Thursday, December 23, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Serves 12 to 16
- 1/2 cup pecan halves
- 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- All-purpose flour, for dusting
- 2 standard packages (17 1/4 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 wheel (2.2 pounds) Brie
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- In a medium bowl, combine pecans and sugar, using your fingertips to thoroughly mix; set aside. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat (French nonstick baking mat) or parchment paper; set aside.
- Lightly dust work surface with flour. Place two sheets (one box) of puff pastry on the work surface one on top of the other. Using a rolling pin, adhere the two pieces of the puff pastry together. Continue rolling puff pastry until it is very thin, slightly less than 1/8 inch thick. Using a pastry wheel or a sharp knife, cut the puff pastry into a 13-inch round, reserving scraps for decorating.
- Place the Brie in the center of the puff pastry. Top the Brie with pecan mixture, spreading to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the cheese. Be sure to remove any sugar or nuts from the puff pastry, as they may cause holes to form during baking. Fold puff pastry up and over Brie to enclose. The center of the Brie will not be completely covered with pastry. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
- Lightly dust work surface with flour. Repeat rolling and cutting process with remaining two sheets of puff pastry. Drape pastry over the Brie, tucking the edges under to enclose.
- In a small bowl, combine egg yolk and cream to make an egg wash. Cut reserved scraps of puff pastry into decorative shapes. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the decorative shapes with the egg wash, and adhere to wrapped Brie. Brush the wrapped Brie evenly with the egg wash. Transfer to refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake Brie until golden brown and puffed, about 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until dark golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes more.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Wild Rice and Creamy Goat Cheese Stuffing
from Mels Kitchen Cafe
*Note: if you don’t prefer the taste of goat cheese, simply substitute cream cheese, a milder tasting creamy cheese, or leave it out altogether.
*Serves 10-12 as a side dish and the recipe can be easily halved
2 cups wild rice (I used a blend of wild and brown rice)
8 ounces turkey bacon, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 (day-old) loaf country-style or artisan bread, cubed, about 6 cups of bread cubes
12 ounces goat cheese or cream cheese
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups chicken broth or stock
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Cook wild rice according to package directions, making sure the rice cooks completely and is very tender and soft. Transfer the rice to a large bowl when it has finished cooking and has cooled for about 10 minutes.
Heat the butter in a large 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon, onions, carrots and celery and cook until soft, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the onion mixture, bread cubes, goat cheese, parsley, salt, pepper and chicken broth to the large bowl with the rice. Mix to combine. I like my stuffing a bit on the non-soggy side so add more chicken broth 1/4 cup at a time if you’d like your mixture more wet.
Transfer the mixture to a large (9X13-inch or even larger) lightly greased baking dish and bake, uncovered, until heated through and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010