Brie en Croute

To whet your appetite, sort of… Here’s something awesome I watched recently, one of my favorite things about Singin’ in the Rain is the chemistry between Donald O’Connor and Gene Kelly, they are hilarious together!

In an unbelievable turn of events, after Hurricane Sandy came Nor’easter Athena! In the spirit of snow and cold weather I want to share a favorite warm, melty, and crispy appetizer of mine: Brie en Croute. Made of 4 ingredients, all store bought, it is manageable while still being delectable. This dish basically consists of brie, topped with nuts and any chutney, all encased in puff pastry. There is room for homemade-ed-ness though. Homemade brie and puff pastry may be a bit of a stretch for the home cook, however it is easy to customize your Brie en Croute with a homemade chutney (savory) or jam (sweet). My favorite store-bought choice would have to be Stonewall Kitchen’s Old Farmhouse Chutney, especially in this season. There is lots of wiggle room here to alter the same dish’s flavor. Although I do not like referring to Paula Deen as a culinary authority, it is her recipe that I use:

Brie en Croute Recipe from foodnetwork.com

Courtesy of http://transcendentvictuals.blogspot.com/
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (package comes with 2 sheets)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 small (8-ounce) wheel Brie
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam
  • eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Defrost 1 sheet of puff pastry for approximately 15 to 20 minutes and unfold (place remaining sheet in freezer for later use). Meltbutter in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute nuts in butter until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes. Place nuts on top of Brie and spread jam on top of nuts. Gently roll pastry with a rolling pin to increase the size of the sheet 1 to 2 inches in each direction. Brush both sides of the sheet with beaten egg. Center the wheel of Brie on top of the pastry sheet. Bring all four corners of the sheet together above Brie and twist slightly to form a “bundle.” Tie gathered pastry with kitchen/cooking string (tie string in the form of a bow), arranging pastry until you are satisfied with the “bundle” shape. Place “bundle” on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until pastry is golden brown. Serve with top-quality crackers.

*forgive the Food Network for thinking you may not know what a raspberry is, those hyperlinks stayed through the copying and pasting process.

p.s. I don’t know about you, but anything any British comedian talks about, I find immediately fascinating. Stephen Fry builds a printing press.

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