This year we’re downsizing and reinventing our holiday celebrations. However, the call for vegetarian, or at least non-turkey-centered Thanksgiving meals, has gone out for years now. Therefore, we at Cinder decided to put out some ideas for small, unusual, yet festive meals. This blog post describes a homemade buffet of deliciousness centered not on a bird but on our Baked Brie With Pepper Jam. You can modify this mini feast to be vegetarian or not as you like.
The Festive Center: Brie and Bread
Our Michelin Starred Chef Critchley created a tasty and easy version of brie en croute for any and all special occasions. You can make the suggested pepper jam, use another recipe (perhaps a festive cranberry sauce) or even good quality purchased preserves. Whatever you choose, you’ll want lots of bread and/or crackers to scoop up the gooey cheese. For the warmest bread you can even heat flatbreads up on your Cinder Grill!
Balanced Vegetarian Sides
You’ll want to surround your baked brie with a contrasting array of tastes and textures. These will enhance your cheese while playing off each other to provide a sense of variety and bounty. Try to have one each of a fruit, a fresh vegetable, and a pickled vegetable. For instance, you could use sliced apples, chilled asparagus, and cornichons. Another assortment could be red grapes, romaine leaves, and olives. Also, nuts are a nice touch, whether whole or a chopped garnish to the brie.
Of course, you can add some meat to these vegetarian options, but don’t overdo it. The central brie provides plenty of satisfying protein on its own. Add perhaps thinly sliced salami, or rolled slices of turkey breast for that traditional festive touch. You’ll be surprised how fast your tray will fill with options! A few sprigs of a woodsy herb such as thyme or rosemary add a scented finish.
Having assembled your festive platter, make a celebration of it. Light the candles, pour the wine, and sit close together as you share this edible symbol of the season’s bounty. Thanksgiving will never seem so new and yet so grounded at the same time.