A belated Thanksgiving – Appetizer and First Course

Ahhh, Thanksgiving. That lovely harvest festival wrapped up in national myth-making and stressed out travelers. Or, if you are me, working. Yes, the U.S. government continues to function on Thanksgiving, so I had to as well. The result of which is that I made my own harvest festival meal for myself over the weekend. This turned into a massive, delicious and mostly-healthy five-course dinner. Since that is way too much for a single blog post, here are the first two course, both totally new dishes: Baked brie (which I found here) and sweet potato souffle (which I adapted from here)

Baked brie
Some firm brie, in theory a full round, but any amount will do
Apricot jam
6 sheet of filo dough, cut to fully cover the brie like wrapping paper
1-2 tablespoons melted butter

Spread each sheet of filo dough with the melted butter, using either a pastry brush or a spoon, and layer them not directly on top of each other, but a bit off center, so its a bit larger of a space. Stick the brie in the middle. Cover the top of the brie with the apricot jam. Fold the filo dough over the top of the brie. Brush to top of the brie package with more butter so it all holds together. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until the brie melts and starts oozing out of the pastry. Serve with some baguette slices and wine, although I had this with a farmhouse ale – Tank 7 by Boulevard brewery (one of my favs).

So. Freaking. Good.

               So. Freaking. Good.

Baked brie is frigging AMAZING. Serious incredible stuff. Its good warm, cold, on bread, by itself, and is so freaking addictive you either need to make a small amount or have people around to eat it because you will not be able to control yourself and eat only a little. It’s that good

First Course
Sweet Potato Souffle
1 large-ish sweet potato
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
dash of salt
Juice from 1/2 a lime
2 egg yolks
4 egg whites

Cut the sweet potato in half and roast the sweet potato first at 400 degrees until soft and mashable – it should be about 40 minutes or so. Let the sweet potato cool down. Once it’s cool, scoop out the innards and mash them up. Mix in all the other ingredients except the egg whites. Make sure the mixture is smooth. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the sweet potato mixture. Pour the mixture into either a souffle dish or divide into 4 ramekins. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, or until done. Serve with a not-so-dry white wine. I went with Chateau St Michelle Riesling, which is a balanced, lightly dry Riesling, and one of my favorite wines.

It wasn't supposed to be quite that small...

It wasn’t supposed to be quite that small…

So… this was my first time attempting any souffle and it didn’t exactly go as planned. They were tasty but they shrunk!?! I’m really not sure how that one happened. They tasted light too so the only thing I could think of is maybe I cooked them too long and they rose and fell in the oven? I have no idea where I went wrong on that one. Still tasty though, so I have no qualms recommending the concept at least.

Song of the week for part one: Wig in a Box, from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I’ve been in a broadway mood for some reason for the last couple days, and this is my favorite song from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I’ve only seen the movie (a bunch of times) but NPH as the title character in the revival is just too awesome.

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