Monthly Archives: February 2014

Brie en Croute


I love Brie Cheese, even if it is French and I’m Danish.  I also love Havarti cheese but I don’t think it’s a cheese you can fold into puff pastry and bake.  Of course I haven’t tried doing that yet either, hmmm.

I just had to say it.  I mean a lovely, luscious piece of creamy Brie on a piece of fresh bread or a cracker with some cracked hazelnuts or fresh fruit, I can make a meal out of it, and have done just  that, on many occasions.

However there is just something so over the top decadent about baking a wheel of Brie in some Puff Pastry and then digging into it, so since I had a lovely piece of Brie in the fridge, which needed to be eaten, I did just that.

Encased it in a piece of Puff Pastry and baked it.

And it was good.   So good, it all got eaten.  Luckily I managed to get a couple of bites.  I think I would have been seriously miffed if I hadn’t.

To start with, I did something that the purists are going to gasp at.  I trimmed the rind off part of the brie.  Yup, I did.  But it didn’t go to waste.   Well, maybe my waist, but that’s a story for another day.

I pulled some Puff Pastry out of the fridge and let it thaw while I prepared the cheese.  And no I didn’t talk to it, other than telling it how lovely it was.

To start with, I cut the top of the rind off, I wanted a fresh spot to spread the Fig Preserves on.  And then I cut the sides off.   I know the rind is good, but I wanted to have the wheel really, really melty.

I floured my mat lightly and placed the pastry on it.  I did roll it out a little, but that was more to get the fold marks out.

I then placed the Brie right in the middle, spread about 1/4-1/2 a cup of fig preserves over the top, I really didn’t measure.  I just knew I wanted a layer of preserves on there.

I then took opposite corners of the pastry and brought it to the center and pinched them closed.
I then took the corners again, and folded them up and over.

 

I put it in the fridge until later, (I was so organized on Saturday it scared me.)

I took it out and gave it a good egg wash before popping it into the oven at 400 degrees.    I also like to bake on parchment paper, as you can see in the pictures.  Saves a lot of clean up, and stuff doesn’t stick to baking pans as easily.  Trust me on this.

Because it had been in the fridge and cold, it took a little while, a good 20 or 30 minutes to get a lovely golden color.   I just checked the oven after 20 minutes, and it wasn’t quite golden enough so I left it another few minutes.  The cheese was really melty.

I pulled it out when I thought it was done and people promptly dove into it.    Well, it took a few minutes, but then again, there was a lot of food there, and they had to make their way over to it.    I had some little toasts set to the side, but no one ate the baked brie on them, they just cut chunks of the cheese and ate them.

OK, so that was me doing that.   But really, this was a seriously good appetizer and one I will make again.

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Chocolately, Coconut and Pecan Marshmallows


I wanted to make something fun for the weekly gathering I attend with a bunch of ladies on Friday Nights, and found a link to this recipe  over at   Grandma Loy’s Kitchen.     I thought it would be not only fun, but perfect to take with me.  So I did.

The basic recipe or how-to is just three ingredients, but you know me, I just could not leave it alone.  I had to try some other stuff.

So I did.

Now this is actually a kid friendly recipe, so if you have any kiddo’s running around and want to have fun, have them help you make these.

I believe Easter is coming up?

All you need is either milk, half and half or cream, some toasted chopped pecans and large marshmallows.

How simple is that?

I had to complicate it just a tad though.  I looked at the marshmallows and thought ‘Smores’, and I love toasted coconut so, I made three versions.  And I wanted these to be bite size, so I cut each marshmallow in half.  Took a couple extra minutes, but it was the right thing to do.

Get your stuff ready, remember, Mise en place.

Place your pecans on a sheet pan and toast in the oven, if you’re doing coconut as well, go ahead and toast that as well.  My oven’s weird, and I think I ended up having to toast the pecans and coconut about 10 minutes or so.  Check frequently, umm, if you don’t, you may end up with a cloud of nasty smoke in your kitchen and the smoke alarms going.
I wouldn’t know about that though.  😉

To start with, heat up some half and half until almost boiling.  While that is heating, cut the marshmallows, chop the pecans and get the rest of it ready.  I have some skewers which I set out as well.   I also chopped up some graham crackers and some chocolate covered Craisins.

