Cheatin’ Cheese Fondue

So, thanks to our Canadian cousins, I am now hopelessly in love with fondue.

I went on Amazon and dropped a bit of cash for this pretty terrific ceramic pot. And the stand and burner. And the fondue forks.

All sold separately, by the way.

I do not care; it was well worth the investment, and in the bit over a month since we’ve been back from Canada, we’ve enjoyed our fondue several times.

Shhh. Don’t ell our doctor.


and here’s a pretty cool secret…

You can google the recipe and buy a bunch of Swiss and Gruyère cheese, then grate it, then do all the rest of it, or…

You can drop $13 or so and buy this box o’ Fondü from the specialty cheese section of your market.

Well… my market, anyway.

And… it is very good right out of the, ermmm, box, but…

I played around a bit, and we think this version is much more better!

•1 (14 oz) box Swiss Fondue
•1 cup white wine
•1 tbsp Kirsch
•1/2 tsp dry mustard
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper

Secret Bonus Ingredient:

*I know, sacrilege! But! I can set you up with a simple, three ingredient (cheese, dried nonfat milk, and gelatin – well, and water) – that melts every bit as well as Velveeta. Or, you could substitute freshly grated Fontina.

The reason I ended up adding the Velveeta was that I mebbe should’ve just added a couple of tablespoons of the white wine instead of a whole cup, so I needed to thicken my fondue by adding additional cheese until it was as thick and bubbly as I wanted.

To prepare, place your fondue pot on the stove over low heat and add the basic ingredients.

Feel free to just use one or two tablespoons of the white wine and skip the additional cheese; but – we really thought this tasted much better than the original.

Cook, stirring often, over low heat until the cheese is melted and ooey-gooey thick and practically perfect in every way.

If you choose to go with the full cup of wine, add Velveeta, or cheese in small chunks, stirring until it has melted and the fondue is as thick as you like.

Light your fuel, place the fondue pot on the stand at the table (I use a trivet to protect the tabletop), and serve.

Bread? A natural choice!

Apple and/or pear slices? Toss ’em with a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice and you are good to go!

Tater Tots?!? Surprisingly perfect, and gluten free! Simply bake the tots until nicely crispity, then spear and dip to your heart’s content.

So many very tasty options; and, really, not very much effort.

I like that in an appetizer!

As a bonus, try stirring a bit of any leftover fondue into tomato soup.

Yum! Especially served along side a chicken salad sammich with pickled avocado.



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Parfait! Nicely Spiced Oyster Crackers

We have some friends coming over for dinner tomorrow night, and I have a pretty decent menu planned, if I do say so myself…

Pickled Avocado, cheese fondue, Pork Tenderloin Wellington, garlic smashed potatoes, tomato carpaccio salad, and lemon cake for dessert.

Still, I wanted just a little bit sumpin’ sumpin’extra, amd there I was, staring at that hoooge bag o’ oyster crackers I had picked up for some reason.


Spiced oyster crackers are always tasty; and using this Fiesta Dip Mix in place of the more usual Ranch turned out to be perfection!

A note about the mix I used: this local (St. Charles, IL) company makes a variety of dip/salad dressing mixes that are wicked good, Gluten Free, contain no MSG, and are ALL. REAL. INGREDIENTS.

I can find them at one of my local markets, but you can always order online.

And you should.

•9 or 12 oz pkg oyster crackers
•1 packet dry Fiesta or Ranch mix
•1/4 tsp black pepper
•1/4 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1/8 tsp Seasoned Salt
•1/2 tsp dried parsley
•1/4 tsp garlic powder
•1/2 cup canola oil

Heat your oven to 200º and spread the oyster crackers in the bottom of a rimmed baking pan.

Add the dressing packet, the seasonings, then the oil, and stir to combine well.

Pop into the hot oven for ten minutes, then remove and stir well.

Back into the oven for another ten minutes, then remove and set aside to cool; trying not to eat it all.

Transfer the cooled seasoned oyster crackers to a tightly sealed container and share with really good friends.

Or, just enjoy them by yourself, because, c’mon, you are well worth it!

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Tuna Noodle Casserole

We were running errands, and I was asking Rich what he had a taste for for dinner that night.

