Pan Fried Brie In a Crisp Buttery Breadcrumb Crust with Raspberry Sauce and Mango Salsa
I tasted this at Saunders at Rye Beach this summer and decided to come home and recreate it. Since Brie is quite a high fat cheese and pan-frying in butter adds to the fat calories, we also eat it as dinner with a salad so we don't feel as guilty. As an appetizer it is superb but don't follow it with a high fat, heavy main course. If sweet ripe mangoes aren't available, then try peaches, nectarines or pineapple made into the salsa. Or even just slices of fresh strawberries, peaches etc for contrast. Fruit chutneys could also be used. Don't buy a Brie that is soft and ripe for eating, it tastes almost acidy once it is cooked.
Start with a firm Brie. For 2 people you can buy an 8oz wedge of Brie. For a dinner party, buy a 15 oz circle of Brie and cut into 6-8 wedges and proceed in the same way. Obviously increase the amount of breadcrumbs, salsa and raspberry sauce.
2. Mix in rest of ingredients and leave for a few hours for flavors to mingle and mellow. Taste and adjust to your personal taste.
Raspberry SauceTraditionally this should be pureed raspberries known as a 'coulis', but raspberries are a pain to sieve unless you have time and the right equipment - especially if you are only doing this recipe for 2 people. I buy seedless raspberry jam, melt it in the microwave and add raspberry liqueur to taste. Jacques Pepin actually adds the same jam to his fresh raspberries for a sauce to sweeten and intensify the flavor. Keep leftover sauce in the fridge for a quick ice cream or angel cake topping. I tend to use most of a jar at one go.
Method1. Cut Brie in half to make 2 thinner wedges. Dip first in flour, then beaten egg (you might have to smear the egg to make it stay on), then turn in Panko breadcrumbs on all edges and press breadcrumbs firmly to make them adhere.
2. Heat small (7") skillet over medium heat. Add oil and butter and allow to melt. Place Brie in pan and allow to cook on first side. Butter mix should start reaching up sides of Brie because it's a small pan. After about a minute, flip Brie to brown on second side, then turn Brie to cook on the 2 cut sides well as the curved back. The Brie should be only a light gold color, it will brown quickly due to butter. Overcooking will make it burst out of crust and melt.
The Brie will cool and firm up again if not served immediately. There is meant to be a contrast between crisp crust and melting Brie that are hot and raspberry sauce and salsa that are cold.
3. Place on serving plate with salsa to one side and raspberry sauce drizzled around plate. Place a good spoonful of sauce on top of the Brie. Optionally, garnish with long piece of chive. Serve with crackers or toasted French bread. A soft bread is not a good taste partner.
Oonagh Williams, proprietor of Royal Temptations, has a Culinary Arts degree, offers Catering services, teaches a variety of classes in International Cooking, makes regular appearances on WMUR ABC Channel 9's Cooks' Corner and has her own series on Merrimack TV. You can contact Oonagh at 603-424-6412.