Wow, I've been meaning to write this post for so long! But I just got to try out the recipe I had in mind, so it's finally time :) First I need to give a huge THANK YOU to Alex at Ile de France for giving me the opportunity to try their cheese!! I almost went with goat cheese, since I love it so, but decided to go for something i don't get very often--brie. I'm not well-versed in how to discern a high-class brie, but I do know that this was mighty tasty. It had a nice, uniform white rind and a creamy, mild taste. It sure did melt beautifully!! Here's what I have done with it so far...
First up were some amazing grilled cheeses (April is National Grilled Cheese month after all). The first used a nice ciabatta roll with some sliced grilled chicken breast and avocado slices. The brie almost disappeared into the bread, so luscious! I meant to add some dijon or grainy mustard, but forgot when it came time for assembly.
Next was a Black Forest Grilled Cheese (although normally "black forest" conjures images of chocolate and cherries, this name stuck in my head when I came up with it!). For this sandwich I topped a nice russian rye with oats with some brie, deli ham, and spiced sour cherry spread. Holy moly this knocked my socks off!!! The spiced cherry spread was not homemade, but needs to be recreated as soon as it's sour cherry season! The ingredient list included: cherries (both fresh and dried), burgandy wine reduction, ginger, lemon juice and "spices". SO good.
The last recipe I have to share is for a Nutty Quinoa w/Brie, Asparagus & Sundried Tomato Pesto. I wanted something a little different to submit to the Ile de France recipe contest (click for details, you have until the end of the month to submit a recipe!).
Nutty Quinoa w/Brie, Asparagus & Sundried Tomato Pesto
Recipe by Shannon
Serves 1 as a main dish, 2 as a side
Feel free to use more or less asparagus or brie, another spring veggie, or different whole grain in this dish, depending on what you're feeling at the moment (or have in your kitchen)!
1/2 bunch asparagus, trimmed and rinsed
1-2T lemon-flavored olive oil
1oz brie, diced
2T Sundried Tomato Pesto, see recipe below
Preheat oven to 450deg. Toss asparagus with oil, salt and pepper, then transfer to baking sheet. Roast asparagus for ~20min, or until desired doneness. Cut asparagus into ~1" pieces (I left some pieces for garnish)
Toast quinoa in a dry pot over low or med-low heat until it begins to pop. Keep an eye on it to prevent burning. Once toasted, add water and continue to cook over med-low heat for ~20min or so. The quinoa is done when you start to see 'tails' separate from mostly clear grains. Fluff quinoa with a fork, then mix in brie, asparagus and pesto. Transfer to serving dish and top with whole asparagus spears, if desired.
Sundried Tomato Pesto
Recipe by Shannon
This can be adjusted to suit your tastes-- I almost included some basil or other seasonings, mushrooms, and parmesan cheese.
10 sundried tomato halves
2T chopped walnuts
2-3T extra virgin olive oil
Pulse tomatoes and walnuts in food processor until crumbly and combined, then drizzle in enough olive oil for the mixture to come together.