Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Orzo Spinach Soup with Brie Puff Pastry on a Stick

Brie Puff Pastry on a Stick
Cook's notes: Your guests will be dazzled with this creative appetizer that uses puff pastry, brie, jam and popsicle sticks.  Recipe from joythebaker
  • 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed but still cold
  • 1/2 wedge of brie (about 4 ounces), cold
  • 1/3 cup cherry jam (or any flavor you fancy!)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • splash of milk
  • coarse sea salt
  • Puff pastry usually comes frozen and folded into thirds. Cut the puff pastry into thirds along the creases. Cut each panel into four pieces. They’ll be 2 1/4-inch tall and 3-inches wide. One sheet of puff pastry will yield 12 rectangles. Cut each rectangle in half. You’ll have 24 little rectangles that will create 12 little rectangle pockets.
  • Combine beaten egg and splash of milk. Brush 12 of the small rectangles with egg wash. If you’d like to make brie bites on sticks, now is the time! Place a popsicle stick halfway up the puff pastry and press in gently. Place a small sliver of brie (rind and all) on top of the egg wash (and stick). Top with about 1/2 teaspoon of cherry jam. Take another square of puff pastry and press between your fingers to make the rectangle slightly bigger. Place puff pastry on top of the cheese and jam. Use a fork to press the edges together. The egg wash will act as glue. Make sure to seal the edges well by crimping with the fork. Prick the top lightly with a fork.
  • Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place prepared brie bites on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with a touch of coarsely ground sea salt. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.

    Italian Orzo Spinach Soup

    Cook's notes: This delicious Italian Orzo Spinach Soup is simple, flavorful, and so comforting. It's the perfect accompaniment to Brie appetizers and does not take long to prepare. Sausage or chicken can be added to this vegetarian soup.  
    Recipe adapted from gimmesomeoven.com
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
    • 1 cup diced carrots
    • 1 cup diced celery
    • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
    • 6--8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
    • 1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
    • 1- 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) whole wheat orzo pasta
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
    • 1 tsp.parsley flakes
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 4 cups loosely-packed spinach
    • salt and black pepper
    • Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 4 minutes, until soft. Add carrots, celery, garlic and saute for an additional 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes, orzo (pasta), thyme, oregano, rosemary, parsley and bay leaf. Stir to combine. Bring soup to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente and carrots and celery are tender.
    • Stir in the spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes until it is bright green and wilted. Season with salt and black pepper to taste (if needed). Remove bay leaf. Serve warm.

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