29 January 2012

Camembert à la surprise

Or simply camembert in a jacket. But à la surprise sounds much fancier so we'll just go with that...
For months I've been carrying around this idea of making something with a whole baked camembert but I didn't really know how I wanted to prepare it. I only knew I didn't want the old "breaded and served with cranberry sauce" variant. And so the time passed and no good idea came to mind... (this is starting to sound like a really bad fairytale. I promise, I'll come to my point very soon)...until yesterday. Long story short: Yesterday's What shall I have for dinner? problem developed into a basic I have all those ingredients that need to be eaten before they go bad so what am I going to make them into situation, and suddenly everything fell into place: Spinach and tomato stuffed camembert in a puff pastry jacket. Clever, eh?

It's neither particularily healthy nor low fat but who cares. It's winter, you're not supposed to eat low fat in winter anyway. We got hit by an extreme cold wave a couple of days ago, and it's fucking freezing around here, so fat, cheesy, warming comfort food is no longer an option but a necessity. No excuses.

Camembert à la surprise
Serves 1 hungry person (or 2 as an entrée)

3 rectangular sheets of puff pastry, defrosted
125 g/1 cup spinach
1 tomato, quartered
2 Tbsp almonds
1 clove of garlic
1 camembert
Salt and pepper
Some olive oil

Preheat your oven to 200° C/390° F.

On a flat, smooth surface, roll out the puff pastry until you have one fairly round disk of about 30 cm in diameter. Don't knead it in advance, never ever knead puff pastry!

Defrost your spinach if necessary. Make sure you get rid of all the excess fluid from the spinach, then put spinach, the tomato quartes, the almonds, and the garlic into the food processor and blend for about 2-3 seconds. You don't want it do be too smooth, there should still be some chunks. Season to taste.

Horizontally halve the camembert. Put one half on the puff pastry disk, generously spread it with the filling, and top with the other half. Gather up the edges of the pastry at the top and twist them to prevent the whole thing from falling open again. Brush it with olive oil then transfer to a baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes.

After baking, let cool for a few minutes (the cheese's horribly hot) before digging in. Bon appétit!

In case you have some of the filling left over: it's also very good on its own straight out of the bowl or as a relish substitute in cheese or turkey sandwiches.


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