 cup caramelized onion
½ cup brie, diced
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare muffin pan by spraying the inside of each well with cooking spray.
Open can of biscuit dough and separate into individual biscuits.
Cut each biscuit in quarters to form dough pieces.
Place a dough piece in each well.
Dip the tart shaper in the flour to prevent sticking.
Using the tart shaper, gently push the dough piece inside the well to form a cup.
Repeat until all wells are filled with a dough piece.
Fill each well with brie.
Top each well with caramelized onion.
Bake in preheated oven for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown

Crank Up the Oven!

Finally! The crisp air of fall came through tonight and seemed like a great opportunity to bake dinner for a no fuss meal. Using what I had on hand, I prepared brie stuffed pork on a bed of garlic spinach and thyme roasted red potatoes. Initially I had planned on stuffing the pork with chopped granny smith apples and brie, but the apples I planned on using mysteriously disappeared.But here is my recipe for apple & brie stuffed pork chops anyway… only for tonight I prepared them sans apples.

1 small granny smith apple, finely chopped
1-2 oz double cream brie, finely chopped
2 center cut boneless pork chops
seasonings to taste: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme
olive oil

Preheat oven to 350.
To prep your pork chops for stuffing, cut a horizontal slit or pockets on one side of the pork chop, being careful not to cut all the way through.
Use your fingers to work the pocket open.
Season the outside of the chops with seasonings.
To prepare the stuffing, combine the apples, cheese and seasonings to your taste.
Carefully place apple cheese mixture into the pockets of the pork, being careful not to overfill.
Place stuffed pork on a baking sheet.
Drizzle some olive oil over the tops of the pork.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until done.Along side of the pork, I roasted my potatoes which were tossed in a little olive oil, the same seasonings above and a few fresh thyme leaves.

Caramelized Onion & Brie Tartletts

Caramelized Onion & Brie Tartletts

1 can of buttermilk biscuits (pkg of 10)
canola oil or cooking spray
1 small wheel of brie, cut in small chunks.
1 large onion, caramelized

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Open can of biscuits and cut each in half.
In mini muffin tin, grease each cup with oil or cooking spray.
Place a biscuit half in each cup.
Flour a tart shaper or your fingers and form the biscuits into a mini crusts or cups.
Place in preheated oven and bake for7-10 minutes or until golden.
While hot, place biscuit cups on serving platter.
Top biscuit cups with a chunk of brie.
Top brie with 1/2 teaspoon of carmelized onion.
To garnish, I used a fresh italian parsley leaf.