His answer totally surprised me.

“Tuna noodle casserole.” He said.

“With peas.”

The thing is, he loves peas, just not when they are touching other foods, so this was kindofa big deal.

“Hmmm.” I said.

“I think we can make that work.”

As it happened, I had some home canned tuna with jalapeño from friends in Washington state, a box of our new fave chickpea pasta in the pantry, and the rest of the needed ingredients on hand; we were good to go!

•8 oz pasta
•2 tbsp olive oil
•1/2 cup onion, diced
•1/3 cup carrot, chopped
•2 tbsp flour
•2 cups milk
•3/4 cup heavy cream
•4 oz cream cheese, softened
•2 tbsp good mustard (like this one)
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1/2 tsp sea salt
•1 tsp black pepper
•1 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1 cup frozen peas, thawed
•1/4 cup grated Parmesan
•1/4 cup grated Mozzarella
•Tuna, drained (2 cans or 1, 16 oz jar)
•Panko crumbs (I used gluten free)

*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.

Note: for a truly gluten free casserole, substitute two tablespoons sweet rice flour for the regular flour.

Another note: if you’re using chickpea pasta, pay attention to the warning on the package to “expect foam.” There will be a heckofa lot of it; so use your biggest, tallest pot.

Cook the pasta according to package directions, skipping any added salt and oil. Drain and set aside.

Heat your broiler.

Warm the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat, then add the onion and carrot and cook for six minutes, until the onion is translucent and the carrot almost tender.

Sprinkle the flour over the onion and carrot, and cook for one minute more, stirring until the flour is slightly golden.

Slowly stir in the milk with a whisk; stirring constantly until the roux has thickened a bit, another five minutes or so.

Add the cream cheese, mustard, Sherry Peppers Sauce, salt and peppers; stirring until the cheese has melted into the sauce.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the noodles, peas, Parmesan cheese, and the tuna until nicely mixed.

Transfer the tuna noodle mixture to a lightly oiled casserole – this 2-1/2 quart rectangular casserole worked a treat.

Sprinkle the grated Mozzarella over the top of the casserole, then pop under the broiler for three minutes.

Sprinkle Panko crumbs over the top, then pop back under the broiler for two minutes more.

Remove from the broiler, loosely cover, and let rest for ten minutes before serving.

Tasty tuna noodle casserole! And mostly gluten free, so there’s an added bonus!

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Bonus Parfait! Aunt Beezy’s Soda Bread

This time of year, my in box is loaded with this person’s or that’s “best” soda bread.


It can’t be.

Because our friend Barb’s Aunt Beezy’s recipe is by far, the A NUMBER ONE, All Out BEST Soda Bread we have ever had the good fortune to savor.

Check out the wicked simple details…

•3 cups flour
•2/3 cup sugar
•1 tsp baking powder
•1 tsp baking soda
•1 tsp salt
•1-1/2 cup dried fruit*
•2 tsp melted butter, cooled
•2 eggs, beaten
•1-3/4 cup + 2 tbsp buttermilk

*Dried cherries, raisins, cranberries, choose your faves or mix and match to come up with 1-1/2 cup. Just do not use fresh fruit. I have tried it, and the results were not pretty.

Heat your oven to 350º and apply cooking spray to a loaf pan.

Whisk the flour together with the sugar, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl to combine.

Stir in the dried fruit.

Whisk the eggs together with the cooled melted butter and the buttermilk until well blended.

Stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour and fruit mixture just until mixed together.

Transfer the batter to your prepared loaf pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes; or until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool completely on a rack, then tip the loaf out of the pan and serve.

Mebbe with some of our fave Kerry Gold Irish butter, because, why not?

Just an observation; but any leftover slices make mighty fine French Toast.

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Parfait! Barbecue Corned Beef

So, yeh, most everyone will be “Erin go something” and dying rivers green and parading and stuff this weekend.

Most likely, they’ll also be sitting down to some form of corned beef and cabbage and potatoes and such, too.

Why not mix things up a bit?

I never really carded for veggies braised under a kindofa fatty cut of meat anyway, so this method solves that and is wicked tasty!

Mebbe better than the traditional.

