Every woman needs a handful of recipes that are flexible, easy to pull off and yet beautiful and tasty to impress guests or hostesses. Whether you are hosting a party or attending and bringing a dish you want people talking about what you brought. A good dip recipe is great to have, especially once you master the basics of it and can start improvising with flavors like swapping out parmesan for gouda, chard for spinach or adding jalapeno or thai chilis. Once you have the basics down you can get super creative and create something specialized to your event, or just something that will help you clean out the fridge.
Baked brie is one of those things for me. It’s really pretty hard to mess it up and the options are almost endless when it comes to flavors and fillings. This Jalapeno, Peach and Pancetta on is one of my favorites because I am such a sucker for mixing sweet and savory and spicy all into one. This dish nails that combo. But the beauty of this is that you could just use bacon, or get fancy with proscuitto, ditch the jalapeno and add some balsamic, or use pineapple instead of peach- whatever your little heart desires. Or you could jump over to my Spicy Cranberry and Cream Cheese Dip and make that too.
I almost always have puff pastry in the freezer because it has so many uses. You can use it as pizza crust, cover pot pies with it, make homemade toaster strudels, a pie, beef wellington…just stuff something inside and bake and viola! Use whatever jam or preserve you want, or just simmer some fresh fruit and sugar to make your own. Just make sure that you take the puff pastry out of the freezer and move it to the fridge the night before and don’t try to force it when it’s still frozen or you will crack it and ruin the prettiness. Also, brushing with egg wash is a must, it is what gives it that shiny golden and crispy finish instead of dull and soft one.
I like to cut a strip off the side of the sheet before wrapping up the brie and make it into a flower for decoration, it’s not entirely necessary, but adds such a nice touch…
One last thing- I am currently obsessed with this Ayers Body Butter in Patagonia. It smells heavenly and is nice and thick and creamy but doesn’t leave hands too oily. What is your can’t live without moisturizer?
Saute pancetta or bacon in a non stick pan over medium heat until it begins to brown and crisp, drain on a paper towel.
Roll out the pastry dough a little, cut 1/2" off the side of the sheet and set aside.
Spread 1/2 of the peach preserves onto the center of the pastry, sprinkle with 1/2 of the pancetta, 1/2 of the jalapeno, and 1/2 of the basil.
Place the full wheel of brie in the center of the pastry, top with the other half of the peach preserves, pancetta, basil and jalapeno.
Beginning at the end, roll the reserved piece of puff pastry dough at a slight angle and pull out portions so that it resembles a rose. Place the rose in the center of the brie wheel and begin pulling the dough corners up over the brie and tucking into and under the rose, pinching to seal.
Using a pastry brush, brush the entire pastry with the egg wash. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden.
By now I’m sure you’ve noticed a theme in my posts. If you haven’t I’ll give you a hint- CHEESE. I love it. I can’t get enough. And there are SO MANY kinds! Most of my snacks involve some type of it. One of favorite combos right now is sweet and spicy jam with a creamy cheese. I just got this new jam from Hatchery by The Jam Stand called Not Just Peachy Sriracha Jam.
HOLY COW! It taste like you bit into the sweetest juiciest peach and then you feel a nice warm spicy hug in your mouth at the end. This is like grandma- special-made-this-for-your-birthday-good. Like put it in my cocktails, on my salmon, in my salad dressing and on a spoon straight from the jar good. For right this minute I’m pretty satisfied having it with whipped cream cheese, my favorite cracker and some green onion.
Green onion makes everything look and taste so fresh. Even things that came from a can or the freezer can be freshened up with some green onion on top. So go do two things- stock up on green onion, and order yourself a jar of this most delicious peach jam you’ve ever tasted.