This Year is Gonna Brie Ours

There was once a time when I didn’t salivate at the mental image of brie. We all have our shortcomings; I’ve since corrected this particular flaw.

Brie Stuffed MushroomsDespite its indisputable status as queen of the cheese court, brie is just not the wheel you reach for everyday. (Dislike, say, mozzarella, which made up at least 3 out of every 5 weekday lunches – on a sub roll slathered with pesto, no less – during my freshman year of college.) Brie demands special treatment and special occasions (editor’s note: “special occasion” is subjective, and can easily be deemed a Friday night after a particularly long work week, in your living room, watching Chopped.)

So when my boyfriend brought up the possibility of (cue the 20something horror) staying in on New Year’s Eve, my mind immediately jumped to menu planning—and quickly got diverted by that mental image of brie.

Given a range of options for saying goodbye to one year and welcoming the next, a plump wedge of triple cream brie will always be more appetizing than a 9 p.m. dinner reservation, an erratic cab driver or Kathy/Anderson commentary.

For days I dreamt in dairy: anticipating the eventual Trader Joe’s run (for maximum brie options), fretting over what to actually do with it (basic cheeseboard? dijon and stone crackers? would fancy grilled cheese be appetizer overkill?) Hours of Internet recipe cross-referencing and cycling through my list of usual fromage fantasies led me to the modest, versatile – everything brie is not – mushroom.

Stuffing and roasting mushrooms has its advantages: straightforward ingredients (=more $$ leftover for premium brie), fast execution (=the sooner you’ll be washing them down with bourbon), and plenty of cheese leftover for future cracker toppings, weeknight cheeseboards and luscious grilled cheese.

So here’s to 2015, a year that will hopefully mimic some of the food I rang it in with: comforting, delectable and overflowing with cheese.

Brie Stuffed Mushrooms
Makes around 4-6 servings; Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 1 package white button or cremini mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 flat parsley, chopped
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 wedge of brie (doesn’t have to be triple cream…)
  • A splash of white wine

Preheat your oven to 350ºF.

Veg prep: wash, dry and de-stem your mushrooms. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the ‘shrooms, adding a dash of salt. Let these cook for only a minute or two until the mushrooms are evenly coated, then transfer each (upside down) to a baking dish.

In the same pan, sauté the garlic, parsley and green onions. Add a tiny pinch of salt and a splash of white wine, cooking for another minute (until the liquid evaporates.)

Unwrap and admire your brie. You won’t need the rind, so prepare to cut around it or carefully slice it off the top of the wedge. Cut out small chunks of brie to carefully stuff inside each mushroom; at this point, it’s expected that every other chunk will end up in your mouth before it ever hits a mushroom.

Once all the ‘shrooms are stuffed, rain that pungent green/garlic mix all over the baking dish. Bake for ~15 minutes, until the brie is perfectly melted.

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