Friday, January 8, 2010

Greek Style Baked Brie, because feta isn't the only cheese

Baked brie.
The ladies' (and men who are secure enough in their masculinity to admit it) favorite hors d'œuvre that enchants many a holiday party and family feast during the colder seasons. Oh wait, I forgot I live in Southern California. Well, at least we pretend it gets cold giving us excuses to indulge in super rich foods, i.e. cheese laden with nuts baked with buttery pastry, worthy of minus 10 degree weather, whatever that feels like. We weren't out shoveling snow for the last hour entitling us to extra helpings of butter. Nope, we were prancing around in our scandalous nike running shorts - equipped with stunner shades, mind you, washing our cars so we can look that much more stylish while inching by on the 405 traffic nightmare.  
 So worthy of baked brie.

My baked brie is simple: a few sheets of phyllo, some butter, pistachios (from Greece), nectarine preserves made by Greek Orthodox monks and brie. Of course you don't have to use fruit preserves made by holly people. You can use whatever fruit preserves / jam / dried fruit you like. I've tried one version with dried figs and one with preserved wild strawberries and walnuts, but I like the nectarine & pistachio combo the best. The #1 most important factor to remember when making baked brie is to avoid the temptation to cut it fresh out of the oven and let it sit a good 15 minutes. If you cut it right away, a sickening brie lava flow will emerge, sending your guests running for the hills.

Ingredients:
1 large wedge of brie (1/2 - 1 lb)
5 sheets phyllo
1/2 cup nectarine preserves (I used nectarine jam from St. Anthony Greek Orthodox Monastery, made by monks)
1/2 cup salted pistachios
1/2 cup butter

Instructions:
1. Heat oven to 375 °F.
2. Melt butter in a small bowl.
3. On a cooking sheet, layer phyllo sheets sprinkling melted butter in between.
4. Place brie on top of layers in the center.
5. Top with pistachios, saving a few for the top.
6. Top with nectarine preserves.
7. Fold up side of phyllo to cover brie stack and seal with remaining butter.
8. Cut a few slits on top and top with saved nuts.
9. Bake for 20 minutes or until browned.
10. Wait at least 15 minutes before cutting.

 Patience, grasshopper.

4 comments:

Diana said...

Then again, if the guests go running for the hills, they can justify indulging in more of the baked brie.

fam. Constantinides said...

Nice recipe Anna, well done ....again!!! About Argos, we thought he is more a Bob Marley but the cap lost collor.
Kisses from all of us from cold (-18) and white Holland.
Marion. (ps 3 more week to go for taking of the gypsum - afterwards I must learn to walk again and train my muscles and new knee)

Peter M said...

I want to eat this now. I'll bring the Viognier from Greece.

Anna A. said...

Diana, I dig your train of thought.

Marion, Thanks! Argos does look a little reggae - a little thought to warm you up?

Peter, Yes, please! Come over!