Camembert 3

Red Wine and Camembert – two of my favourite things! One of the best meals I had in Paris involved a baked camembert that defies description with a bottle of the most amazing red wine. It’s a match made in heaven! I must confess to dreaming about the soft creaminess of baked camembert…..I love the idea of poaching it and I cannot wait to try it!

Today’s recipe is brought to you by Kara, blogger over at Confessions of a Winemaker’s Wife. It’s definitely worth a visit even though she’s just starting out. I’ll be following this blog as I love the real life aspects – Kara shares her favourite recipes as well as life on the farm. Welcome to Tables and Thyme Kara, it’s lovely to have you here!

Camembert 1 edit

“I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food” – WC Fields

Being the wife of a winemaker, I tend to have an array of half consumed bottles of wine lingering around my kitchen at all times. And don’t get me wrong, this is not because we don’t drink it fast enough, but rather because a) my husband brings home numerous bottles of wine, all of which need to be tasted at once, hence the non-completion. Or b) I find myself drinking wine alone as said husband is up to his eye balls in grapes and cannot stand the thought of wine so rather opts for beer, leaving me to enjoy a full bottle alone. I certainly am not complaining, but I’m not quite at the point where I polish off a full bottle alone each night. Well…not every night at least.

So, that being said, with little bits of left over wine here and there, I have learnt to use wine in almost every dish I cook.

When talking cooking-wine, most of you will associate it with hearty, meaty dishes such as oxtail casserole or boeuf bourguignon. But wine does not only need to feature in these classic winter recipes! Over the next few weeks, I will share some of my wine-inspired recipes and show you how wine can be used in your starters, mains and desserts.

Oh and when I call for wine in my recipes, it’s always a dry wine, unless I specify otherwise. Please don’t worry about the quality of the wine. As apposed to what many pompous chefs say, the quality of wine does not affect the quality of the food. Save the good wine for drinking!

Starters:

When I serve up starters at home for either a dinner party or just for hubby and I, I like to plonk down the dish in the middle of the table and let everyone dig in. I tend to sway towards food that can be eaten with the hands (partly to eliminate the additional cutlery needing to be washed) but also to create a festive atmosphere, allowing for unpretentious, relaxed dining.

Camembert cheese poached in red wine

 Ingredients:
1 camembert cheese (this can be replaced with brie)
1 tsp freshly crushed garlic
1 small handful of fresh thyme
A few sprigs of fresh parsley, chopped
A dash of red wine – roughly 60ml
Fresh grinding of black pepper
Bread sticks, baguette or bruschetta for serving
Method:

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees C
  • Remove your cheese from all packaging
  • Slice the cheese in half horizontally, so you end up with two rings (see pic)
  • Smear the bottom half with your crushed garlic
  • Sprinkle half of your thyme, leaves removed from the stem, on top of the garlic, along with the chopped parsley
  • Return the top half of the camembert
  • Place the cheese in a small baking dish. This should preferably be as close to the size of the cheese as possible (Hint: I bought mine for R30 at Mr Price Home) If you don’t have a suitable dish, make a tin foil parcel
  • Pour the wine over the cheese
  • Add a generous grinding of black pepper
  • Arrange the left over thyme around the cheese
  • Bake uncovered for 12 min or until the cheese is puffy, oozey and the wine has reduced a little.
  • Serve hot!

 

Camembert 2

Can’t wait for the next post from Kara!