Honey Almond Brie Ð always a big hit anywhere
When speaking with Linda Marrone some time ago, she mentioned that there was a date open for the New Year’s article. I jumped at the chance to try my hand at it. I started to cook when I was 9 years old, and ever since, cooking has led me into some fascinating times, some interesting failures and now an article. Wow … the paths of life!
I met Linda when she and Ralph owned Marrone’s, and quickly became a regular, discovering that Linda had this passion for feeding the world, well at least Carson City. We became friends and came to do some fun food events, some large and some extra large. Catering has been the most challenging as well as rewarding.
I believe that food should be presented as a work of art, if it be on a plate or buffet table, good food with presentation creates wows. I strive for wows.
This one is always a big hit anywhere I have done it, and has been for 20 years.
Honey Almond Brie
(Brie is a creamy French-style cheese.)
1 6-inch round Brie (can use wedges)
1 small jar of honey (I like Nevada-made honey, it has more flavor)
1 T. coarse grind black pepper
1 4-oz. pkg. sliced toasted almonds
Carr’s or Essensia pepper crackers or French baguette (sliced thin)
Fresh mint (optional)
Brie is covered with a rind. I like to cut this away from the top and sides. Be careful, cut away from you. Also, do this while it is cold. After removing the rind, you can add the almonds, cracked pepper and cover. Be sure to use a plate with a rim so the honey doesn’t run over. Let this sit out to room temperature. Just before guests arrive, pour on the honey (you can nuke the honey if you like) and garnish with the fresh mint. You will get wows.
You can find Nevada honey at a health food store. Regular honey is OK.
Serve crackers or bread on its own service item.
Another quick and delicious wow:
Asian Spicy Meatballs
Frozen meatballs (get at Costco or look in frozen food section at a grocery). I figure three or four per person if you have various other appetizers.
Essensia Asian sesame dressing (Raley’s or Albertsons). You will have to decide how many you want to serve and get the necessary amount. Better to buy more than one, you will use it.
2 T. sesame seeds (Toast them in a skillet. Keep your eye on them or they will burn.)
Heat the meatballs in a skillet with some chicken broth to boil, simmer for 5 or 10 minutes. Drain, add the dressing and stir, making sure all gets coated well. Add more dressing for moisture, add the sesame seeds on top and put in the container you choose to use. Use a chafing dish, a ceramic (high-rimmed bowl) or other heatable source. You may want to reheat at some point, but these are even good cold. Garnish with some of the mint. Put out some toothpicks (ones with the frilly ends) or the shortest bamboo skewers. Enjoy!
Monte Richards is a retired caterer and personal chef. He has lived in Carson City for 20 years.