If you follow my tweets, you may remember that last week while we were home the hubby and I took the kids to have lunch at Cochon Butcher , one of my favorite food destinations. Cochon Butcher is attached to and is the laid back “little brother” of the fine dining restaurant, Cochon. It’s a Cajun deli/butcher shop/bar located in the Warehouse District that serves up outrageously delicious bar food, gourmet sandwiches constructed of house-made and cured meats and sausages and a wide variety of ever-changing and very appealing specials and sides. It also has a fully stocked bar with an impressive wine list, lots of local craft brews and a mouth-watering menu of specialty cocktails. You can’t go wrong ordering in this place. And even though the food is white-tablecloth worthy, the atmosphere is casual and unassuming. That’s the way me and the hubby like it. But another attraction of the shop, the part I’m particularly drawn to, is the butcher counter. It’s loaded with the same meats, salami and sausages the deli uses to make their sandwiches. The counter is also full of steaks, chops and other goodies (like pork rillettes–yum!) that the staff will gladly package for a trip across town or cross country. The Butcher also sells individual portions of their sides-of-the-day. During this last visit, I stocked up on andouille and tasso (a spice-laden cut of smoked pork shoulder).
Well, that was one week ago. And ever since, that andouille has been screaming my name everytime I open the freezer. So today, I’ve answered the call with a Cajunized baked Brie. I basically cooked the andouille down with green onions, garlic, jalapenos and a few herbs. I then spooned the mixture in between and on top of the Brie and baked it. The bold flavors of the andouille hold up nicely to the tangy Brie and its slightly musty rind. The different textures of the meat, the rind and the cheese are also good together.
This evening, I’ll probably be having a glass of champagne (don’t fall off your computer chairs) with my Brie. I know that sounds a little weird for me and Finger Food Friday. But I have two bottles of champagne in my “beer” fridge that need to go (not that I plan on drinking all of that at one time). Besides, I think some bubbly would be good with the cheese. But rest assured. If that first stem doesn’t go down easily, I’m draining it and moving on to a hoppy substitute!
Until next week …
Andouille Baked Brie Recipe
1/2 pound andouille smoked sausage, casings removed, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small bunch green onions, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 6 to 8-inch wheel Brie cheese, chilled
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place andouille in a large saute pan over medium-high heat; drizzle with olive oil (this will help start the cooking process). Cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add green onions, jalapenos and garlic. Cook until tender, about 5 additional minutes. Remove from heat and stir in rosemary and thyme. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Remove Brie from refrigerator; slice in half horizontally (like a muffuletta loaf). Spread half of the andouille mixture over the bottom of the Brie. Cover with other half. Spoon remaining andouille mixture on top of Brie. Bake until cheese is soft and starts to ooze, 5-7 minutes. Serve warm with crusty French bread or crackers. Serves 6-8.