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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Grilled Brie with Tropical Fruit Compote

Grilled Brie with Tropical Fruit Compote
Funny how you take some things for granted. Take for instance a grill. I grew up in a household that trucked a grill in and out of the garage year round, though especially during the summertime. It wasn't usually anything fancy - burgers, dogs, brats, chicken breasts, the occasional steak. But to this day, the smell of mesquite clinging to the air transports me right back to my 10-year-old self.

It wasn't just us. My grandparent's actually have a grill cemented right in to a concrete slab off of their patio. If we dropped by an aunt or uncle's house for a visit, charcoal levels were immediately checked. Heck, we even packed food fit for the grill into our cooler when we went camping since all of the campsites had  grills built-in.

Neighbors invited you over for cook-outs. The smell of sizzling meat drifted down the street and snaked through your windows, instantly making the decision of what to have for dinner an easy one: something on the grill. Heck, when I moved into my first apartment, my little grill was camped out on my porch.

I mean, everybody grills, right?
Grilled Brie with Tropical Fruit Compote
Turns out, I was not right. Not everybody uses the grill as much as we do. I've even met people who had NEVER grilled-out before.Wha!? Perhaps it's a Midwest thing.

This summer, use of the grill has been in full effect. It's seen a ton of corn on the cob, dogs and brats, steak, ribs, veggies, pineapple, and even duck. But what I'm sharing today is something that you probably don't automatically think of when you're deciding what to throw on the grill: CHEESE! 

When contemplating a dish that featured Gallo Family Sweet White Blend, I was initially going to go the dessert route. I was thinking of grilling fat slices of pound cake, topping them with a scoop of cold vanilla bean or coconut ice cream, then topping it all with some compote made with the wine and tropical fruit.  Just the thought of it gets my cheeks-a-tinglin'!
Grilled Brie with Tropical Fruit Compote
But then, I remembered that I'd seen somebody grill a round of brie once, and the rest was history. I love brie, especially when it's been roasted until the inside is soft and oozy. It pairs perfectly with either preserves or roasted garlic, crusty bread, and a bottle of white wine. But I thought, why not use part of my initial idea of a tropical fruit compote that has been lightly cooked in a spiced white wine syrup, for smothering a round of brie that's been grilled?

I added a smidge of smoked sea salt to the fruit to play off of the smoky, beautifully burnished rind of the grilled brie. It also pairs perfectly with some crusty bread (or crackers), with some more Gallo Sweet White Blend to wash it all down. I was thinking appetizer, but in all honesty, I can eat this as a meal.

Grilled Brie with Tropical Fruit Compote
Throw a round of brie cheese on the grill to add a smoky flavor to the mix, and delight your dinner guests. This one is topped with a spiced tropical fruit compote.
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Grilled Brie with Tropical Fruit Compote
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Keywords: grill appetizer cheese vegetarian soy-free nut-free cheese wine pineapple mango

Ingredients (serves 6-8)
    the syrup:
    • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Gallo Sweet White Blend (or similar)
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 5 whole cardamom pods,bruised
    • small palmful black peppercorns
    • 1 whole star anise
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1/2 teaspoon smoked sea salt (or regular sea salt)
    the fruit:
    • 1 kiwi, peeled and cut into chunks
    • 1/2 of a mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into chunks
    • 1/2 of a small papaya, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
    • 1/4 of a medium-sized pineapple, cut into chunks
    • 1/2 banana, peeled and cut into chunks
    • 1/2 of a plantain, peeled and cut into chunks (optional, only add if ripe and sweet)
    for the brie:
    • 2 rounds of brie
    • olive oil
    Combine all ingredients for (syrup) and bring to a boil, reduce and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes.

    In the meantime, place all of the fruit into a medium-sized pot. Strain the syrup into it, bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer very gently for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
    tropical fruit for Grilled Brie with Tropical Fruit Compote
    Drizzle both sides of the brie with a thin layer of olive oil, using your fingers to rub it all over the two sides of the wheels. Set the rounds of brie on a grill that is hot (but on the side of starting to die down). Close the lid and let cook for 4 minutes. Open the lid and carefully flip the brie, close lid and allow to grill for another 2-3 minutes.
    grilling brie for Grilled Brie with Tropical Fruit Compote
    Remove the brie to a serving platter and top each round with some of the compote and syrup. Serve with crackers or crusty bread, and the rest of the bottle of Gallo Sweet White Blend.

    You will have extra compote left; store it in a covered container in the fridge. Also great served over vanilla, caramel, or coconut ice cream.
    Grilled Brie with Tropical Fruit Compote

    Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.