Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year's Eve Recipes

Appetizers for a celebration such as New Year's Eve don't have to be complicated to be elegant. Brie is a soft cheese that has a type of white "mold" around the cheese itself. It is usually bought in rounds which are eight ounces, but can also be found in larger sizes. The entire thing is edible, and it can be baked or microwaved.

I love the taste of brie. It's sort of buttery, but with the tang of cheese. There are so many things that can be done with it. An eight ounce round would be enough for four people as an appetizer, depending on what else is being served.

Carefully, using a very sharp knife cut JUST the rind/white off the top only. Place it on a microwave safe plate, and microwave on high for one minute. At this point check it to see if it's softened and warm. If it isn't, then microwave another another 30 seconds. This should do it unless your cheese is larger than 8 ounces. If it is, then microwave in 30 second intervals until it's warmed and melted. Variations are below.

Pesto: Add pesto to the top of the brie, and microwave as above. Serve on sliced baguettes.

Onions & Mushrooms: Saute chopped onions and mushrooms until caramelized. Add to the top of brie after removing the top, drizzle with a small amount of balsamic vinegar if desired, and microwave per instructions.

Cranberry Sauce: Top with cranberry sauce, and chopped pecans, then microwave.

The brie can be wrapped in foil and baked on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees F. for about ten minutes. There are many variations of this and I have shared some below.

Fruit & Nut Baked Brie: The brie can be sliced in half with a sharp knife and spread with jam, then sprinkled with chopped nuts on one half. Top with the other half, wrap in foil and bake for ten minutes.

Brown Sugar Brie: Place the brie on parchment or foil. Sprinkle with 3-4 tablespoons brown sugar, a little cinnamon, and top with crushed pecans. Bake for ten minutes, and serve with fruit.

Chutney: Place Brie in a small ovenproof dish. Spread any variety of fruit chutney over the top of cheese. Bake ten minutes, and serve with slices of crusty bread.

Apricot & Almonds: Place brie in an ovenproof dish, spread a thin layer of butter on top of the cheese, top with 1/4 cup each of apricot preserves and sliced almonds. Bake ten minutes and serve with crackers or bread.

On OFL we have a recipes from forum members:

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