I got home form Vegas yesterday. I know that some people love it and some people hate it. Personally I am a fan. It most likely has to do with the unbelievable food that they have down there, and I am not talking about the deep fried candy bars.
I am talking about the deep fried smelt, flown in from the Mediterranean daily. I am talking about the Spicy Chinese style lobster stir-fried to perfection. A succulent steak, a lovely variety of unusual crudo, or get this: a s’more brioche donut rolled in homemade graham cracker crumbs, stuffed with homemade marshmallow fluff that is served hot while fluff oozes out. Oh yeah, there is a side of chocolate ganache for dipping (and yes, I will be desperately trying to recreate that soon.)
If you were wondering, I rolled onto the plane 5 lbs heavier.
And in true fashion for my family, as soon as we got off the plane it was time to head to a big family dinner at my parents house and I was in charge of bringing an appetizer.
Because I was exhausted, stuffed and possibly hung over, I did not feel like getting complicated.
I remembered that I flipped through a “Food and Wine” magazine on the airplane on the way down there and there was something that stood out to me. It was Grilled Cheese.
When I say grilled cheese, I do not mean the sandwich, I mean literally- grilled cheese. As in Brie and Camembert grilled on the BBQ.
Easy, right? I tried to think about some ways to elevate the great idea. I came up with EASY flavor elevators. Fog spread and flavored olive oil.
I ran in the store on my way to the dinner, picked up a wheel of Brie, a wheel of Camembert, a baguette and a jar of fig spread.
At my parents I whipped up a quick flavored olive oil with a generous pinch of salt, red pepper flakes, fresh rosemary and one sliced clove of garlic. A little olive oil, and there you go. I grilled each of the cheeses for a few minutes and served them with the condiments. The cheese was warm and a little bit oozy with a hint of grilled charcoal flavor.
Everyone slathered the baguette slices with the hot cheese and shoveled it in!
So the moral of this rambling post is that this is a VERY EASY and fast appetizer (that I think actually looks quite elegant) and is totally delicious.
By the way- I did one wheel of Brie and one wheel of Camembert – but do whatever you want.
1 small wheel Brie
1 small wheel Camembert
1 tsp olive oil (for brushing the brie cheese before grilling)
(For the Camembert cheese brush with 1 tsp of the flavored oil)
3Tbs of fig spread
Generous pinch of kosher salt
Generous pinch of red pepper flakes
1 Garlic Clove, thinly sliced
1 tsp of fresh rosemary
2 Tbs Olive oil
Combine the flavored oil ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Preheat the BBQ or grill to medium heat.
Brush the Brie cheese on both sides with the 1 tsp of plain olive oil.
Brush the Camembert cheese with 1 tsp of the flavored oil.
Place the cheeses onto a hot grill.
Cook on each side for about 2 minutes, or until there are slight grill marks on the rind of the cheese. (you don’t want to cook the cheese so much that the cheese melts out of the rind.) Use a spatula to flip the cheese.
While the cheese is cooking, prepare a platter for the cheese. On one end, use a spoon to spread a circle (slightly larger than the cheese) of the fig jam.
On the other end, spoon some of the flavored oil.
Carefully place the Brie on top of the fig spread.
Place the Camembert cheese on a spoon of flavored oil and spoon some extra flavored oil on the Camembert.
Put out baguette slices or crackers to eat with the cheese. Enjoy!