Lately it seems that the world gets just a little more Christmasy with each passing day.
The trees and houses in my neighbourhood are all trimmed with lights, the radio is starting to play Christmas carols every once in a while, the holiday store displays are out in full force, and even a snowflake or two drifted down from the sky on Tuesday to remind us that a White Christmas just might be in the cards for us this year. I’m sure it won’t be long now before the holiday-themed cups make their annual appearance at Tim Horton’s… nevermind that Starbucks busted out the red cups in early November, which is far too early for comfort.
As for me, I’m in full menu-planning mode for my annual Christmukkah Open House, so this latest Kitchen Crew challenge couldn’t have come at a better time. If there’s anything on my mind at this time of year, it’s party food!
One of the mainstays on my holiday table is baked brie in phyllo dough. It’s always a hit – melty brie, crispy phyllo, and a fruity cranberry topping sandwiched in between the two. And as I was thinking of what I could possibly make with a deep fryer, it suddenly occurred to me… why not try deep-frying the brie instead?
Yep. That’s right. I decided to try breading a whole mini-wheel of brie, and deep frying it to a golden crisp in my shiny new Black and Decker 2L Deep Fryer. And it totally worked.
In fact, it more than worked. Deep frying gives the brie the same melty, gooey inside and crisp outside as you’d get from baking it in phyllo, but in only a fraction of the time. Plus it just feels that much more special, perhaps because it’s so much more unusual (or maybe just because everyone has a special place in their
heart stomach for deep-fried things).
For little extra dash of festive flair, I decided to pair the brie with a five-spice cranberry chutney, which has a sweet-tart quality that does a perfect job of cutting through the richness of the brie, and adds a bright red pop of colour that gives it holiday appeal in a sophisticated little-black-dress kind of way (as opposed to a dorky-reindeer-cardigan-sweater kind of way).
So far, I can only vouch that it makes for one of the most excellent breakfasts I’ve ever had, but when I serve it up at my party next month, I have no doubts that it’ll vanish from my holiday spread long before the rest of the cheese plate does!
And as for the Black and Decker 3L Deep Fryer? I have to admit that I’m not entirely won over.
On the one hand, it’s wonderful to have the ability to deep-fry safely and less messily, and I’m very impressed with how well it’s done with the dishes I’ve made so far.
Then again, I haven’t tested it with anything bigger than a mini-brie, so I’m not sure how well it would do with larger-sized foods like chicken pieces or donuts, given the relatively shallow depth of the basket – nor did the instruction booklets include anything larger than a chicken finger in its chart, which kind of concerns me.
And to be entirely honest, I’m worried that if I keep breaking my no-deep-frying rule, there’s a very good chance that one of these evening, I won’t stop until every edible morsel in the house has been battered and deep-fried (and possibly a few not-so-edible morsels too). :)
That said, I think I’ll hang onto it for now. After all, anything that can make deep-fried brie for breakfast can’t possibly be that bad… right?
Best. Breakfast. EVER.
I was provided with compensation, including a free Black & Decker 2L Deep Fryer, in exchange for creating this post for the Canadian Tire Kitchen Crew series.
This Christmas Kitchen Crew series highlights my stories, recipes & tips with promotional consideration made possible by Canadian Tire. If you want to uncover your kitchen’s true potential, stay tuned to the Kitchen Crew for my weekly missions.
- 2 cups finely diced and peeled Granny Smith apple
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 shallot, finely minced
- 1 tbsp Chinese five spice powder
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 small brie cheese (175g)
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
- Vegetable oil (for frying)
- In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, combine all of the chutney ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes or until the apple is very soft.
- Stir in cranberries and cook 10 minutes longer, or until cranberries begin to soften and pop, and chutney is thick and glossy. Let cool, then store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- To ensure the brie holds up to frying, place in the freezer for 20-30 minutes or until thoroughly chilled.
- Meanwhile, pour vegetable oil into the deep fryer up to the "maximum" fill line (or halfway up the sides, if using a regular heavy-bottomed saucepan). Preheat to 375F.
- Set up your breading line - a plate of flour, a bowl of egg, and a bowl of breadcrumbs. Dredge the Brie in flour until lightly coated, then dip first into the egg and then into the breadcrumbs. Dip a second time into the egg, then again into the breadcrumbs to create a good, solid coating around the brie.
- Deep fry the breaded brie in preheated oil for 2-3 minutes, or until the coating is golden and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the brie from the hot oil and transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towel to drain for a minute or two.
- Place the brie on a pretty serving plate or cheese board, and spoon the prepared chutney into a small bowl. Serve immediately with plates of crackers, melba toast and/or thin slices of french bread to accompany.