Saturday, March 17, 2007

Brie in pastry with red onion confit

Among the things we served on the last night of our Winterim cooking class was crostini with goat cheese mousse and a red onion confit. The goat cheese mousse was dead simple:
  • set out a six ounce tube of goat cheese to warm
  • chop about a tbsp of parsley
  • whip up about a quarter cup of heavy cream
  • fold everything together
  • season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
The confit went like so:
  • slice 2 lbs red onions (about 4 large onions)
  • simmer in a pan with
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1/2 c. red wine
  • 5/8 c. (1/2 c. + 2 tbsp; 5 fl. oz.) red wine vinegar
  • until the mixture is the consistency of marmalade
  • S&P to taste
Upon tasting the confit, Lizzy proclaimed that it would be good with brie. So last Sunday night, that's what I did. I cheated with the pastry and used a small thwack packet of croissant dough.[1] I just twacked the tube, pulled out the four ready-made croissants, and instead of rolling them up, I rolled them out into one big sheet. (I used a small tube because of Lizzy's diabetes-induced bread restrictions, but next time I will probably use a regular-sized tube of dough.)

I made a quarter recipe of the confit (one huge red onion, 1 oz each of the honey & the wine, and splash more than that of the vinegar).
I took one six inch brie wheel and cut it in half.
I set the brie in the middle of the croissant dough to make an impression, then took it off and set it aside.

I put half of the confit within that circular impression on the dough, put half the brie down, put on the rest of the confit, then the rest of the brie, then wrapped the dough over the brie and pinched it closed. I then flipped it (smooth dough on top) and baked it in accordance with the instructions on the thwack tube.

It was very tasty.

Next time, I will do at least two things differently (apart from more dough, which was requested by SWMBO). 1) Chop the onion instead of slicing it. 2) Add some walnut pieces to the confit that ends up on top (the bottom layer as it is assembled). And Lizzy suggested adding raisins to the confit close to the end, but this is getting very close to a chutney, don't you think?


[1] Are Lizzy & I the only ones who call those biscuits that come in tubes "thwack biscuits"? I think that Pillsbury is the best known purveyors of these things. You know the ones. You peel the outer layer off the tube and then there's that cardboard with the line tha says to press here with a spoon. But why press when they usually pop open on their own? And when they don't, isn't it much more satisfying to thwack the tube sharply against the edge of the counter?

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