Thursday, October 2, 2008

Caramelized Onions Pear and Brie Crostini

Last night we went to see the musical Les Miserables at a spectacular outdoor theatre. We even took our two charges, since one of them is smack dab in the middle of studying the French Revolution. No matter how many times I see or read this story, I'm always struck by the delicate interplay of right and wrong, justice and mercy, selfishness and selflessness. But most of all, I'm left with an overwhelming urge to be kinder to my fellow man. One act of true kindness has the potential to alleviate a suffering soul, and because our lives are so interconnected, the effect will ripple out to so many others-and probably boomerang back at some point. Life is richer when we try to be better. It's so worthwhile to find meaningful forms of entertainment that uplift and inspire and show the great goodness that man is capable of. A novel, a work of art, a piece of music, a theatrical presentation, even a movie can exploit the best-or worst-of humankind. Choose wisely!
In keeping with our French revolution theme, today's recipe has not only French bread, but also French cheese. You may be wondering how a blog that professes to save you money can advocate the purchase of fine French cheeses. Here's how: I buy my brie in individually wrapped 1 ounce wedges. These mini wheels go on sale several times a year for 2 for $5 at most grocery stores. It's perfect for a small family, since a full sized wheel of Brie would be as dangerous as la guerre. I made this little appetizer for dinner guests on Sunday. For a minute I thought we should just skip dinner and have four times the appetizers. Suffice it to say they were a hit. This weekenend I'm making another plate full for lunch and curling up on the couch with Les Miserables, the book. Great literature and great food...equally inspiring.
Money Saving Tips: Buy your Brie in small wedges on sale. Blue cheese or creamy feta would make great substitutes. Make a double batch of caramelized onions to use in other recipes for the week. It's a great idea to keep a couple sliced baguettes in the freezer.
Caramelized Onions, Pear, and Brie Crostini
Estimated Cost: $3.00 for 16 crostini
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon vinegar (cider, red wine, or balsamic work well)
16 thin sliced multi grain baguettes, toasted (about half a baguette)
2 ounces brie
1/2 of a pear, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally until onion caramelizes, about 20 minutes. (I usually get bored and crank up the heat-it's not a true caramelization, but it's still fabulous.) Add the honey and vinegar and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring often. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread brie very thinly over crostini. Top with onion mixture and thin pear slices. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
****Thanks to all my readers for helping me find a great multi tasking jeans skirt. I'm sure to find the perfect one now!
Coming Tomorrow:
10 minute-Maple Glazed Apple Turn Overs

61 comments:

Jamie said...

So beautiful, I love the Wee Brie!!!

VeggieGirl said...

Oooh, I love Les Miserables!!

Great crostini!!

Andrea said...

Those crostini look delicious! It's been way to long since I've enjoyed some brie. I will have to look for those baby wedges next time I'm shopping, I haven't seen them before. Great appetizer, I'm thinking it would be nice for Thanksgiving, when those guests start arriving and dinner isn't quite ready yet :)

Lisa said...

What a nice kind post. Your appetizer looks very appetizing:)

Emily Rose said...

These look so good! Pear + Brie = Heaven!

HoneyB said...

Oh this is a DEFINITE I wish I were there moment. I absolutely LOVE anything with BRIE and Caramelized onions. Add the pears and it had to be heaven!

Candy said...

I've never seen this product. I'll be looking for it now. Thanks!

gigi said...

Caramelized Onions pretty much go with everything! Well maybe not everything. But I pretty much could eat them with lots of different things and I do! Especially Vidalia onions. Have you ever had any vidalia's? They are the sweetest onions ever! They are grown about 50 miles up the road from here. I buy them by the 10 lb. bags or even bigger, one time I bought a 25 lb. bag!

Sounds like a wonderful family evening and what a way to go, Les Miserables! So much fun. And what a learning experience for the little ones.

Marjie said...

It's so nice that you can take the kids to outdoor theatre! Last night was 45 degrees; we'd have needed to huddle in sleeping bags to sit outdoors for any time at all!

Your crostini are lovely! Maybe I'll do some of those to go with dinner one of these nights!

Lucy said...