See, I cook toss out that seasoning packet that comes with the corned beef, place it on a bed of coarsely chopped onions, then add my own seasonings and a bottle or two of Guinness (or regular beer works, too) and slow cook it on low for four hours.

Then, stuff gets interesting.

But, I am getting ahead of myself…

Slow Cooker:
•1 flat cut corned beef
•2 sweet onions, coarsely chopped
•12 oz beer (not “lite”)
•Garlic steak seasoning
•Black pepper
•Dried parsley
•Dried chives
•Freeze dried shallots

Barbecue Sauce:
•12 oz Barbecue Sauce
•12 oz cherry cream soda (or Cherry Coke)
•1/2 pint jalapeño pepper jelly
•2 tbsp brown sugar
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1 tsp mustard powder
•2 tsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce – or your preferred hot sauce, to taste

•Small potatoes, chopped

*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No problem! Simply add one tablespoon of decent sherry and your fave hot sauce, to taste.

Arrange the chopped onion in the bottom of a slow cooker, then place the corned beef, fat side up, on top.

Add the seasonings, then pour the beer over the top.

Important Note: you do not have to totally cover the beef with the beer. Half to 3/4 of the way up the sides will work a treat, and you won;t have a water (beer?) logged corned beef at the end.

Cover and cook on low for four to six hours.

Another Note: my main slow cooker, a 12 year old Cuisinart, tends to cook fast, even on low, so my corned beef was well and truly ready in four hours. Your time may vary.

While the corned beef is cooking, make the barbecue sauce by stirring all of the sauce ingredients together in a pan (non stick works a treat, here), bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook, stirring often, until the sauce has thickened nicely, mebbe 40 minutes. Set aside until the corned beef is ready.

Yet Another Note: don’t have, or don’t want to make, my Barbecue Sauce? No worries! Simply substitute your fave bottled sauce.

Sauce made and corned beef cooked; heat your oven to 250º.

Arrange the chopped potatoes in the bottom of a 13×9 pan, and season with pepper and a bit of the garlic steak seasoning.

Strain some of the onions from the slow cooker and add to the potatoes.

Arrange the corned beef on top, then cover with the barbecue sauce.

Cover tightly with foil, then pop into the oven for 90 minutes.

When done, remove the corned beef from the pan and set aside to rest, lightly covered in the foil, for ten minutes or so.

Stir the potatoes into any sauce and/or pan drippings in the baking dish, and pop under the broiler while the corned beef is resting.

Nice job, eh?

The corned beef is oh! so tasty and tender; the potatoes slightly crispity and coated with barbecue sauce.

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Pear Galette With Cheese and a Vodka Crust

How very fitting that on Pi Day (3.14), I am featuring a pear galette; a kindofan unstructured, casual pie.

You would almost suspect I planned it this way, but, honestly, I did not. It was just the way things worked out.

This pear galette is nicely spiced, has an added bonus of sharp Cheddar cheese added to the filling, and makes use of my new fave pie crust made with vodka (!); this time home made Cherry Vodka.

Vodka Pie Crust:
•2 stick unsalted butter, chilled
•1/4 cup cold vodka
•1/4 cup ice water
•2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
•1 tsp salt
•1 tbsp granulated sugar*

•4 pears, cored and thinly sliced
•1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
•1/3 cup granulated sugar
•1/4 cup packed brown sugar
•3 tbsp flour
•1 tbsp lemon juice
•1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
•1/8 tsp allspice
•1/8 tsp ground clove

For the Galette:
•1 egg, beaten
•2 tbsp butter, softened

*If you plan on using this dough for something savory, like a quiche, by all means leave the sugar out.

First, the vodka pie dough.

Chill the vodka, then cut the butter into about 16 cubes, then stash that, too in the fridge or, even better, freezer to chill.

If your fridge does not dispense ice water, then measure out 1/4 cup of water and stash that in the fridge until well and truly chilled.

All that done?


Add the salt, flour, and sugar (if you’re using it) to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse a couple of times to combine.

Arrange the cold butter cubes evenly over the top of the flour mixture and, using short pulses, cut it into the flour until flour and butter are mixed together with no bits larger than a pea – mebbe two to four pulses.

Here, you get to make a choice.

