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, and the holiday store displays are out in full force.
And on Tuesday, a lone snowflake or two drifted down from the sky 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... particularly since 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, which means I'm totally obsessing over holiday appetizers.
Deep Fried Brie is the Holiday Appetizer You Need in your Life
One of the mainstays on my holiday table is baked brie in phyllo dough. The combination of melty brie and buttery crisp phyllo is basically irresistible, especially if you add a fruity cranberry topping. But the other day, 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.
And it totally worked.
In fact, it more than worked. Deep frying achieves the same melty, gooey, cheesy inside and golden-crisp outside 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).
Add Holiday Cheer with Five-Spice Cranberry Chutney
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.
It also adds a bright red pop of colour for a little extra 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!
Best. Breakfast. EVER.
More Delicious Holiday Appetizers for Cheese Lovers
No holiday party is complete without some form of warm, gooey, melty cheese. Here are a few more appetizer recipes guaranteed to please any cheese fanatic!
- Bacon Jalapeno Cheese Dip
- Baked Brie with Mulled Wine Poached Pear Compote
- Brie and Cranberry Bites
- Easy Fig and Cheese Tartlets
- Killer Artichoke Bread
- Truffled Hot Cheese Dip with Mushrooms
Impress your guests with a warm, gooey deep-fried brie enclosed in a crisp breaded coating. Paired with a sweet-and-sour cranberry-apple chutney, it's the perfect centerpiece for a holiday cocktail party.
Five-Spice Cranberry Chutney
- 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)
Prepare the Chutney (up to 3 days in advance):
- 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.
Prepare the Brie and Serve:
- 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.