Friday, January 28, 2011

Baked Brie with Caramelized Onions


1/2-lb. wheel of Brie (about 4-inch diameter), at room temperature
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
Caramelized Onions
2 Large onions; yellow, white, or red
Olive Oil

First Caramelize the onions.
*You can make this ahead of time and store in the refridgerator for several days in an air-tight container*


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1. Slice off the root and top ends of the onions, peel the onions. Cut the onions in half. Lay
them cut side down and slice the onions lengthwise to desired thickness.

2. Use a wide, thick-bottomed sauté pan for maximum pan contact with the onions. Coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil, or a mixture of olive oil and butter (about 1 teaspoon per onion). Heat the pan on medium high heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the onion slices and stir to coat the onions with the oil. Spread the onions out evenly over the pan and let cook, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, sprinkle some salt over the onions, and if you want, you can add some sugar to help with the caramelization process. (I added only about 1/2 tsp. sugar, but you can add more.)

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3. Let cook for 30 minutes to an hour more, stirring every few minutes. As soon as the onions start sticking to the pan, let them stick a little and brown, but then stir them before they burn. The trick is to let them alone enough to brown (if you stir them too often, they won't brown), but not so long so that they burn. After the first 20 to 30 minutes you may want to lower the stove temperature a little, and add a little more oil, if you find the onions are starting to burn. A metal spatula will help you scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan as the caramelization proceeds. As the onions cook down, you may find you need to scrape the pan every minute, instead of every few minutes. Continue to cook and scrape, cook and scrape, until the onions are a rich, browned color. At the end of the cooking process you might want to add a little balsamic vinegar or wine to help deglaze the pan and bring some additional flavor to the onions.

*As you can see I chose the balsamic vinegar... I love the taste!*

Putting Together the Pastry

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F.
Slice off the top rind of the Brie and discard. On a sheet of waxed paper or parchment, roll the pastry out to a 12-inch square and cut two 6-inch rounds from it. Put one of the rounds on a small rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with half of the caramelized onions, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge, and gently press so they adhere.
Set the Brie rind side down on top of the pastry, sprinkle with the remaining caramelized onions, and cover with the other pastry. Crimp the edges together to seal in the cheese. Brush the top of the dough with the butter. Bake until the pastry browns, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 15 to 20 minutes and then serve.
*I cut it right away and it didnt't ooze out of control, just oozed perfectly to spread on crackers.*

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