Easy and Elegant New Years App: Baked Brie with Caramelized Onions, Fig, & Pancetta
Please excuse my recent absence. I hope you all had the most wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah, etc., etc. I've been in friends and family mode like I've never experienced before. Moving cross country will do that to you - especially with the first visit home. I've also been in frantic wedding chore mode since we're getting married in Florida...but live in California. Vendor meetings, wedding band shopping, and so much more - it has all consumed my time. Dash of Les had to go into hibernation so that Leslie Anne could get real life stuff accomplished.
Okay, back to why I'm here today....it's New Year's Eve day...and if you're anything like me, you've procrastinated with making a dish for your friend's party. Not to fear, for Dash of Les is here. I've got something that'll blow everyone's minds with its elegant presentation and downright decadent taste.
Baked Brie and the holidays just go together like peas and carrots. It's a fact. I absolutely love the stuff too. But I don't like it rolled in puff pastry. Because, again, I love Brie. Rolling it in pastry dough prevents the French cheese - the star of the show, from shining. So I make a sweet and salty topping for my baked brie. You'll often see candied pecans, or cooked apples, or even a generous dollop of cranberry sauce. But you rarely see caramelized onions, fig jam, and pancetta.
Guys, this combo is ridiculous. I made it for Christmas day and everyone was "ohhing and ahhing." The sweet caramelized onions and fig jam with the crispy and salty pancetta...it's pretty special. Oh and the best news of all...it takes like no culinary skill and just about 30 minutes to prepare.
So make it tonight. Toot your horn too. Your friends will thank you and you can just thank me later. Oh, and of course, have a very, very happy new year!!!
Baked Brie with Caramelized Onions, Fig Jam, and Crispy Pancetta
1 (16-ounce) wheel of Brie
1 (4-ounce) package uncured pancetta, chopped
3 tablespoons Fig Jam
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
5-8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2) In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil on medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the sliced onions. Stir constantly, adding 1 tablespoon olive oil every five minutes. Cook until golden brown and soft. Add the fig jam to the onions and stir well until combined. Break up the onions with the spoon too. Remove the mixture from the pan and set aside.
3) To the same pan, add the chopped pancetta. Cook on medium-high until crispy. Remove from heat and blot with paper-towels to remove excess grease.
4) Place brie wheel on a cookie sheet. Top with the fig and onion mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until brie is soft to the touch. Be sure to remove from the oven before the cheese begins breaking through the rind as this will make it difficult to remove the cheese from the pan. Using a large, flat spatula, carefully remove cheese from the pan and place on a serving plate. Top with crispy pancetta.
5) Serve with water crackers.