Wednesday, September 26, 2012

BAKED BRIE with Roasted Red Pepper and Walnuts (best wine dinner ever)

Baked brie topped with a mix of spicy and sweet cannot be beat.  Especially if you are pairing it with a bottle (or two? oops) of wine while dining with your sweetie.

This is my favorite "cheat" meal.  I make it differently depending on my mood and what's in the cupboards and fridge.   The picture shows the recipe below, but at the end you will also find further suggestions.  Use bagel chips, pita chips, raw veggies (baby carrots, sliced red pepper, and cucumber), or homemade veggie chips to dip.

What you need:

Brie cheese, either a round or a wedge.  I guess a round is fancier if you have company, but the wedge suits us fine.
Roasted red pepper (either homemade or from the jar), cut into small pieces
Walnuts, chopped (2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup, depending on how much brie you are making)
Red Pepper Flakes

Slice the brie in half lengthwise and place on greased baking sheet (if you have something that both looks nice and is oven-proof, use that.  This thing isn't moving after baking).
Top with roasted red pepper and walnuts.  Drizzle LIGHTLY with honey and sprinkle the red pepper flakes.  Bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes, or until the brie is completely melted and bubbly at the edges. (If you have a toaster oven use that!  It broils it a bit as it cooks, which helps toast the nuts and caramelize the sugar a bit).


And some variations:

Instead of roasted red peppers and walnuts, try out the following combinations:

*spread low sugar/ "just fruit" apricot or orange jam on top of brie and then top with sliced jalapenos or red pepper flakes
*top the brie with thinly sliced fresh peach/nectarine and then sprinkle on the jalapenos or red pepper flakes
*try adding almonds/ walnuts to either of the above options
*if you are like me, and living somewhere you can not easily get jalapenos or red pepper flakes, Tabasco sauce works in a pinch to add some heat to your fruity brie

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