Delicious... I too will need to keep on the lookout for those wedges of brie, they'd be so perfect ;-)

Maria said...

I am jealous you made it to Tuachan to see Les Mis. We really wanted to go but never found the time. Wicked is coming to SLC in the spring! We are for sure going to that:)

I love brie and pear together. I will have to look for the little wheels, it is just the two of us and trust me I do not need to eat more than that!

Dawn said...

You know I would love to take you grocery shopping with me. I know you would show me a few tricks & tips for sure. I love Brie, and I never think to look for the wee brie. Clever. And tasty!

Mary Ann said...

I am so glad you posted a recipe with pears today! I am going to lose my mind trying to use all the pears we have before they are too ripe. This looks perfect. I wanted to see Les Mis down there, but we didn't make it. It is inspiring. Great post, Prudy.

Allie said...

I love love love carmelized onions. Even tastier looking with bread and cheese and pears. A must try for sure!

Pam said...

You are killing me Prudy. These beautiful crostini have all of my favorite things on it. Brie, Pear and caramelized onions. I will definitely be making these - soon.

CECIL said...

Prudy, this is exactly why I love your blog!! As of right now, I am munching crostini too. Nothing fancy, just caramelized shallots and havarti.

Deborah said...

I'll have to look for those little brie wedges. I love brie, but it's usually way too much for two of us. I think we could definitely handle one of these little packages!!

anudivya said...

Hey Prudy, first time on your blog here. And it is wonderful, I especially like all your sweet dishes, dessert for others, meal for me! ;)

Kirsten said...

Those are the perfect fall appetizer. Yum!

MK and Co. said...

The onions are beautiful! Are your dinner guest Mom and Dad? Well whoever they are I'm so jealous! I want a small bite of heaven with caramelized onions on top!

Rosie said...

How wonderful going to see Les Miserables and your crostini looks great!!

Rosie x

Sara said...

I have never had a crostini. Yours looks great! Thank you for the inspiring words regarding media and good literature. There is a lot of good out there, but also a lot of bad. Scary for our children.

Deanna said...

My sisters and I are going to have a "sisters weekend" in a few weeks. I am going to add this to our special menu. We have planned to have only "elegant" food and this definitely qualifies!

Patsyk said...

Oh, I could definitely make a meal out of those! Yum!

Les Miserables is one my favorite shows! Something about the music and the emotions the show evokes... it gets me every time!

Catherine said...

I've been having a love affair with brie ever since Mom and Dad took me to the Summint House for the first time. The romance has never died! I love brie and this looks so delicious!

The Blonde Duck said...

Teenie weeine brie!

Sorry, I had to do it.

I only saw part of "Les Miserale" in the movie form and was scarred for life. I had a friend in hs who loved dramatic and terrifying movies and musicials. It's the part where Nicole Kidman is sick and the landlord is demanding the rent and she rips her covers off...being sixteen and terrified of anything remotely sexual (strange, I know), I rushed from the room and refused to come back until they turn it off. I was not going to watch the "mean, naked people." I was quite eloquant, as you can tell.

Actually, she's turned me off of a lot of movies I may otherwise would have liked with a little warning.

Prudy said...

Blonde Duck
Wait, I've never seen a Nicole Kidman version. Are you thinking of the Uma Thurman?? Or am I seriously out of the cinematic loop?

vibi said...

Mmmmm... a wonderful aray of sweet and salty tastes that I'm positive, were amazing together!
DIVINE!

The DeL Sisters said...

Oh! We should make this since we are French! I have never had Brie before but it looks good.

Emiline said...

Haha, I crank up the heat, too, when I make caramelized onions. I kind of like a little char to them. :)

This sounds amazing!

Bridgett said...

I had these recently at a friends dinner party and I loved the combination of the pears and brie. Your photos make it all the more mouthwatering.

Grace said...

wee brie!! what a fabulous name--kudos to the advertising folks for that one. :)
great little treats, prudy. perhaps one day i'll see les miz.

Aggie said...

These look delish...what a great way to put these flavors together. YUM!

You are inspiring me to pick that book up...we'll see...I don't know the story and am not interested.

Audrey said...

Prudy, these look wonderful!

Astra Libris said...

