Welcome to the decadent meal I dream about every late December, when I want even simple foods to feel festive. Yes, I am seriously making the argument that baked brie should be a dinner dish. Or, if not dinner, maybe a luxe part of it, so perfect for this blustery, celebratory time of year. For dinner you might eat this with a big green salad and a cup of soup. You might set this out as a side dish with a big roast. You might put it out as part of a party spread too, an oasis of savory among all of the cookies and molten cakes.
We start with the Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms in the archives, the ones that I describe as giving mushrooms the “escargot” treatment which to say that they’re cooked in a not-insignificant amount of butter and garlic, then finished with lemon juice and a shower of parsley until they’re complex and wildly more delicious than it would seem so few ingredients could be. But why stop there? Once you nestle in a small brie (or camembert) at the end and let it warm up in the oven, there’s no looking back: you’re probably going to end up scooping it again and again onto toasted baguette slices and entirely forgetting to eat dinner — there really are no rules right now and I say we lean into it.
Smitten Kitchen Keepers, my third cookbook, has been out for exactly six weeks today and nothing makes me happier than seeing how many of you are already cooking from it. I know it’s been quiet around here while I’ve hopped around Washington D.C, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Toronto, Denver, Boulder, and even Spartanburg, South Carolina. Busy season continues in the new year with book tour stops in Minneapolis (next week!), 92nd Street Y (in NYC), then Austin, Houston, California, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Vancouver, oh and I just added a March date in Columbus, Ohio! All book tour stops and ticketing details are on this page, and I keep it updated as we add new dates. I hope we get to finally hang out. You know what else is going to be really fun? When I get to start cooking all of the recipe ideas I had bottled up when I was on the road this winter. I can’t wait.
6 months ago: Summer Ricotta with Grilled Vegetables
1 year ago: Russian Napoleon
2 years ago: Small-Batch Eggnog and Baked Brie with Balsamic Red Onions
3 years ago: Unstuffed Mushroom Casserole and Banana Toffee Cake
4 years ago: Baklava Babka and Cosmopolitan
5 years ago: Dutch Apple Pie and Salted Butter Chocolate Chunk Shortbread
6 years ago: Pimento Cheese Potato Bites
7 years ago: The Browniest Cookies, Gingerbread Layer Cake and Feta Tapenade Tarte Soleil
8 years ago: Deep Dark Gingerbread Waffles, Fairytale of New York and Roasted Grape and Olive Crostini
9 years ago: Breakfast Slab Pie, Gingerbread Snacking Cake and Rum Campari Punch
10 years ago: Fromage Fort
11 years ago: Cinnamon Brown Sugar Breakfast Puffs and Scallion Meatballs with Soy Ginger Glaze
12 years ago: Spicy Gingerbread Cookies, Crescent Jam and Cheese Cookies and Milk Punch
13 years ago: How to Host Brunch and Still Sleep In, Spinach and Cheese Strata, Pear Bread, Parmesan Cream Crackers, Walnut Pesto, and Spicy Caramel Popcorn
14 years ago: Cranberry Vanilla Coffee Cake, Seven-Layer/Rainbow Cookies, Grasshopper Brownies, Braised Beef Short Ribs, Sugar and Spiced Candied Nuts
15 years ago: Robert Linxe’s Chocolate Truffles and Caramel Cake
16 years ago: Parmesan Black Pepper Biscotti
Baked Brie with Garlic Butter Mushrooms
- 1 pound mushrooms, any kind, here I’m using cremini and oyster
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (I’m using Diamond, use half of other brands)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 8-ounce wheel of brie (or camembert)
- A few sprigs of thyme (optional)
- Toasted baguette slices
- Heat oven to 450°F. In a 2-quart baking dish, toss mushrooms with capers, garlic, oil, salt and many grinds of pepper. Dot with butter and roast, turning over once, until mushrooms are more deeply browned and a bubbly garlic sauce begins to form below, 15 minutes. While the mushrooms roast, trim the top off your brie with a sharp knife — it’s totally edible but this makes it easier to dip into when warm. Make space in the center of the mushrooms and nestle in the brie and top with thyme, if using. Return to oven for 10 minutes, until brie is warm and loose, adding more minutes if needed. Squeeze lemon juice and scatter parsley over mushrooms. Arrange baguette slices around the brie and mushrooms. Place a small spoon the brie and a larger spoon in the mushrooms. Serve immediately, swooping brie and scooping mushrooms and their juices on the toasty bread.
- I usually use cremini mushrooms but I had a few oyster mushrooms too, and tore them in, and you should use whatever you have around.
- You didn’t ask but my favorite place to buy cremini, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms in NYC is the Bulich Mushroom stand at the Union Square Greenmarket. They’re usually on the north end on Wednesdays and Saturday. The prices are reasonable and the quality impeccable each time.
- Yes, there are capers in here and you’re about to tell me you hate capers and ask what else you can use — I’d use anchovies. If you’re about to tell me you don’t like anchovies either, I’m going to suggest that you might just not like briny things and that’s okay, you can skip it. Nobody has ever complained about mushrooms merely roasted in garlic butter. But I insist that the capers add an amazing nuance here.
- The mushroom portion of this dish is adapted from the late Gourmet Magazine. You can also find the garlic butter roasted mushrooms in the archives here.