Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mini Baked Brie Bites and a First Try at Poached Eggs

I love love love breakfast food!  Every Saturday, I take a long time to make myself a special breakfast (or sometimes brunch if I'm feeling lazy).  I like to try out new recipes and also take this time to master the basics.  I have to admit that I was always a little afraid of trying poached eggs.  Being intimidated by an egg sounds silly, but for some reason it seemed like an unattainable feat.  Well, this week I decided to bite the bullet and poach an egg.  Being a scientist at heart, I turned to a chef that always seems to know, chemically, why food cooks the way it does, Mr. Alton Brown.  After a science lesson from Alton I was ready to tackle the poached egg.  Alton suggested adding a teaspoon of vinegar for each cup of water in the pan.  Brilliant!  I never would have guessed that step in a million years... thanks AB!  Okay, I know this is too much enthusiasm about the poaching an egg, but the thing is that it worked and tasted really really good!

I put about 2 inches of water in a deep sided sauce pan, added 2 tsp of vinegar, then added one egg at a time to the boiling water (I cracked them individually into a bowl first).  Then I covered the pan, took it off of the heat and let it sit for 6 minutes.  I served the poached eggs on a toasted English muffin with sauteed arugula that I bought at the South of the James Market.  Yum!!

To accompany my newly mastered poached eggs I decided to adapt a recipe that I first tried for Thanksgiving.  Since the Food Network stars are a second family to me, I called on a recipe from Ms. Paula Deen for Baked Brie.  I just love Paula.  She adds butter to everything which makes it taste amazing and she is just so darn cute.  My mom recently introduced me to the mini-bries from Trader Joes, so looking at the sheet of puff pastry that I had left over from the Thanksgiving baked brie and thinking about my mini-bries, lightning bolts went off in my head and I decided to make mini-baked brie bites!  I feel like this is one of my crowing achievements as a home cook.
Mini Brie Bites from Trader Joe
I started by defrosting one sheet of puff pastry and cutting it into six rectangles.  Then I browned about 1/4 cup of chopped pecans in butter.  Then I placed one mini-brie on each rectangle of puff pastry, topped it with about a teaspoon of nuts and a table spoon of blackberry jam.
Puff Pastry cut into six pieces, topped with a mini brie bite, toasted pecans, and blackberry jam.
I pulled the corners of the pastry up to make a little enclosed packet and brushed the outside with a beaten egg.  *In this part of the recipe I deviate from Paula's recipe.  She says to brush both sides of the pastry with egg before you fill it.  I found that the part that touches the cookie sheet will stick to the pan if it is brushed with egg, so I waited until the end to only brush the outside with egg and it didn't stick.  Take note Paula!
Mini Baked Brie Bites fresh from the oven.

The pastry packets were cooked at 425 degrees F for 25 mins and I served them warm on water crackers.  They were divine!
Melty, cheesy, blackberry goodness!

1 comment:

  1. You could have learned the vinegar trick from me! I put a cap full of vinegar in the water when I make poached eggs...learned it from my personal Alton Brown aka Gretchen Hoffmann :)

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