Happy Pomegranate Month! If you're seeing a lot of pomegranate recipes out there, it's because Pomegranate Month is in full swing (not to mention that pomegranates are just plain delicious).
PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur is celebrating Pomegranate Month with a recipe contest. The only requirement for entries? Using 3 tablespoons of PAMA. Thankfully, the sweet and tart liqueur pairs well with a lot of flavors.
My first entry, Phyllo-Wrapped Brie with PAMA Drizzle, is kind of a mishmash of ideas. I wanted to use phyllo dough because it always looks fancy, and it's pretty easy to use (even if a lot of people are scared of using it - just give it a shot!). I figured a version of individual brie en croute would be a great appetizer - I love the idea of brie en croute, but I don't like the idea of putting pastry on top of a cracker. This eliminates the need for crackers, making the entire thing hand-held. As for the PAMA sauce, I kept thinking of an amazing steak I had in Italy, covered in a balsamic vinegar reduction that tasted like rich chocolate. A thick sauce like that, but with more fruity flavor from the PAMA, seemed like a perfect pair to the pastry.
Apparently I hit this one out of the park. Our usually loud and boisterous group didn't make a sound when these finally hit the table. The one vegetarian, who ate these as her main coarse, was literally scraping the plate clean of every last drop of sauce. I'm so glad these worked out well, contest or no, and I have a feeling these will be on my holiday table in the next few months. If nothing else, the combination of PAMA and balsamic vinegar makes a sauce that would be killer on just about anything.
Phyllo-Wrapped Brie with PAMA Drizzle
1 lb. phyllo dough
10 oz. brie, cut into 10 long slices
2 sticks butter, melted
1/2 cup PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Unroll phyllo dough and cover with a damp cloth to prevent from drying. Lay one sheet of phyllo dough on work surface and brush generously with melted butter. Lay a second sheet of phyllo dough on top of the first and brush with butter. Place one slice of brie lengthwise along the bottom edge of the dough and top with pomegranate seeds. Roll the brie in the dough two turns, fold in the sides to seal the ends, then continue rolling the brie. Trim the end to lie neatly beneath the pastry, and place seam-side down on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and brie. Brush completed pieces with butter.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. While the pastries are baking, prepare the sauce by combining the PAMA Liqueur, balsamic vinegar, and salt together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until thick and syrupy.
To serve, drizzle sauce over the pastries and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.
*NOTE* If these are too big, you can make smaller ones, but use just one sheet of phyllo - two might overwhelm a smaller piece of cheese.