• 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 ounces wild mushrooms, stems removed, wiped clean and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup lump crabmeat (about 1/3 pound), picked over for cartilage and shells
  • 1/2 teaspoon Essence (paprika, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano & thyme)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons minced green onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon truffle oil
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 package Trader Joe's frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
  • 1 (1-pound) round Brie cheese
  • 1 large egg, beaten with 2 teaspoons water for egg wash

Every time I shop at Trader Joe’s, I end up with a bunch of items that I never intended to buy, but could not resist dropping in my cart. Right before the new year, I happened to be browsing their impressive cheese selection when I discovered TJ’s seasonal Truffled Brie wheel. WHAT?!! Two of my favorite foods combined into one creamy round of perfection. With New Year’s Eve around the corner, I was determined to turn this fromage into a heavenly appetizer.

After doing some research online, I came across a genius recipe created by the one and only Emeril Lagasse. I am such a fanatic of the sweet version of baked brie that it had never occurred to me to try a savory rendition. Baked truffled brie with crab meat is every bit as good as it sounds. Unfortunately, Trader Joe’s does not sell their truffled brie year round, however, a regular wheel of brie works just as well. I used Trader Joe’s Puff Pastry for this recipe, but you can definitely make your own. Just be aware that many store brand pastry doughs are loaded with hydrogenated oils and preservatives so look for a natural or organic brand.


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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until they give off their liquid and start to color, about 4 minutes. Add the crabmeat, Essence, salt, and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the green onions and parsley and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the truffle oil. Let cool and fold in the goat cheese. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Roll out each sheet of pastry slightly, and cut each piece into a round 1-inch larger than the Brie. Using a paring knife, cut several leaves or other decorative shapes from the pastry scraps. Place 1 piece of pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Cut the Brie in 1/2 horizontally and lay 1 piece in the center of the pastry sheet, cut side up. Spread the cooled crabmeat mixture over the cut Brie and top with the remaining Brie 1/2, gently pushing the 2 halves together. (The brie wheel I used was considerably smaller so I used the extra crabmeat as a bed for the baked brie)

Paint the edges of the bottom piece of pastry with the egg wash. Top the cheese with the remaining pastry sheet, pinching the edges together to seal. Paint the top pastry lightly with the egg wash, being careful not to let any drip down the sides. Arrange the decorative leaves on top, and lightly paint with egg wash. Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Serve with French bread or crackers. I personally think the puff pastry alone is the perfect vehicle.

truffle brie


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