Planning hors d’oeuvres for any big dinner party isn’t easy. How do you begin your meal properly without taking up using appetite real estate that would be better saved for the main event? We love the idea of serving a simple cheese platter or an Italian charcuterie and cheese board, but if you want to keep it simple, a wheel of warm brie with wild mushrooms is a crowd pleaser.
Chef Daniel Boulud, owner of 7 restaurants in New York City and 6 in national and international destinations, shared a version of this with Food & Wine. His version use a fancy French cheese and exotic mushrooms, but ours is a simplified recipe inspired by the chef that anyone could easily whip up at home. Use whatever mushroom medley you can find in your grocery store and an 8-ounce cheek of brie cheese, which typically run under $10.
- One 8-ounce wheel of ripe brie in its wooden box, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¾ pound wild mushrooms, trimmed, caps thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 large sage leaves, minced
- Sourdough toasts, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Remove the brie from the box and unwrap it. Put the cheese back in the bottom half of the box and set it on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, until soft.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 3 minutes longer. Add the shallot and cook until softened, 2 minutes. Stir in the sage; season with salt and pepper.
- Invert the brie onto a platter. Stir the walnuts into the mushrooms and spoon over the cheese. Serve with water crackers or crostini.