The Oyster's Cheese Party
When the Oyster gives a party, you can be sure it will include cheese. I tease her that in another life she was a Russian dairy farmer. She loves cheese in any form, style, color, texture and stinkiness.
To celebrate the return of our friend Don from six months on assignment in India, O threw a delightful feast in his honor, a cheese tasting with whole platters of different blues, triple creams, stinkies and goat and sheep's milk cheeses to try, not to mention the smorgasbord of spinach salad, charcuterie, olives, breads and a big pyramid of tangerines in a turquoise bowl that made their color pop. Her parties are always delightful, with great conversations, good food, a little showing off from her more loquacious friends and lots of laughter.
The food was all delicious, varied and fun, but to my tastebuds, the highlight of the evening was the contribution made by the Evil Empress, a baked brie with walnuts and fig jam under the puff pastry crust.
EE cuts the brie wheel in half sideways, making a cheese "cake", then spreads the layer with fig spread and sprinkles in the walnuts, reassembles the cheese and covers it with puff pastry, pinching the pastry to seal in the contents. She baked it in a moderate oven until the crust was golden, added more walnuts for garnish and brought her creation to the table still hot from the oven. Others used crackers or bread to scoop up the runny, savory/sweet concoction but I found that the whole walnuts used as garnish made a great vehicle for the next bite.
I had to snap this picture in a hurry before it was all gone.