A Lesson in Cedar Plank Safety

by Maile on June 23, 2010

I love cheese. I especially love brie. And I absolutely adore baked brie with pecans and brown sugar. But that combination just doesn’t scream “summertime”, and I needed an elegant, summery appetizer to take to dinner at a friend’s house. Then I remembered this recipe I had tucked away since last summer when I had cut it out of a magazine: Grilled Brie with Raspberries and Almonds. Perfect!

Now, if you have never grilled with cedar planks before, please read the rest of this entry very, very carefully.

You must, I repeat, MUST soak your cedar planks for several hours (let’s just say 4 hours to be safe) before using them to grill. And then you must use them immediately. Do not take them out of the water at 5pm, set them in a hot car for two hours while dropping off your children at your in-laws and chatting it up with other dinner guests at the party, and then whisk them out and assume to use them without them catching fire. This will not happen; they will most assuredly catch fire, and attempt to consume in flame and char everything placed upon them.

The beauty of this story, and this recipe, is that the cheese survived. Yes, I committed the aforementioned transgressions with a rather expensive wheel of brie, and all the accoutrements listed below, and although the cheese looked rather frightful after my husband so bravely rescued it from the flame, it still tasted divine. So even if you don’t heed my advice about the cedar planks, I feel confident you will still succeed and have a lovely, smoky-flavored appetizer to serve your guests. It won’t look like much, but it will taste divine.

Grilled Brie

1 large wheel of Brie, or two small ones
2 pints fresh raspberries
3 tbsp. honey
½ c. slivered almonds (Or whatever nut you fancy. I’m may be a stickler on syrup and parm, but I’m wide open when it comes to nuts.)
Crackers or French bread for serving
1 cedar plank, soaked for a very, very, very long time.

As long as your cedar plank is soaking wet, the rest is a cinch. Put your brie on the plank, add the toppings, plop on a medium heat grill and let cook until the cheese gets nice and gooey, about 15 minutes, or until huge flames lick up from under the grill lid and your head is nearly engulfed in hell fire when you go to check on your once beautifully adorned brie. Either way, the cheese is done and ready to be slathered on crackers and enjoyed, but only after all burns and singes have been properly treated.

No seriously, it wasn’t that bad. Please don’t be afraid of this recipe because it is really really good. Give it a go.

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