So this was one of those weekends where things just sucked and everything kept going wrong. Seriously, it was ridiculous. Finally after my glasses broke Sunday night, I decided to make baked Brie to make myself feel better. Naturally this did not turn out quite as I intended. For the record, there is nothing wrong with the recipe per se; it’s actually quite tasty. The execution of me making it however…
1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
Pinch of salt
1-2 tablespoons honey
1 tsp finely chopped rosemary
Measure flour and salt into a bowl. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut in the butter until there are no significant sized lumps. If compressed, the dough should almost be able to stick together. Add water, a little at a time, until the dough comes together. The dough should be soft and pliable, but cohesive and not sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside. After you’ve made the dough, roll out a circle large enough to cover the brie. Place the brie in the center of the dough. Spoon some honey on top of the brie and then sprinkle the rosemary on top of that. Fold the dough so the brie is fully encased and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.
So – what happened to me was when the Brie melted, it found a hole in the pastry and spread all over the baking pan, where most of it burned, leaving mostly a shell behind. So I cut it open, sliced a little more brie and stuck it on while the pastry was still hot so it’d melt a bit and drizzled a little more honey on it.
Which worked extremely well and was ultimately a perfectly yummy snack with some red wine, a Tempranillo in this case – which worked really well. So, how do you avoid my mistake? Use a wheel of brie, with a rind all the way around rather than tempt fate with a wedge. Also, the honey doesn’t stay on top of the brie the way jam does, so you might want to cut out a circle of the top rind and place the honey there. And make sure there aren’t holes on the sides or bottoms of your dough. All fairly obvious things to do really and yet… Song of the week: Schadenfreude from Avenue Q. Self-explanatory given my weekend I think.
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)
Some firm brie, in theory a full round, but any amount will do
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).
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
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.
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.