Depending on the weather and temps in your kitchen, you might only need 1/4 cup of liquid total to bring the dough together, so…

You could do two tablespoons each of vodka and water, then pulse to a three or four times, then pick a couple of tablespoons of the dough up in your hand and squeeze it together. If the dough holds together, you don’t need to add any more liquid.

If the dough is still crumbly, add one tablespoon each vodka and water, then pulse and repeat the squeeze test.

Some days, you will only need 1/4 cup total of liquid, some you’ll need the whole 1/2 cup; so…

Are you gonna start with those two tablespoons each of vodka and water?

Or, are you just gonna go big and use 1/4 cup (four tablespoons) of vodka in the beginning, and add water as needed?

I went with all vodka, and supplemented with water until my dough was right.


Split the dough in two, place each half in the middle of a sheet of plastic wrap, press into a disc, then fold the wrap up and over, and stash in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Sealed in a freezer bag, any dough not needed immediately can be kept in the fridge for five days, or the freezer for two months.

When you’re ready to make the galette, place the dough between two sheets of waxed paper (or however you usually roll out dough – for me, the waxed paper method works and works well, so I stick to it).

Heat your oven to 400º and roll your dough into an 11 inch round.

Transfer your dough round to a parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet, then ccatter the Cheddar over the dough, keeping it to about one or two inches from the edge of the dough.

Make the pear filling by tossing the sliced pears with the sugar, lemon juice, sugars, flour, and spices until the pears are more or less evenly coated.

Note: you can help this bit along by whisking the flour, granulated sugar, and spices together before adding to the pears along with the brown sugar and lemon juice.

Arrange the pears over the top of the cheese and fold the dough up and over as shown.

You can arrange the pear slices in a lovely, artistic fan; but that particular refinement always eludes me, so I settle for a more or less uniform pile o’ pears, with mebbe a small peak in the center.

Brush the top of the dough with the beaten egg, and then with one tablespoon of the butter.

Dot the pears with the remaining tablespoon of butter, then bake until the crust is golden brown and the pears are tender and juicy – about 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature, with or without a scoop of good vanilla ice cream.

Happy Pi Day.

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Drunken Cabbage

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day! This tasty recipe for cabbage cooked until crsip tender in beer with mustard and spices will be a sure hit at any gathering!

I’ve adapted a recipe from Food Network’s Michael Symon; using freshly shredded green and red cabbage, and carrots, from my local market – hey – I made two cakes in two days, Barbecued Corned Beef, bacon wrapped asparagus, the BEST Soda Bread, and Pickled Avocado, I think I was allowed to cut a corner or two.

I also cut waaay back on the caraway seed called for, and used my own, Zippy Mustard in place of the coarse mustard called for in the original.

We were all wicked pleased with the results, and I was even happier about the fact that you can make this a bit ahead and it is every bit as good served hot or at room temperature; so, one less worry during a feast day dinner!

•1/2 lb bacon, diced
•1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
•1 head cabbage, cored and sliced (or, check out your market’s prepared fresh, here!” assortment)
•1/4 cup Zippy Mustard*
•12 oz beer
•2 tbsp sugar
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce**
•1 tsp caraway seeds
•1/2 tsp Kosher salt
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1/2 tsp black pepper

*Or, use your fave coarse brown or Dijon.

***No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.

Cook the bacon in a large pot over low heat until browned and a bit crispity.

Add the onions, tossing with the bacon and any fat in the pan to coat, and cook for another ten minutes or so, until the onion is nicely tender.

Add the remaining ingredients, with the beer at the last, scraping up any tasty browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Cook, stirring every now and again, until the cabbage is crisp tender, about 30 minutes.

AT this point, I covered the pan, set it on the back of the stove, and went along with entertaining our guests and putting the finishing touchings on the rest of dinner; safe in the knowledge that the cabbage was well and truly in hand.

And wicked tasty!

Go ahead and enjoy your feast day, and relax in the fact that the veggies, at least, are a snap to toss together.

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Sweet Red Onion Salad Dressing and Baby Spinach Salad

Our book club was gathering for a Sunday afternoon of chat, wine drinking, and food; and I was in the mood for a spinach salad.

