Category Archives: Appetizers/Hors Dourves

Brie en Croute – Appetizers/Hors Dourves

The term En Croute refers to something being “wrapped in pastry” ~ in this case, Brie! Brie is a creamy, mild cheese made of cow’s milk, made in France.  While it is perfectly acceptable to wrap a brie alone in puff pastry, I prefer to use a “garnish” which compliments the creaminess of the brie.

One is only limited by their imagination by what variety of brie en croute they whip up. My favorite brie en croute is made with wild mushrooms.  In place of mushrooms, you could use Cranberries, Pesto, Caramelized Onions, Rosemary and Apples…the list is endless!

For this recipe, you can use any mushrooms you prefer – I love the taste of portobello and crimni, but you may prefer chanterelles,oyster or shiitake. Be careful not to get mushrooms wet,because you don’t want a soggy saute.  Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel.


In a saute pan: 2 Tabl. Olive Oil 
Add to the hot pan:
3 cups of sliced mushrooms

Cook the mushrooms until nicely browned but not “shriveled” approx. 5 minutes

Add to the mushrooms, stir in and remove from heat:
1 tsp. dried Thyme
1 Tabl. Garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Set the mushrooms aside to cool.

Thaw the puff pastry sheet on the counter for 45 minutes or so.  Press seams together to seal.  Using a rolling pin on the floured countertop, roll it out a bit on all sides. Place the cooled mushrooms in the center of the pastry.  Place the brie on top of the mushrooms.  Pull the pastry up to the center to cover the brie.  Press to seal. Flip the brie over so the seam side is down. Use some extra bits of pastry to decorate the top if you desire.  Place brie on a parchment lined sheet.

Make an egg wash by whisking together:
1 Egg, whole
1 tsp. water
Brush the top and sides of the pastry with the egg wash.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.  BE SURE TO ALLOW IT TO REST BEFORE SERVING at least 15 minutes!  Serve with crackers.

Caramelized Onion & Bacon Appetizers/Hors Dourves

Christmas has come and gone, the wrapping paper shreds have all been picked up, and with a sigh of contentment and admittedly, a little relief, I thought about life returning to “normal”.  Just as quickly as that thought came I remembered…New Years!

For our family, New Year’s Eve has always been a big a huge opportunity to skip the whole main meal thing and just eat Hors Dourves.  Each year we try new recipes, serving one after another as the year draws to a close.  Whether you stay home with your loved ones or go out and join others in the party, having a few appetizer recipes “up your sleeve” will ease the way.

As a pastry chef, I know how and have made many “from scratch” puff dough.  Homemade puff dough tastes better than frozen.  But, did you know, homemade puff dough takes a little effort and a lot of time.  Instead, I’m recommending you buy frozen puff dough sheets in your grocery store.  There are some really good brands available in the freezer section: Trader Joe’s is excellent as is Pepperidge Farms.

In a saute pan:    
2 Tabl. Olive Oil
Add to hot oil:
2 sweet onions, sliced thinly

On low heat, cook the onions until they are browned and soft, stirring regularly. The slow cooking of the onions will help them to caramelize, not “fry”.  This process of slow-cooking the onions should take approximately 20 minutes.

Add to the onions after they are caramelized and cook for 5 minutes longer:
1 Tabl. Brown Sugar
1 Tabl. Fresh Rosemary

Set the onions aside to cool completely.

Allow puff dough to thaw on the counter for 40 minutes.  (Separate the two sheets of dough to thaw.)  Cut each sheet of dough into 9 pieces and each of those into triangles.  Place the triangles on parchment paper on cookie sheets.

Dice 3 slices of cooked bacon

Grate 1/4 cup Asiago Cheese

TO ASSEMBLE: spread caramelized onions on each triangle.  Sprinkle each with cooked bacon and Asiago Cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-10 minutes until golden and puffed.

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