Dip the marshmallow into the hot milk/half and half or cream.

Then dip or roll it into the chopped pecans, pressing the nuts into the softened marshmallow until it sticks.   Not really that hard to do.   Continuing until you’re all done or you’ve done as many as you want to do at this time.   I stuck mine in the freezer to firm up a little before taking them over to the gathering.
I cut this in half so you could see how great they looked inside, but I had to eat the evidence.

And since I had a little cream left over, and some marshmallows  and some toasted coconut and some pecans, I thought I would throw them all together and make a kinda candy.   They tasted good, but weren’t all that appetizing looking.  But I ate them anyway.

So there you have it, another triumph in the kitchen, just kidding.  I had fun with this and I’m thinking you could have fun with this as well.

Maybe tint the coconut green for St. Patty’s Day, or multi colored pastel colors for Easter, or…

Just go grab you a package of marshmallows and dip them however you want.  I still have some chopped pecans left, and a few more marshmallows, see you later.

Greek Yoghurt Biscuits


I tried a new recipe last week for Super Bowl, well, for a Super Bowl party I attended.   And while it was ok, (note the lower case), it was not OK!

Personally I think it could have used a little fat in the recipe.   And I tried it again, adding a little fat, and it turned out better.

But the basic premise was good.  Nice hot biscuits with some hot ham and cheese, and served warm.

Don’t they look good?  Well, they could have tasted a little better.

I had some Greek Yoghurt in the fridge, and thought it might make a good biscuit, so I googled it, found a bunch of recipes for a three ingredient biscuit, yoghurt, self rising flour and a little salt.   And since so many people had tried it, I thought it was worth a try.   Well, it was, kinda, but the lack of fat in it, made it very dry and I like layers in my biscuits.   I also had to add some milk, to which I added a little buttermilk powder for flavour.
This is the recipe I followed…

Recipe
1 1/2 cups Greek Yoghurt
3 cups self rising flour
1/2 tsp. salt.

Pour yoghurt into flour and mix until it just comes together.  Pat into a disk and cut out rounds.

Well, I did that.  Actually I didn’t cut rounds out, I just cut it into rough squares.

 

 

 

And I baked them, actually I brushed the tops with a little butter before baking them in a 450 deg. oven for 15 minutes.

 

They were dry.   I think they would have been much better slathered in butter and jam.  And I think they baked too long at too low a temperature.

Here’s my revised recipe.  And these were good.  Preheat the oven to 500 deg. and get a baking sheet ready.   I like to bake on parchment paper, but you can just grease the baking sheet if you like.

2 cups self rising flour, if you can find White Lily, use that brand.
3/4 cup plain Greek yoghurt
1/4 cup milk or buttermilk
1/4 cup butter.

Whisk the yoghurt and milk together, set aside.  Place the flour and butter into a bowl.  Cut the butter into the flour or rub the butter into the flour until it resembles small peas.  Add the yoghurt and mix in until it just comes together in a ball.   Turn out onto a floured surface and shape it into a circle or square using just the barest pressure you can.  Any time you overwork this dough, it will get tough.  Trust me on this, I know whereof I speak.   You want it to be about 3/4-1 inch thick.    Cut out rounds or use a knife to cut into squares, but don’t twist the cutter.  Any twisting motion will toughen it as well, and they won’t rise real well either, (get the feeling biscuits are finicky?).

Place the cut out biscuits on the parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes in the 500 deg. oven.   If you put them close together they will have soft edges, or you can space them out about an inch apart for crispy edges.   I like crispy myself.   After baking, brush with some melted butter and eat.

I did a reprise of my Super Bowl idea and placed a nice chunk of ham in the middle with some cheese and a touch of mustard.  It was a very good breakfast, if I do say so.

 

 

Does that not look good?  I thought so…

I think one of the reasons the first batch of biscuits were so dry was because I was using non fat yoghurt.  It’s not easy finding full fat yoghurt, but if you find it, use some.
In the meantime, I made more biscuits than I can eat at one sitting so I put the rest into a plastic bag and into the freezer.   Now I can have fresh from the freezer biscuits the next time I’m in the mood for a biscuit.     Not a bad thing to have on hand at all.  *giggle*