Baked Brie en Croûte With Apple and Pear Compote

Baked Brie en Croûte with Spiced Apple and Pear Compote

Offering maximum impact with minimal effort, a baked Brie turns a mild-mannered cheese into the superhero of a gathering: a warm, gooey communal comfort food. This version wraps the cheese in a shell of flaky puff pastry, along with two sweet-tart layers of apple-pear compote.

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Baked Brie en Croûte With Thyme and Fig Jam

Simple Baked Brie en Croûte with Thyme and Fig Jam

Baked Brie en Croûte With Thyme and Fig Jam; A warm, gooey wheel of brie or camembert cheese, topped with sweet fig jam and wrapped in golden brown, flaky puff pastry. 

Offering maximum impact with minimal effort, a baked Brie turns a mild-mannered cheese into the superhero of a gathering: a warm, gooey communal comfort food. This version wraps the cheese in a shell of flaky puff pastry, along with a sweet-tart layer of fig jam and fresh thyme leaves.

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Baked Brie – A Primer

Baked Brie en Croute with Fig Jam
Baked Brie en Croute with Fig Jam

A Baked Brie can turn the standard cheese board into a highlight of a gathering: a warm, gooey communal comfort food.

A party without cheese is like Valentine’s Day without chocolate, and, while a well-curated cheese plate will likely do the job for any occasion, a wheel of baked Brie will deliver maximum impact with a minimum of effort. Especially at a winter party, it can turn the standard cheese board into a highlight of a gathering: a warm, gooey communal comfort food.

Making a baked Brie (or a baked Camembert, Brie’s soft-rind cousin) can be as simple as tossing the cheese in the oven with some kind of drizzled topping, or you can go all out by serving it en croûte—wrapping it up in puff pastry with any number of store-bought or homemade sweet condiments.

Note: This Baked Brie series is also available on Serious Eats!

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Creamy Chicken and Potato Chowder

Chicken And Potato Chowder

Chicken And Potato ChowderThis comforting chicken chowder is packed with vegetables including potatoes, chard and corn. It’s guaranteed to warm you up even on the coldest of days.

There are few terms more accurately descriptive than “Polar Vortex”. It does just what it says on the tin (i.e., freeze your goddamn buns off). We are in the middle of one right now and it’s freaking cold outside. And because we have an old house, it’s pretty cold inside too.

And since Matt and I mostly work from home, you can see why we’re desperate for a hot, nourishing, tasty lunch. Luckily this soup is exactly what the doctor (and freezing film editor) ordered. We were inspired by a version of this soup from Bob’s Mountain Deli around the corner from us in Beacon. We look forward to them making this soup for our lunch orders every winter, but some days you just don’t want to leave the house. So this is our version.

Chicken And Potato Chowder
Loads of vegetables make this creamy chicken chowder special.

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Roasted Miso-butter and Maple Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Miso-butter and Maple Sweet Potatoes
We’ve taken a classic fall sweet potato recipe and shaken it up a bit. Ginger and miso flavors add depth and spice to the baked dish, and even holiday traditionalists will be impressed.

Like many people, we have a Holiday cooking meal plan – I call it our WHAT WORKS list. The great thing about the WHAT WORKS list is that you don’t have to think about it too much – you’ve already got a dozen people to feed and a dining room to rearrange, and knowing ahead of time that Sunday is when you make stock, and Tuesday is when you make gravy, and this bowl will hold this much rutabaga, and the dog will need this many chew sticks to keep her occupied while you cook, is valuable currency in a stressful week. The trouble with the WHAT WORKS list is that, of course, you can get complacent. So it’s good to mix things up a little from time to time, and that’s where this sweet potato recipe comes in handy.

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Cranberry Sauce Whisky Cocktail

Cranberry Sauce Whisky Cocktail

A delicious, festive cocktail that makes excellent use of leftover cranberry sauce. A shot of bourbon adds spicy depth, along with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a splash of ginger beer. 

We all know that one of the very best parts of Thanksgiving is the leftovers. In fact, after cooking for days, cleaning the house for guests and finding a place for sixteen people to sit in our tiny living room, I’m usually so tired that I barely eat on Thursday night (except for dessert because I’d have to be fully dead to refuse a slice of Maple Cheesecake).

Luckily we always have enough of most everything for a repeat Friday night, made even more special by the fact that we can stay in our pajamas and be as messy as we please. But even after leftover night and multiple sandwiches, we often still have at least one tupperware filled with homemade cranberry sauce left.

What to do? As is the answer to so many of life’s questions: drink it.

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