Thing is, the salad, which has thinly sliced red onion, mandarin oranges, and feta cheese, needed a nice salad dressing, and I was interested in making a sweet, but really pretty darned good for you Red Onion Dressing, so, I wet looking around da Google, and found a couple of interesting versions that I thought I could work with. except…

They all called for rather a lot of sugar – anywhere from 1/2 to 3/4 cup; and I wasn’t really planning in using any sugar, relying on some local honey to bring the sweet.

So, I gathered my ingredients, and cut way back on the honey just for good measure, and came up with this very nice salad dressing – for spinach or any other greens you’d care to try.

Salad Dressing:
•1 medium red onion, chopped
•1 clove garlic
•1/4 cup honey
•1/2 tsp Kosher salt
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1 tsp celery Seed
•3 tbsp Mustard*
•1/3 cup vinegar – I used O Champagne Vinegar, but cider would work as well.
•3/4 cup oil
•1 tsp poppy seed

•Baby spinach
•Romaine lettuce
•Thinly sliced red onion
•Mandarin oranges, well drained
•Feta cheese, crumbled

*I make my own spicy-sweet mustard by stirring together 1/2 cup each of yellow mustard, Dijon mustard, and honey; then stir in 1/2 teaspoon of Aleppo pepper.

Place the coarsely chopped onion and garlic in your blender jar along with the honey, Kosher salt, black and Aleppo peppers, celery seed, mustard, and vinegar.

Cover the blender and pulse until the onion and garlic are well chopped and the mixture is smooth and thick.

With the blender running, slowly pour the oil in through the hole in the top and continue blending until the dressing has absorbed all of the oil and emulsified.

Sprinkle the poppy seeds over the dressing and pulse just until mixed in.

Transfer to container(s) – I ended up with about 1-1/2 pints – and stash in the fridge for a couple of hours or (even better) overnight to allow the flavors to blend.

Note: this dressing, as a rule, will not separate, but if yours does for some reason, just give it a good whisking before serving.

For the salad; place the baby spinach and romaine in a large bowl, then add the red onion, mandarin oranges, and feta cheese. I would not say no to a bit of dried cherries and mebbe some candied pecans, too.

Toss to combine and serve.

By all means toss the dressing with the salad, if you like, but I just passed the dressing and let folks do their own.

Nice dressing, and a very nice salad!

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Pasta Pie

We were having family over for a feast and, while I had the basics covered – Pickled Avocado, Snoop Dogg’s Most Excellent Ham, Deviled Eggs and the like; I was in need of some options. One nephew was vegetarian, and a sister in law could not eat gluten, so, while the ham was good for her (and she loved the pickled avocado), the feast day potatoes were out.

What to do? Why, make a gluten free chickpea pasta pie with home made vegetarian tomato basil sauce, of course!

By the way, thanks to the very nice folk at Food Network for the original recipe, Rigatoni Pie.

First, a note about the pasta. We’ve been loving the Banza chickpea pasta – available at most of our local markets, either in with the pasta, or in the Gluten Free section.


The nice folk at Banza tell you to “expect foam” when cooking, and man! are they not kidding! You are gonna want to use your tallest pot, and still be prepared for some foamy spillage and cleanup.’

Still totally worth it, this really good stuff.

•6 tbsp olive oil
•9 cloves garlic, minced*
•1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
•28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
•15 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
•1-1/2 cup water
•1 cup loosely-packed fresh basil leaves
•1 tsp Kosher salt
•2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
•1 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1 lb rigatoni
•1 lb mozzarella, grated
•2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

•9 inch spring form pan

*Note: I buy my garlic peeled and marinated from the olive bar at one of my local markets.

Warm four tablespoons of the olive oil over medium low heat, then, add the garlic once the oil begins to sizzle.

Cook, stirring every now and then, for six minutes, until the garlic is browned and soft.

Stir in the red pepper flakes, then add the tomatoes and water.

Note: do not drain the tomatoes, add the juice in as well.

Set the heat to high, and bring the sauce to a boil, crushing the tomatoes with the back of a spoon. Don’t stress if the tomatoes seem a bit lumpy, a good whizzz with an immersion blender a bit later on will make all right with the world.

