While the origins of French brie are veiled in the mists of history, some accounts link it to the indomitable Emperor Charlemagne. Like all great kings, Charlemagne showed great interest not just in the protection of the realm and the administration of justice but in fostering the betterment of his people through education, culture, and the arts. Thus, it is not surprising to see him associated with “the king of cheeses”–to use Tallyerand’s eulogy of French brie.
A wheel of Brie. Photo by Claire Brosman
Why not muse of Charlemagne and his twelve peers, Roland and Oliver, while enjoying brie with a French baguette? Or even better, while enjoying some baked brie and a glass of red wine? You will be delighted with this cheese that also thrilled the great Charles.
Try these two delicious recipes today!
Preheat the oven to 335°
6 large Portobello mushrooms, sliced
2 onions, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 8″ wheel of brie
4 tablespoons butter
- Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onions and sautée for about 4 minutes
- Add the sliced mushrooms and sautée for another 2 minutes
- Add the chopped fresh thyme and salt and sautée for another 6 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Cut the brie wheel in half, lengthwise. (It will help if the brie is very cold. The knife will stick less).
- Place each of the two brie circles, rind-side down (cream part of the cheese face up), into its own Pyrex pie dish. Spoon half of the sautéed mushrooms and onion mixture over each.
Bake for 20 minutes
Enjoy it with a French baguette– voilá!
Makes an appetizer for about 14 people.
Preheat oven to 350°
8″ wheel of brie
1 cup of raspberry jam
1 cup of finely chopped dried fruit (a good combination is apricots and dried cranberries; but you can also try some dried cherries or figs)
Swig of brandy (or similar liqueur)
1/2 tsp of lemon peel
2 tsp of sugar
Combine everything except the brie and the raspberry jam in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, for four more minutes .
Place the brie (with its rind) on an oven-proof plate, coat the top of it with the raspberry jam, and then top with the heated fruit mix.
Bake at 350° for about 15 minutes.
Voilá! Enjoy it with a fresh French baguette.