Girl's Night Appetizers

Courtesy of Chef Angela Carlino of Carlino's

Stuffed Brie En Croute
Serves:  6

• 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, pre-packaged, divided
• 1 8 oz. wheel French brie
• 1/8 cup walnuts, chopped
• 1/4 dried cranberries, apricots & figs (or any dried fruit of choice), small diced
• 2 Tbsp. fig spread
• 1 Tbsp. honey
• 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
• Homemade bread, sliced, for serving

Preheat oven to 350◦ F.
Defrost puff pastry for approximately 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with flour and roll out gently until the pastry is about 1/8” thick.
In a small bowl, add walnuts, fruit, fig spread & honey. Stir until well combined.  Using a paring knife,  make an cut into the top of the brie, and scrape the very top flora of the brie.  Place the walnut mixture on top of the Brie using an ice cream scoop.  Lay the puff pastry out on a flat surface. Place the brie in the center of the pastry. Gather up the edges of the pastry, pressing around the brie and gather at the top. Gently squeeze together the excess dough and tie together with a reserved piece of pastry.  Brush the entire brie with melted butter over top and side of puff pastry.  Place Brie on a cookie sheet and bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.  Serve warm with bread.
To make the brie extra decorative, cut out excess pieces of the puff pastry and form into rosettes and leaves to create an impressive presentation!

Watermelon, Goat Cheese & Basil Skewers

fresh (not aged) goat cheese, chilled
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 small seedless watermelon
1 bunch basil, leaves only
balsamic glaze, or a high quality balsamic vinegar, to drizzle

Roll the goat cheese into a ball and refrigerate for at least an hour. Cut watermelon into 1-inch cubes. To assemble, push one goat cheese ball, one basil leaf and one watermelon cube onto a small skewer. Drizzle with balsamic.  Serve immediately.

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