Monday, January 4, 2010

Brie in Puff Pastry with Port Glazed Caramelized Onions

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a fun and safe New Years Eve and have already made 2010 their best year yet! For New Years Eve this year, a friend of mine had a low key gathering with great people, food, drinks, and games. I have done both the bar and club thing in years past, and have realized that the best New Years parties tend to be the more low key ones. I would much rather go to someone's house and hang out with a few great people than go to an overcrowded club filled with sweaty, drunk strangers, bad music, and no coat check and end up stranded, unable to get a cab...yes, I am recalling a past experience. So my friends small house party was just perfect!

I wanted to contribute to the party by bringing party horns, sparklers, glow stick straws, and, of course, food! I enjoyed my Baked Caramelized Onion Brie in Puff Pastry from Christmas so much that I decided to make it again. Because I had just made it a week earlier, I wanted to make it slightly different. A few months ago I tried the best caramelized onions I have ever eaten at a restaurant. What made the onions so special was that they were cooked with port wine. I just had to duplicate that! Although the difference in flavour was subtle, it made all the difference to me! The subtle flavour of port added a whole new dimension to the dish! I also used a smaller wheel of brie, which allowed me to have leftover scraps of puff pastry. Nothing goes to waste in my house, so I cut out a star shape using a cookie cutter out of the leftover pastry, as well as lines to create a sort of shooting star look. Using an egg wash, I attached the shooting star to the top of my wrapped brie, and TA DA! I now had the most festive looking brie I've ever seen!
Tip: Make the onions a day ahead to save on time. Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.

1 sheet of thawed puff pastry
1 wheel of brie (5 - 8 inches in diameter)
1 - 1 1/2 onions, chopped or sliced
about 1 tbsp port wine
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp butter
1 egg, beaten (optional)

1. Heat olive oil and butter in a medium skillet over medium low heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until they have reached a brown colour. Add the port and scrape any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon. Continue cooking until the liquid has dissolved and the onions have darkened further and have become sweet and sticky. Reduce heat if burning. You want the onions to cook slowly. The entire cooking process should take about 30-40 minutes.

2. Lay out the thawed puff pastry on your work surface and flour lightly. Using a rolling pin, stretch out the pastry so that it is large enough to fully wrap the wheel of brie.

3. Using a large knife, cut the wheel of brie in half, lengthwise. Spoon the cooked onions onto one of the exposed (not the white rind) halves of brie. Place the other half on top. The onions should be in the middle of the two exposed halves.

4. Wrap the brie wheel in the puff pastry, lightly pressing the edges together. Cut off any extra pastry scraps and, using a cookie cutter, cut shapes out of the scraps. Place the wrapped brie on a baking sheet, seam side down. You may brush your pastry with the beaten egg at this point for a shiny finish. Add the pastry shapes on top of the wheel and brush with more egg wash. The egg wash adds a shiny finish and acts as a glue for the pastry shapes.

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned in a 350ยบ oven. Serve hot out of the oven with fresh bread and crackers.


Janice said...

I love the star design on the brie, it's very creative. I like how you used the port in your cooking. I'm trying to use more of it in my cooking this year. Happy New Year!

les Suspects Habituels said...


foodcreate said...

A good blog will keep people coming back. I look forward to your posts. Your knowledge of life at such a young age is impressive.

cuteseas said...

this looks delish. i have to try this next time i have company over! hope you had a great new year!