Monday, June 24, 2013

Brie and Fig En Croute

We all have our food weaknesses... sweets, bread, red meat... right?! Well I happen to have a few weaknesses (it's true, I love food); one particular food I can and will never turn down is CHEESE! Seriously, I have never met a cheese I didn't like...

Did you know there are over 550 different specialty cheeses from over 57 countries!?!?

"Cheese is a food derived from milk, produced in a wide range of flavors, textures, and forms. It consists of proteins and fat from milk, usually the milk of cows, buffalo, goats, or sheep. Hundreds of types of cheese from various countries are produced. Their styles, textures and flavors depend on the origin of the milk (including the animal's diet), whether they have been pasteurized, the butterfat content, the bacteria and mold, the processing, and aging. Herbs, spices, or wood smoke may be used as flavoring agents."

Well I have not sampled all 550 specialty cheeses yet, but I'm well on my way! Hummm, that sounds like a bucket-list item to me... :)

Anyway, tonight I am having a friend and her mom over for some appetizers and wine. Guess what we're having!?! Yep... CHEESE!!!! Well, we're having Brie wrapped in puff pastry and topped with fig jam and red pepper flakes to be exact. This delicious Brie and Fig En Croute recipe was created by my mom; it's actually super quick and easy to make but looks so elegant your guests will think you spent hours putting it together!

Brie and Fig En Croute

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, pre-packaged
1 (8 ounce) wheel Brie
4 ounces fig jam
red pepper flakes, to taste
1 egg, beaten
crackers, baguette, or apples for serving

Defrost puff pastry for approximately 15 to 20 minutes and unfold.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Lay the puff pastry out flat on a cookie sheet. Trim the brine off the top of the Brie wheel and then place Brie in the center of the puff pastry.

In a small microwavable bowl, combine fig jam and red pepper flakes. Microwave for 20-30 seconds and stir well. Add jam mixture to the top of the brie wheel.

Gather up the edges of the pastry, pressing around the brie and gather at the top. Gently squeeze together the excess dough and tie together with a piece of kitchen twine.

Brush the beaten egg over top and side of pastry.

Bake for 20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.

Serve warm.

This is my one of my favorite cheese appetizer recipes!!! I guarantee your guests will go crazy over it... unless they don't like cheese, that is. But really, who doesn't like cheese??


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