Your post is so beautiful, so inspiring! Thank you for the uplifting words, and the gorgeous recipe!

Peter M said...

Ain;t these cute? Guilt free as I could eat 3 or 4 without feeling bad.

Kevin said...

What a great combo of flavours o this crostini!

Esi said...

I really need to start doing the tip of keeping sliced baguettes in the freezer. How long do they last? I am definitely going to keep my eye out for the teenie brie too!

Cathy said...

I would skip dinner for the rest of my life if you would just keep sharing appetizer recipes like this one, Prudy. I haven't seen Les Mis in years, but it sounds like the venue and the evening were perfect! And you are so right about the importance of simple acts of kindness. If we would all remember that simple concept every day, the world would be a much nicer place.

Leslie said...

ohh..very fancy! Yummo!

Dee said...

Wow, this is fabulous Prudy! It looks so fancy with the pear and the brie. I'm amazed at how you turn out such amazing food on a budget.

Isn't Les Mis brilliant? I watched it when I was studying in the UK decades ago. Gawd, I feel so old.

Satisfying my Sweet Tooth said...

I could really go for one of these right now. I love everything about them! And I love Les Mes and am jealous that you will get to sit down and enjoy a book...someday I will be able to do that again!

Debinhawaii said...

How yummy these look! Les Mis is one of my favorie shows--I could see it over and over!

Lore said...

Always a winner combo for a crostini or even a pizza topping!
I remember I cried when I first read Les Miserables...I must have been twelve back then.

Marie said...

Love all your hints and tips Erin! We are quite lucky here to live very close to France and we often pop over and buy cheeses and such. Your salad looks wonderful. I love pears with blue cheese and walnuts. We have not seen the Churche's Women's conference yet. (time difference issues) However we are going to be seeing it at the Stake Centre on November 11th and they are providing a meal for us as well. I can't wait. I've heard so many good things about it!

1215656559s20768 said...

Love Les Miserables. And I'm pretty sure I would love this crostini if I tried it.

I found a jean skirt last night (your post below) at TJ Maxx that I started to get but backed out at the last minute, but not because I didn't like it. Have you checked there?

Marthe said...

These look so cute!! They must be very tasty. I'm going to see Les Miserables (the musical) on Sunday here in Holland, looking forward to that!!

Katherine Aucoin said...

Another reason to love the cooler weather, brie! I'll have to look for wee brie.

Beth said...

I have a huge wedge of it in my fridge ( one of the benefits of living only a ferry crossing away) - this looks lovely, will be trying soon

hot garlic said...

Okay, I'm checking this blog on a different computer, one that has the sound on, I always wondered what type of music dear Prudy would have loaded on here! LOL. I'll bake YOU a cake!

This look great, they have so many winning components, how can you go wrong?!

Prudy said...

Esi:
I'm guessing they would last a long time, but I keep ours in good rotation. I can say 3 months with confidence.

Melanie Anne said...

Mmm I love Brie and I LOVE Les Miserables--one of my favorite books. Your crostinis look great! I didn't know you could buy mini brie wedges! That is very cool!

Jo said...

This would be perfect for nights when I just feel like having hors d'oeuvres as a meal. I love all your recipes...I'm going to have begin a Fridays with Prudy list. :-)

Jaime said...

you are my new best friend! i had no idea they sell mini brie! my large wheel always molds before i can eat the whole thing and i'm always so sad when that happens. though honestly, a huge wheel is only $6 at sam's club.

this crostini looks to die for!

Janna said...

I have not been a good blog reader. I get busy for a week and you have so many good posts to catch up on! This crostini looks GREAT!

Jennifer said...

Oh, this one was so delicious! I saw it and knew I had to try it. Wee Brie was on sale, and I had fresh pears from the tree. Even my husband loved this, after being sceptical about trying it!

Pam said...

I tried this recipe last weekend and loved it! Thanks for the inspiration and a very tasty appetizer.

Adam said...

Nice idea with the whole French Revolution theme, that sounds like a lot of fun :)

I just dropped by here and I'm glad I did, this place is nice. Ha I even laughed at the music, it's very fitting with the whole atmosphere. I feel Leave it to Beaver-ish but of course in a super cool way :)

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