Elegant Holiday Entertaining

 
 

The holidays are an ideal time to invite friends and family to celebrate the season. Yet, whether hosting an intimate brunch or elaborate dinner party, spare hours are few and far between -- particularly during this hectic time of year. The marketers of Ile de France fine gourmet cheeses say that easy and elegant holiday entertaining do not have to be mutually exclusive and offer its Brie en Croute (Baked Brie) as culinary proof.

Simple to prepare and a decidedly different hot appetizer or dessert -- Ile de France Brie en Croute features the brand’s signature Brie in a crisp and flaky pastry crust. Introduced last year, Brie en Croute comes in three flavors: original, with sautéed mushrooms, or with brandied cranberries and apricots.

Available in supermarket specialty cheese centers and gourmet food shops nationwide, Brie en Croute can be prepared quickly and easily, simply by heating it for a few minutes and then serving it on its own or accompanied by a delicious green or fruit salad, depending on which of the three flavors is served.

Cookbook author Kathy Gunst, who has been developing exclusive recipes for Ile de France Brie and goat cheese, suggests a light and flavorful accompaniment for the Baked Brie. “One of my favorite ways to serve original Brie en Croute is to surround it with a refreshing winter salad, or thinly sliced fennel with tangerine sections and lightly toasted walnuts or almonds,” says Gunst. “The nuts’ crunchy texture and the anise flavor of the fennel perfectly counteract the rich, creamy flavor of the Brie en Croute.” For a unique dessert, Gunst suggests serving the brandied cranberries and apricots Brie en Croute with a colorful garnish or drizzling honey on the original flavor accompanied by a selection of fresh fruit.

For additional information regarding Ile de France products and recipes and tips by Kathy Gunst, please visit www.iledefrancecheese.com.

Founded in 1928 by Alfred Schratter, New Jersey-based Schratter Foods, Inc. is a leading importer of specialty foods, including gourmet cheeses, chocolate and pâté. Its specialty cheese division, ANCO Fine Cheese, offers a wide range of category-management services, including merchandising, marketing and training. Schratter Foods, Inc. is a subsidiary of Bongrain SA, the worldwide leader of specialty cheeses.