Baked Brie and bread fingers
Updated: Dec 14, 2019
Use up leftovers in this almost criminally delicious way
In my other life I'm the wife of a wine merchant. (pause for applause). And apart from the obvious perk, one of the things I help him and the company out with is hosting wine tastings, and catering for them. These sometimes involve buying entire truckles of Brie and at other times it involves making canapés (see here). Last week we had a perfect storm of two different types of wine tasting; one that needed a big cheeseboard and one that needed canapés. So, last weekend I was left with quite a lot of ripe Brie and (stay with me here) the inside of white bloomer loaves that I had cut out so I could serve some cocktail sausages in them. Yes, I know, almost painfully artisan.
As I have an almost pathological fear of wastage, I decided to use the inside of the loaf to make 'soldiers' or fingers to dip into some molten Brie. And, don't worry, the rest of the loaf, the bit that acted like a medieval salver for the sausages is now hanging up outside and I'm watching the blue tits fly on and off it as I type.
So, how to go about this glorious using-uppage of leftovers? Firstly, oven on at 200C (standard) and then cut your leftover bread into roughly 2cm wide/deep sticks. I made up a little oil consisting of olive oil and some truffle oil (heaven!) and brushed each side of the fingers with it before sprinkling on some salt and freshly ground black pepper. As I had some leftover cherry tomatoes from the cheeseboard I popped these on too.
With the bit of oil I had left over I greased the inside of a very old Le Creuset cast iron open oven dish (see main pic).It's really old. You probably can't buy them anymore, which is a shame as it's comfortingly heavy and feels like you could fight your way out of a zombie apocalypse with it, as well as using it thus. I then crammed in the Brie, filling the dish with no sense of portion caution for the two of us.
I then brushed/poured the rest of the oil mix onto the Brie, pushed in some slivers of garlic and added a handful of fresh, young thyme - stalks and all. I popped foil over it and put it, and the bread, into the oven for about 20-25 minutes. The sticks came out looking like this (see right) with oddly enough some tommies were perfect and some barely cooked. I can only blame the fan oven for that and chastise it once more for not being an Aga. But they were yummy. The cheese came out looking magnificent - see main pic - and we ate it ALL gutsily and greedily while congratulating ourselves for not going out that night.
I'm going to take full credit for this one, although to be fair I'm not the first person to bake Brie or toast bread.
We were drinking leftovers - natch - but in a perfect world I'd pair this with a nice Alsace white, such as a Pinot Blanc or a Gewürztraminer or of course you could go gutsy and red.