One of the world's most beloved cheeses, brie dates back to the 8th century. It's characterized by a creamy soft center and white edible rind. Although Brie originates in France, it's so popular that countries across the world now produce it. Brie is made from whole or skimmed cow's milk. When perfectly ripe, the interior should ooze. Brie has a short shelf life and mild flavor. The versatile cheese can be eaten alone or spread on crackers and bread. Since it's ideal for melting, baked brie is another desirable method of preparation. To find out how I baked mine with mushrooms, read more.
When I saw this recipe in a recent issue of Bon Appétit, I knew I had to try it. Because it can be made in advance and is vegetarian, it's the perfect crowd-pleasing appetizer. Oh and not to mention: it's wildly delicious!
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms*
2/3 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
6 ounces crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, halved or quartered if large
6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, sliced
2 tablespoons minced shallot (about 1 large)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 13- to 14-ounce Brie (about 5 inches in diameter; preferably in wooden box)
1 baguette, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- Rinse dried porcini to remove any grit. Place porcini and wine in small saucepan. Bring to simmer over low heat; remove from heat. Let soak until soft, about 20 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer porcini to work surface and coarsely chop. Line strainer with damp paper towel; strain wine into small bowl and reserve.
- Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add crimini and shiitakes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until brown, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.
- Add shallot and stir until soft, about 1 minute.
- Add chopped porcini and strained wine. Boil until almost dry, about 1 minute. Stir in thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool.
- Remove Brie from box, discarding lid and paper. Using sharp knife, cut top rind from Brie; discard. Return Brie to box. (Alternatively, stack two 12-inch rounds of foil and fold up around bottom and sides of Brie, crimping foil at edges, leaving top exposed.) Mound mushroom mixture atop Brie. DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before continuing.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place Brie with mushrooms on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until cheese begins to melt and mushrooms are warmed through, about 15 minutes. Transfer Brie in box to plate. Serve hot with baguette slices.
- Breads/Crackers, Appetizers