New Year’s Eve is just around the corner. Although my previous post contains some suggestions for places where you can have a fun New Year’s Eve night out, maybe you don’t want to go out on New Year’s Eve. Maybe you woud prefer a night at home with family and friends.
After all the hustle and bustle of Christmas and Hanukkah, though, you may not feel like cooking a gargantuan meal. Never fear! There are many easy appetizer recipes that you can make that will be crowd-pleasers. In this post, check out Adele’s Baked Brie Recipe. Adele lived in Arlington until this past summer, when she moved to the District. She has served this baked brie recipe at many parties and it is always a hit! Also, check out the Jimmy Dean Sausage Ball recipe below. This version is from Allrecipes.com, but includes a tweak I added to provide a vegetarian version of the recipe and editorial comments for preparation.
Adele’s Baked Brie
1 medium wheel brie (if you can’t make it to Whole Foods, Giant carries le President brie, which is good; avoid camembert cheese – the strong taste is too much for most folks).
1 package puff pastry sheets (from the freezer section; usually with the pie crusts)
1/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts work best)
1/4 cup fruit jam (I like Bonne Maman mixed berries jam). My sister in law’s original recipe uses a mixture of brown sugar and brandy or other liquor instead of jam.
1. Thaw one sheet of puff pastry in fridge overnight or by leaving on the counter for an hour or two beforehand (in a pinch, you can thaw gently in the microwave, but that’s suboptimal). Preheat oven to 350.
2. Unwrap brie and cut off the top layer of the rind.
3. Cover baking sheet with tinfoil. Unfold thawed puff pastry and put jam in the middle; top with nuts, reserving a handful to top the outside of the brie later on.
4. Place brie, cut side down, on top of jam/nut pile. Wrap the four corners of the puff pastry sheet over the brie and press together. Flip the brie over so the jam/nut mixture is on top and the edges of the puff pastry are on the bottom. Top with the reserved nuts.
5. Bake at 350 for 20 mins or until the puff pastry is golden. Serve immediately with crackers or French bread. Enjoy!
Jimmy Dean Sausage Balls
2 16 oz packages Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage or 2 packages Gimme Lean vegetarian sausage (available at Whole Foods)
1 1/2 cups Bisquik
4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp minced garlic (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl. Use your hands to completely combine the ingredients. Roll into 1 inch balls.
3. Place on ungreased cookie sheet approximately 1 inch apart. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven, cool for five minutes before removing from pan.