I went looking for something simple but spectacular that would pair equally well with both cocktails and wine before dinner and came across this amazing photo by Spencer Burton for Las Vegas Weekly:
It turns out that these are one of the most popular items on the appetizer menu at one of my favorite Las Vegas watering holes: Nine Fine Irishmen, located in the center of the casino at New York New York.
I pulled the dinner menu up on the internet and had to search for it. I was looking for Baked Jameson Cherry Brie Bites but couldn’t find it. Now that I’ve seen where they have it hidden at the bottom of the appetizers, it’s easy to see how I missed it the last time I stopped in for a pint of #Guinness and a splash of whiskey.
They list it simply as “Baked Brie” with an unimaginative description of: “Brie Cheese, Whiskey Marinated Cherries, Puff Pastry, Balsamic Reduction, Toasted Baguettes” and they don’t show the mouth watering picture. Not a great sales job at all!
I’m much more intrigued by the glowing description that Brock Radke gave in his November 2013 article describing the, then new item as, “the perfect bite-sized delight for the holiday season. Bonus: Irish whiskey is involved.”
I’m sold. Point me to the kitchen!
Jameson Cherry Baked Brie Bites
- 5-7 squares of puff pastry (5×5 inch, cut into four pieces)
- 1½ lb. Brie cheese (cut into 1-inch cubes)
- 1 cup dried tart cherries
- ½ cup Jameson Irish Whiskey
- 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
- 2 eggs, beaten well
- fresh ground pepper (to taste)
Now it’s time to prep the cherries:
- Soak cherries in Jameson overnight.
- Cook cherry-whiskey mixture in a small pot on low heat until fruit softens, then add corn syrup and mix well.
- Use a hand-mixer or blender to purée the mixture, then chill and let sit for 2 hours.
When your cherry mixture has finished chilling it’s time to assemble the bites:
- Heat oven to 425°F.
- Gently separate one square of puff pastry dough and spread a fingernail-sized portion of Brie in the middle.
- Add a small dollop of cherry purée and season with pepper.
- Fold dough so all corners are sealed.
- Spray a baking tray with nonstick cooking spray and place bites on tray in rows.
- Brush the top of each pasty pocket with egg.
- Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until golden brown.
- Let sit for two minutes before serving.
The part I’m missing in this recipe is that they don’t mention the balsamic reduction. Based on the picture it appears that they reserve some of the whiskey-cherry purée to add to the top for presentation with a couple of sprout leaves.
Helpful tip: You can cut the preparation time by buying whiskey soaked cherries online or at your local Total Wine or Bevmo if they carry them. I keep a jar on hand that are soaked in my favorite bourbon-whiskey, Maker’s Mark, and I’m sure that you can prepare the same a few days ahead and keep them well sealed in your refrigerator so that you can shorten the prep time.
If you’re on Facebook and are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to: my favorite recipes, drinks, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a page on Facebook you can visit too: https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood