An old friend of mine recently came up with the idea of starting a little group for folks who enjoy cooking… the process of creating something amazing in the kitchen… playing around with ingredients… and of presenting them beautifully. He threw the idea at me one day and we kicked around some ideas… and a few days later, the culinary capers were born.
We’ll pick one ingredient every week and group members will create and cook a recipe featuring that ingredient. Fun stuff (and a great way to get back into the swing of blogging)!
First ingredient… RASPBERRIES!
I had a hard time narrowing down all of my options this week… I blame too much time spent on the internet considering all of the possibilities. So, I settled on three recipes. That’s right. Three. I’ll share two today and another tomorrow (after I make it!). Enjoy!
First up… Raspberry Baked Brie. I adore baked brie. Creamy and warm in a flaky crust… perfection. Rather than make a huge one for just the two of us, I went with a mini for my husband and I to split. Three ingredients and thirty or so minutes later, we had an amazing, warm little appetizer to enjoy with crisp apple slices. Mmmm….
Next… the perfect welcome to Autumn (which seems to have finally arrived this week)… and just the thing for chasing away the chill of a very rainy day… Grilled Cheddar, Raspberry and Apple sandwiches. Crunchy, tangy, savory and just a little sweet all at once – these sandwiches were pretty amazing. The savory raspberry sauce is the perfect complement to the sharp cheese and the sourdough.
Raspberry Baked Brie
1/3 of one sheet of puff pastry dough, thawed
1.5 tablespoons of seedless raspberry jam
1 ounce of brie (I used a wedge of Wee Brie)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place puff pastry dough on parchment-lined baking sheet. Drop jam into the center of the dough and place brie on top of the jam. Gather corners and seal the dough around the filling completely.
Invert the dough-wrapped brie on the baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes until puff pastry is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Serve with apple wedges and/or crackers.
Grilled Cheddar, Raspberry and Apple Sandwiches
(serves 2 – adapted from food.com)
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon raspberry jam
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
5 ounces white cheddar cheese, sliced
1 granny smith apple, cored and thinly sliced
4 slices sourdough bread
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
In a food processor or blender, puree raspberries with raspberry jam. Pour through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Once seeds have been removed, whisk raspberries with honey, mustard and balsamic vinegar. Pour into a small saucepan and simmer over low heat until reduced by one-third to one-half. Remove from heat and allow to cool while assembling sandwiches.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Spread raspberry sauce on two slices of sourdough, layer 1.25 ounces of the cheese plus apple slices onto each slice. Top each slice with an additional 1.25 ounces of cheese and finish with a second slice of bread.
Place sandwiches carefully in warm skillet, turn heat to low and cook for approximately 5 minutes each side until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted.
Serve any remaining raspberry sauce on the side for dipping.