Lower the heat to keep the sauce simmering and cook, stirring often for 15 minutes, until the sauce been reduced and thickened.

Remove from the heat, stir in the basil, salt, and peppers, and set aside to rest for ten minutes or so.

While the sauce is resting, go ahead and cook your pasta according to package instructions, but undercooking it just a bit – just eight minutes – before draining, rinsing, and  spreading out on a rimmed baking sheet and tossing with one tablespoon of olive oil. My chickpea pasta guys don’t seem to make rigatoni, which was originally called for, but the penne I opted for worked a treat.

Pop your cooled sauce into a blender – or, use your wicked handy immersion blender (why do you not have one of these?) and purée until smooth.

By the way, this is one very nice sauce!

Line a rimmed baking ban with foil and brush the spring form pan with that final one tablespoon of olive oil.

Place the cooked and oiled pasta in the oiled spring form pan – the nice folk at Food Network stood their rigatoni on end to make for a totally cool presentation. The penne saved my from dealing with that, and my pie still came out fine and tasty.

Pour the sauce over the pasta, spreading it and pushing down just a bit with the back of a spoon to get in all the crevices.

Top with the cheeses and cover with foil, tenting the top a bit to keep the foil from touching the cheeses.

Note: I made my pasta pie a day ahead and stashed it, covered, in the fridge. If you want to use it right away, bake in a hot 375º oven, covered, for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool for ten minutes before removing the ring around the pan (running a knife between the pasta and the pan makes this part easier).

Cut in wedges and serve.

Since I made mine a day ahead, I brought the pan out of the fridge to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking in that hot 375º oven for 30 minutes covered and another 30 minutes uncovered.

It all worked a treat, and, feast day or not, I will be making this again!

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Parfait! Baked Brie With Pepper Jelly

So… my niece has just discovered the wonder that is Pepper Jelly on a cracker.

Mebbe with a slice of pear.

Just imagine, then how she is going to react to this repeat post of one of my all time top visited recipes…

Brie, sliced in half, slathered with pepper jelly in the center, then wrapped in crescent roll dough (y’know, from the market), and baked.

This pretty terrific way to start a party is actually fairly simple to toss together, too. You can usually buy pepper jelly at a well stocked market or gourmet shop; or, make your own. My recipe is here, and you can cheat just a bit and use sliced frozen peppers (Trader Joe’s usually has them for a good price) – then, you’re just mucking about with the jalapeños, which are no real trouble.

The original recipe, from the nice folk at Pillsbury, calls for wrapping the Brie in the entire packet of crescent doll dough, but I much prefer using half the dough and baking the rest as rolls to scoop up some of that luscious baked brie.

•1 round (8 oz) Brie
•1 can (8 oz) crescent dinner rolls*
•Pepper jelly (a couple of tablespoons)
•1 egg, beaten

*Mebbe two – see below.

Heat your oven to 350°.

Open the crescent roll can and press half of the dough into a rectangle (form the other half of the dough into four rolls, arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet, mebbe with another can of crescent rolls, and bake according to package instructions.

I used a brie baker we’d picked up on special at a shop just after Christmas – an advantage to having a gathering just after the holidays – so used that; if you don’t have a Brie baker (a round, ceramic baking dish to hold the cheese), line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the squared out half of the dough in the center.

Cut the Brie in half through the center and set aside.

Arrange the dough in the baker, or in the center of the parchment lined baking pan, and place half the Brie, cut side up, in the center.

Spread with pepper jelly to cover, then place the second Brie half, cut side down, on top.

Fold the dough over the Brie, pressing to bring together in the center, then brush with the lightly beaten egg. You could get a bit fancy and gather the dough points into a kindofa crown flourish in the center in honor of Brie’s appellation as the “queen of cheese,” but I just kept it simple and trusted to the egg wash and warm oven to make some magic all by themselves.

Slightly crusty, golden brown dough filled with warm and rich, creamy cheese – and that surprise element of the pepper jelly in the middle – who needs fondu?

I served ours with crackers and a cheese knife for spreading; I did not have the foresight to think to bake a that half can of crescent rolls along with another can to serve warm with the Brie until I was editing the images and recipe for this post, bummer.


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