Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bread and Oscars

Bread + cheese = award winning combo. At least that's what I think. And at least that's what I brought to my friend Laura's annual Oscars Party. Laura, a consummate hostess, gets very into the Oscars: not only does she do a themed menu, she does a three-plus-course, three-plus-selections-per-course themed menu -- it's practically a Top Chef finale. So to complement a menu that included chips and salsa, raw veggies, chutney, turkey chili, naan, jambalaya, cheeseburgers, sausage and kraut, German chocolate cake and milk and cookies, I brought an homage to the best picture nominee Milk: a round of cranberry pecan sourdough bread from Our Daily Bread, stuffed with melted double cream brie and topped with extra dried cranberries and chopped pecans. Served with slices of honey crisp and granny smith apples from Terhune Orchards, it took less time to assemble than most award acceptance speeches. And, come to think of it, barely lasted longer than one once I put it out on the coffee table.
Easy Baked Brie
I cut the rind of the brie before cutting into cubes and found a serrated knife did the trick.
1 round loaf of bread (sourdough or other flavored bread recommended)
1 T. Olive oil
12-14 oz. of brie, cut into rough cubes
1-2 T. of chopped nuts/dried fruit/herbs, to complement your flavored bread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Slice off top 1/3 of round; hollow out remaining loaf leaving 1 inch border all around.
Eat small amount of bread right away. Cube top of loaf and "innerds" for later dipping.
Drizzle Olive oil inside of bread bowl. Add herbs if using.
Stuff brie into bread bowl, packing down to get as much cheese inside as possible.
Place bread on cookie tray covered with an extra large piece of foil. Bake, uncovered for approximately 35 minutes or until cheese is oozing but not browning. If exposed edges or cheese appear to be burning, cover loosely with foil.
During last 10 minutes of cooking, top with nuts and dried fruit, if using.

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