Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Waffling Leftovers: Baked Brie en Croute

Yes, I waffle all my leftovers.  This isn't novel.  Most are usually pretty good, and always quite fun. Some are more successful than others.  This one I was VERY pleased with.
Baked Brie en Croute + Squash Gratin Transformation.
This is a story of two leftovers: baked brie en croute and butternut squash/apple/leek/pecan gratin.

I could have waffled both, but decided to only waffle the brie en croute, and used the gratin as a topping.

It was truly delicious, a magic combination.

Leftover Baked Brie en Croute: Will it Waffle?  Yup!
The Original, Baked Brie en Croute.
For a party, we had a massive wheel of brie, topped with a bit of sweet preserves and honey, wrapped in puff pastry, baked.  Served with dried fruit and nuts and crackers.

It was good, but also way too big, and there was tons leftover.
Leftover Baked Brie en Croute.
I stashed leftovers in my freezer, since soft cheeses are perishable, and I knew I wouldn't eat the rest right away.  I had never frozen brie before, but, cheesecake freezes ok, and I knew the pastry would be fine.  It was an experiment.

I pulled out a chunk and defrosted it first.  I considered just putting it into the toaster oven.  But ... I couldn't resist the waffle iron.
Waffling ...
I threw it in, 350 degrees, and let it go.

Although it had the puff pastry wrapping it, it didn't entirely protect the cheese from running out, since I had a slice, not a fully wrapped chunk.

Cheese bubbled out, the puff pastry got crispy, about as I expected.  I knew from previous experience that waffled chunks of brie are delicious on their own, so, I wasn't worried about the liquid cheese.
Waffled Baked Brie en Croute: Extracted.
It extracted easily, which always surprises me when it looks like such a disaster as it cooks.

I did let it go a bit too long though, the edges got a bit over-cooked.  Crispy yes, but, a bit too burnt tasting.
Waffled Baked Brie en Croute.
Not really a problem, I just broke the edges off, lamenting a bit about the loss of cheese.

And then, I had a waffle.

A waffle made of puff pastry, with some cheesy notes, and sweetness from the honey and preserves.  It was perfectly good just like this, and I bet you could throw an egg on top and please some people for brunch.

A success on it own.  But I had other plans.
Butternut Squash / Apple / Leek / Pecan Gratin.
I also had a ton of leftover savory fall gratin: thinly sliced butternut squash, sliced apples, tons of leeks, cooked down with olive oil, sherry, and sage, and topped with toasted brown sugar and butter roasted pecans.

It was crazy delicious, soft squash and apples, crispy top, flavorful leeks.  The top of this thing was just amazing though.  Sweet, sticky, buttery, pecans.  Kinda like pecan pie.  On top of a sorta savory gratin.  It was like ... pumpkin pie with apple pie with pecan pie mixed into one, but also slightly more savory.  If that makes any sense (yes, it was butternut squash not pumpkin, but you get the point).

I thought that it would go great with baked brie, really complimentary flavors.  I planned to heat both traditionally in the toaster oven, but, as you know, I went another direction with the brie.

This though, I did just heat up.
Waffled Baked Brie en Croute w/ Butternut Squash / Apple / Leek / Pecan Gratin.
And I put it on top of the brie waffle.

So, my final creation: waffled leftover baked brie en croute, topped with leftover butternut squash/apple/leek/candied pecan gratin. 

It was totally and completely delicious.

As I expected, brie and apples, brie and candied pecans, even brie and butternut squash, all excellent together.  So very ... fall.

I was thrilled with the results, and, I'm more thrilled knowing that I have more of each in my freezer, ready for another adventure.
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