_ _ This past week I decided to class my life up a little. I was sick of eating Easy Mac, watching Red Box movies and sitting around in my bathrobe. Just kidding, I could never be sick of being in my bathrobe… and former roommates can attest to this embarrassment. I wanted to attempt to recreate an AMAZING dish that is served at the restaurant that employs me, but I quickly realized that I would have to adjust the recipe to accommodate my tiny kitchen and limited cooking gadgets– so I shook my fists at the heavens and cursed the fact (for the millionth time) that I do not have a deep fryer… After I was done with those theatrics, I turned my attention to figuring out how I could incorporate cheese, bacon and maple syrup into a single recipe.
1 sheet Puffed Pastry, thawed
9 cubes Brie (you can cut them as big as you like, but I made them about 1/2 inch)
9 small Basil Leaves
4-5 strips Bacon, crumbled
1 Egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup Maple Syrup (REAL maple syrup)
1/4 cup Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 tbsp Bourbon
*Note: if you’re like me and don’t have bourbon in the cupboard, just buy a single “nip” rather than a whole bottle
1 tsp Orange Zest
1/8 tsp Salt
Preheat oven to 350°F
1. Add all of the ingredients for the maple gastrique together in a saucepan and heat over medium to medium-low until it has reduced by a bit over half.
2. Roll the puff pastry out until it’s about half the original thickness. Cut into 9 squares.
3. Place a basil leaf, piece of brie and pinch of bacon crumbles into the center of each of the squares.
4. Brush the edges of the pastry with egg and bring opposite corners of the squares together and pinch tightly to seal into a little pouch. Flip the pockets over and press them down lightly so they lay flat on a baking sheet. Cut little slits in the pastry to allow it to vent.
5. Brush the top with more egg. Bake the squares at least 2 inches apart for about 15 minutes or until they are crispy and golden brown.
6. Sprinkle with powdered sugar (optional, but pretty!) and drizzle with the maple gastrique.