Monday, January 29, 2007

Whipped Brie de Meaux en Feuilleté with Tellicherry Pepper and Baby Mâche

I'll admit from the get-go that I was a bit distracted when making this little cheese course, because I was on the phone with an old high school friend dissecting the recent yet-not-totally shocking demise of another high school friend's marriage. So, while this dish turned out brilliantly and tasted sooooo good, I don't have any photos of the mise en place, and there aren't as many photos of all the different steps as I had planned. Another side note before I get started: I know at the end of my last post, I said that the next thing I'd be making is a fruitwood-smoked salmon with gnocchi, but I lied. I need a bit more time to make some of the oils and other things that go in that dish, so I'm waiting until later in the week when I have a totally free evening.

Anyhoo, enough of the chit-chat. Let's talk about cheese. It's a tad coincidental that I chose to make this cheese-e-tizer on the same I day I went to the gym for the first time in, oh, three years (and of course by three years, I mean nine or ten years... or maybe 12... or, like, ever.). After 45 minutes on the treadmill listening to my iPod, I had a hankering for something dairy, so I headed over to Whole Foods on the way home to pick up the ingredients I needed. Yeah, it really sucks having a gym so close to a Whole Foods. And Starbucks. And Chik-Fil-A. And a sushi joint. I suck, I know... I KEEP DIGRESSING. I need to knock it off.

So, the whipped brie. Let's break it down (I'm so dope). The first thing I did was remove the rind from the triple-cream brie and put it in the KitchenAid mixer, and using the paddle attachment, whipped it on medium for 12 minutes. Here's what it looked like when it was done:

At the same time the brie was whipping away, I sliced a baguette on the diagonal to create croutons. I brushed each slice with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled them lightly with kosher salt. Into a 300-degree oven they went for 12 minutes:

Now, it's assembly time. First on the plate is a drizzled design of balsamic glaze, which you may recall I made when I did the gazpacho. My drizzled design was in the shape of an aneurysm since I don't quite have the artistic touch yet to do artful drizzles. I'll need to work on that some night when I have some free time, which will be pretty much NEVER, so deal with it people.

After drizzling the balsamic glaze, I layered a quenelle of the whipped brie. A quenelle is when you take two spoons and through creative and tactical scoopage you create an oval-ish shape of whatever substance you're working with. Mine certainly would not make it into the Quenelle Hall of Fame, nor would they even get an honorable mention, but they also sort of resembled the shape they were supposed to be, so I didn't sweat it too much.

Next, you layer one of the croutons on top of the brie. Then, you add a few leaves of baby mâche, which the market didn't have, so I used arugula instead (which is in the same peppery leafy greens family). I then dropped a few drops of olive oil onto the arugula, then added a tiny pinch of sea salt and an even tinier pinch of fresh-ground tellicherry pepper. Then, you add another crouton on the side, and another quenelle of brie.

Then, you tell your dog to STOP BEGGING and WHINING for the eleventy-millionth time because he simply cannot stand to be in the same room as CHEESE and not get to EAT IT.

Then, you dig in and eat it just as it is presented here...

... and because you don't want to defeat the entire purpose of having gone to the gym, you give the rest of them to your neighbors as an appetizer before they sit down for dinner.

In closing, this was so easy and really, really good. I have to admit: I'm not a huge fan of brie. It always seems to have a chlorine aftertaste to it, but when it's whipped like this was, and you add the balsamic glaze and the arugula, I think I'm in love. Another little amuse-bouche I can take to Friday afternoon cocktails in the future.

Up next: Warm Fruitwood-Smoked Salmon with Potato Gnocchi and Balsamic Glaze (I mean it this time).

Wine Pairing:
Joseph Drouhin, Mersault (it's so clean and really lets the brie do its thing)

Brands Used:
Cheeses, bread and produce from Whole Foods
Calphalon baking sheet
Kuhn Rikon S&P grinders
KitchenAid stand mixer

Music to Cook By: White Nights Soundtrack. This was one of my favorite movies in high school (because I am a huge nerd), and I recently rediscovered this soundtrack and I love it so much I might marry it (again, because I am a huge nerd).


Anonymous said...

When are you going to make dessert sushi? Is that in the French Laundry cookbook?

Anonymous said...

Whipped brie? So awesome. Wish I could've been there.

pdxblogmommy said...

I, personally, loved the brain fart vinegar glaze design.

This all looks so easy it's almost hard to believe there's a separate entry for it.

But the photo of Chicken Movie made it all worthwhile.

Randi said...

I love weiners!! I have two, they are beggers for sure.

Unknown said...

Your dachsie is so cute! I love your blog too - its an inspiration to me to cook more often and more adventurously.