Among the many foods I love, Brie pretty much is in the top 10. This Pampered Chef recipe is one that was recommended to me when I hosted my very first party. I unwittingly bought a 16 oz wheel which meant that the portions for the rest of the ingredients had to be doubled. That error on my part turned out to be a good thing because my guests snarfed this up like there was no tomorrow.
The recipe was so yummy that I decided to make it again the next day (this time with the appropriately sized round of cheese). Just one girlfriend and I polished the whole thing off…calories be damned.
This is an easy and impressive appetizer that pulls together quickly. To save time I purchased a small bag of pecan pieces or chips. If you go this route, only use 1/4 cup…the little pieces take up less room so you don’t need as much.
- 1/2 cup pecan halves
- 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed and seeded
- 1/4 cup apricot preserves
- 1 4-inch round (8 ounces) Brie cheese with rind, room temperature
- 1 loaf (16 ounces) French baguette
- Vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 425°F. Coarsely chop pecans using Chef’s Knife. Chop jalapeño using Food Chopper. In Small Batter Bowl, combine jalapeño and preserves; mix well using Skinny Scraper.
Cut Brie in half horizontally using Utility Knife. Place one half of Brie, cut side up, onto center of Large Round Stone. Spread half of the apricot mixture evenly over bottom half of Brie using Small Spreader. Top with half of the pecans and remaining half of Brie, cut side up. Spread remaining apricot mixture over Brie; sprinkle with remaining pecans.
Using Bread Knife, cut baguette on a bias into twenty-four 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange baguette slices around Brie; spray with oil using Kitchen Spritzer. Bake 8-10 minutes or until baguette slices are golden brown and Brie begins to soften. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes before serving. Yield: 12 servings
Nutrients per serving: Calories 230, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrate 38 g, Protein 6 g, Sodium 400 mg, Fiber 2 g
Cook’s Tip: Wear plastic gloves when working with jalapeño peppers. The juice from the peppers can create a burning sensation on the skin.
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Brie: Substitute 2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained, patted dry and chopped for the apricot preserves. Substitute 1 tablespoon prepared basil pesto for the jalapeño pepper and 1/4 cup pine nuts for the pecans. Proceed as recipe directs.
Nutrients per serving: Calories 220, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrate 35 g, Protein 7 g, Sodium 420 mg, Fiber 2 g
Brown Sugar Dijon Brie: Substitute 1/2 cup brown sugar for the apricot preserves, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard for the jalapeño pepper and 1/2 cup sliced almonds for the pecans. Reserve 1/4 cup of the almonds. Chop remaining almonds; combine brown sugar, chopped almonds and mustard. Assemble as directed in Step 2; top with reserved almonds. Proceed as recipe directs.
Nutrients per serving: Calories 250, Total Fat 5 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrate 43 g, Protein 7 g, Sodium 430 mg, Fiber 2
Recipe and photo credit – The Pampered Chef