Brie - A Fromage Divine, A Cheese For Cheese Lovers
Is there anyone who doesn't know what Brie cheese is? It's important to know what Brie cheese isn't. It isn't hard, smoky, odiferous, filled with holes or green bits of mold. It is delicate, pearly white and absolutely without parallel in the world of cheeses for cheese lovers. Don't serve it on a cracker. Brie is so much more than topping for a saltine. In fact, it's even more than mozzarella is to pizza. It's a heavenly way to display baking talents that will delight the palate and make stunning party presentations.
Recipes For Stuffed Baked Brie
To know how to make stuffed baked brie, discover the wonders of its texture. It isn't mushy like mozzarella. Nor is it squishy like mascarpone. It's got an almost balletic choreography of textures that combine certain flexibility for stuffing and yet, it's sturdy enough for baking without going all gooey. Work with Brie when it is just out of refrigeration for best results. This means preparing stuffing well in advance of the actual marriage of Brie to stuffing. Remember that Brie exudes a full-bodied milky flavor and that will provide clues to the types of stuffing that can create the most delicious treat a cheese lover could desire.
Stuffings Du Jour
When it comes to stuffing Brie, it will naturally depend on tastes. For a wonderful Tex-Mex accent, create a stuffing of homemade salsa. Chop about 1/3 cup of tomatoes (seeds removed), 1 clove garlic minced, 1 green chili pepper (seeds removed), a dash of cumin and chili powder and a hint of hot sauce to taste. Mix well. Roll out chilled Brie on a cold, marble board to a circular diameter of about 5-6 inches. Place stuffing in center. Don't overstuff. Take up the ends of the Brie cheese and twist until the mound of cheese and stuffing is sealed. Place on a very lightly greased baking sheet with the twisted side down. Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is lightly browned.
Another elegant stuffing is a simple blend of wine-sautéed mushrooms, fresh chopped chives and about a 1/4 cup lightly toasted croutons. Roll out the chilled Brie into a long rectangle about 7 inches in length and 3-4 inches in width. Line the rectangle with the stuffing. Take up ends with seam on top. Spray parchment paper with cooking spray (preferably butter flavored). Place the stuffed Brie on the parchment paper (seam side down) and bake on a baking sheet at 350 degrees. Vegetarians love this recipe.
Brie cheese can also be served in individual portions. Stuff with sautéed chicken strips and crisped bacon. Turn each into an individual roll. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees.