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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Spicy Baked Brie

Brie is a soft cows' cheese named after Brie, the French province in which it originated (roughly corresponding to the modern département of Seine-et-Marne). It is pale in color with a slight grayish tinge under a rind of white mold; very soft and savory with a hint of ammonia. The whitish moldy rind is typically eaten, the flavor quality of which depends largely upon the ingredients used and its fabrication environment.
In the French language, the cheese is distinguished from the region in France that gave its name by their respective grammatical genders; the region is feminine: la Brie, but the cheese Brie is masculine, le Brie.

I normally bake brie with finely chopped 6-8 garlic cloves, cayenne pepper, onions and Jalapenos. I bought the brie and french baguette, but forgot to buy garlic. Thinking how am I going to bake brie without garlic, suddenly I remember the spicy garlic paste I always have in my fridge. I thought I will try it with this paste this time replacing fresh garlic and cayenne pepper. It came out pretty good.


* 1 (8 ounces) Brie cheese with rind, room temperature
* 1 loaf French baguette
* 2 table spoon Olive oil
* 1 table spoon spicy garlic paste with cayenne pepper (recipe on this blog)
You can substitute this paste with 6-8 cloves of finely chopped garlic and 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper)
* 1/2 chopped onion
* 1 small jalapeno pepper chopped (optional, I did not add this time)


* Preheat oven to 425°F.

* Using a bread knife, cut baguette thick slices to desired thickness.

* Brush with oil (or use olive oil or butter-flavor cooking spray).

* Keep the bread slices aside.

* Place the Brie (with rind) on center of the baking dish. (The white moldy looking Brie rind is edible and is usually eaten along with the softer interior.
If you do not want to eat the rind, it is easy to trim from refrigerated Brie.)

* Spread spicy garlic paste evenly over Brie.

* Drizzle olive oil over it.

* Bake it in oven for 10 min until the brie is softened and melted to desired consitency.

* Don't turn the oven off, you can prepare the bread in same oven.

* Take the brie out of oven and immediately add chopped onion and Jalapeno when the cheese and oil is bubbling. (you can add onions and jalapenos before baking but I prefer the crunchiness of these in softened brie so I add it later.

* Let is cool a little while you prepare the bread in heated oven.

* Bake the bread slices in heated oven for 5 min minutes or until baguette slices are light golden brown or to desired crispiness.

* Break open the brie and gently mix the spicy mix, oil onions and Jalapenos.

* Serve the bread slices with bot brie.

* This appetizer goes very well with chilled red wine.

Another way I serve brie is I take small pieces of Brie top them with my hot pepper Jelly (recipe on this blog). Place the pieces in pre- baked phyllo cups or you can make small cups out of Phyllo leaves in muffin pan. Bake the cups with brie at 350 until the cups are is golden and brie is melted. Let stand a few minutes before serving as yummy spicy appetizers.

Recipe and Photographs by Surekha.
Description of Brie Source:

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