Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Brie En Croute to Entertain

Paula Deen is one of my most favorite chefs on the Food Network Channel.  She's very funny and every recipe I've made of hers is top notch.  My husband and I had found this recipe in her cookbook one night and decided to give it a try.  Brie is a very nice cheese. It melts in the perfect way.  We like to get rid of the white rind as we don't like it's bitter taste.  It makes a big difference.  We changed her recipe a little bit because we like this with a lot of nuts.  I added very thin slices of granny smith apples to this during our last Christmas.  They turned out phenomenal.  These are a special thing we make but you could pretty much make this for any time.  They don't take that long.


1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted and unfolded
2 Tbsp. butter
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 small wheel of brie cheese (8 oz)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
crackers (ritz or whatever you like)
1 thinly slice granny smith apple

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add in walnuts and saute about 5 minutes or until golden brown.  Stir in cinnamon and coat nuts well.  Cut skin off of brie (optional but I recommend it due to the bitter taste of it). Place brie in middle of puff pastry on a greased cookie sheet.  Pour nut mix on top of brie.  Add the brown sugar on top of nut mix.  Close up the pastry and tie with kitchen twine.  Brush with beaten egg.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Slice pieces of brie en croute and serve on crackers and top with apples.

The original recipe is from Paula Deen's "Kitchen Classics" cookbook.  I modified it because I felt it needed more of the nut mix.  If you want to follow what she did, do half the butter, nuts, cinnamon and brown sugar.  She also didn't tell me to use an apple.  That is optional.  She didn't say remove the skin but I feel it is necessary.  It's ok if you don't get every last speck of it off, but rather get most of it off.  I just used my handy chef's knife to do this.  If you can't find brie, I know that gruyere cheese would be good for this as well.

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