Baked Brie With Fennel And Mushrooms
|Fennel head||1 (About 3 1/2 Inch Wide)|
|Chanterelle/Common mushrooms||1 Pound|
|Brandy/White wine / fat-skimmed chicken broth||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Brie cheese||1 Pound|
|Slender baguette||1 Pound (2 Pieces)|
1. Rinse and drain fennel. Cut off stalks; chop enough of the feathery green leaves to make about 1/4 cup, and reserve (discard stalks with remaining greens). Trim root ends, bruised areas, and coarse fibers from fennel head; cut head into 1/4-inch chunks.
2. Rinse mushrooms, drain, and trim off discolored stem ends and any bruises. Thinly slice mushrooms.
3. In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over high heat, frequently stir chopped fennel head, mushrooms, and butter until liquid is evaporated and mixture begins to brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Add brandy; stir until almost all the liquid is evaporated, 3 to 6 minutes.
5. Spoon 1/2 the fennel mixture into a shallow casserole about 3 inches wider than the brie (or 1/4 of the fennel mixture into each of 2 shallow casseroles if using small cheeses). Set brie in casserole (or casseroles) and spoon remaining fennel mixture evenly over and around cheese.
6. Cut baguettes diagonally crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Lay slices on 2 baking sheets (14 by 17 in.). Bake in a 350° oven until lightly toasted, 10 to 13 minutes. Transfer slices to a rack to cool.
7. Bake cheese in a 350° oven until runny in the center (cut to test), 10 to 15 minutes, 25 to 35 minutes if chilled.
8. Sprinkle reserved chopped fennel leaves over cheese.