I like to set goals and objectives for myself, almost akin to New Year’s resolutions. Just the process of thinking about what I might want to do in the coming seasons helps me to keep in focus what’s really important: family, food, and community. Now there are some members of my family that would argue that the order of importance of these priorities varies, and that food is often my major concern. While I may agree with their analysis, my response is that love of food is what makes me a “foodie.” And I show my love for you through food.
Pondering my foodie adventure opportunities for the coming year, there are two trends that really excite me: learning a new cuisine and the return of simple and luxurious cooking.
Back in the day, travel to other regions were opportunities for me to experience the flavors and taste of a new cuisine. For better or worse: the food world has changed. Visiting exotic places may not be practical, but living vicariously through talented and creative restaurant cooks, authors, and food writers is an economical ticket to studying a new cuisine. Plus health food stores, cooperatives and online shopping have made ingredient sourcing for these gastronomical styles more accessible.
The return of simple and luxurious cooking is music to my ears and chocolate to my palate. Who doesn’t love food that enlivens the senses, soothes the palate, and speaks to the heart? The recipe for Baked Brie with Roasted Mushrooms is one that elevates the modest mushroom to a lavish feast.
Inspired by the blog Smitten Kitchen digest, and based on a recipe of the former monthly publication Gourmet Magazine, this dish is incredibly rich and sinfully simple to prepare. Chopped mushrooms are roasted with butter and garlic until beautifully browned, and then a round of Brie is nestled in between these delectable morsels and baked until liquid and golden.
Served with toast points or a nice, crusty baguette, Baked Brie with Mushrooms is perfect party fare. For a modest supper, I served this delicious dish with roasted butternut squash and a spinach and apple salad. Encores or leftovers the next day were spread on bread with chutney for a tasty luncheon sandwich.
In our household, every meal is a delight and taste is everything. I encourage you to cook from the heart, with local, seasonal ingredients. Food that is simple and classically prepared is luxurious and can become the touchstone of your cooking and kitchen. Food that is generously shared is love, and this year for me, love is everything.
Baked Brie with Roasted Mushrooms
- 1 pound mushrooms assorted varieties are tasty
- 2 tablespoons capers drained and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Sea Salt
- Fresh Pepper
- 2 – 3 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Fresh thyme sprigs
- 8 ounce wheel of Brie cheese or a cheese with outside rind and creamy interior
- Toast points
- Assemble ingredients and tools. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Brush the dirt off the mushrooms, and roughly chop into nickel-sized pieces. Chop the garlic. Drain and chop the capers.
- In a large baking dish, toss the chopped mushrooms, garlic, and capers with the olive oil. Season with sea salt and fresh pepper, and dot the top with butter. Roast the mushrooms in the 450 degree oven, turning once, until nicely brown and a sauce starts to form, about 15 minutes.
- While the mushrooms are roasting, trim the top rind off the wheel of cheese.
- Make a space in the center of the pan of roasted mushrooms for the wheel of cheese, add the cheese and top with the thyme sprigs.
- Return the pan to the oven and roast until the cheese is almost liquid, 10 minutes or so.
- Remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle the chopped parsley and lemon juice over the dish, and season to taste with sea salt and fresh pepper.