Alright, folks, I’m going to be honest with you. This past weekend, I had hot cheese for dinner.
I threw some sauteed mushrooms on a hunk of brie, stuck it in the oven and served it with bread and a side salad. Helloooo, Sunday night.
As some of you know, my appreciation for brie is somewhat legendary. My propensities toward cheese are so well-known, in fact, that as a goodbye gift when I left my last job, my co-workers gave me a wheel of brie that was roughly the size of my head. And a jar of Nutella. And crackers. They know me so well.
This is what sheer joy looks like, in case you were wondering.
This recipe comes from Epicurious. While the original recipe suggests serving this as an appetizer of sorts, I decided that no main course could ever live up to the epic deliciousness of hot, melty brie and wine-sauteed mushrooms. With bread. And a salad, because
bathing suit season is coming I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t eat something moderately healthy alongside my melted cheese main course. Besides, how many main courses are slathered in blistery, bubbly cheese? How many times do we eat mac and cheese, or chicken/eggplant/veal parmesan, or grilled cheese sandwiches as a meal? I simply decided that my hot cheese did not need a vessel in the form of pasta or meat. It was the star of the show, the big kahuna, the main event – and it was goooood. Obscenely unhealthy, but goooood. If you’re anything like me (perpetually in love with cheese and currently obsessed with mushrooms) … make this tonight. Or tomorrow, if you have plans tonight or already defrosted a chicken or something. I don’t care, just make it soon. Baked brie with mushrooms & thyme (tweaked a bit from Epicurious)
1 cup red wine
1/4 cup beef stock
4 oz dried mushrooms (porcini/oyster)
about 8 oz cremini
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp diced shallot
13-oz wheel of brie
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
crusty french bread/baguette, for serving
For the mushrooms:
Rinse the dried mushrooms to remove any grit, then place them and your wine and stock in small saucepan. Bring to simmer over low heat; remove from heat.
Let soak until soft, about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer porcini to a cutting board 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 your cremini mushrooms, 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/oysters and strained liquid. Boil until almost dry, about 1 minute. Stir in thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
For the big kahuna:
Preheat your oven to 350°F Using a sharp knife, cut top rind from Brie; discard. Stack two 12-inch rounds of foil and fold up around bottom and sides of brie, crimping foil at edges, leaving the top exposed, then place on a baking sheet.
Pile mushroom mixture on top of your brie. Bake until cheese begins to melt and mushrooms are warmed through, about 15 minutes.
Transfer brie to a plate and serve hot alongside (er, heaped on top of)baguette/French bread and a nice arugula salad.