Ah, cheese. Cheese is seriously one of my most favorite foods on the planet. It is so versatile. It can be sharp or sweet, crumbly or creamy… it pairs with meat, fruit, vegetables, you can start a meal with it or end one with it. It's allure is irresistible. I loved that scene in French Kiss where Meg Ryan is on the train eating cheese even though she's lactose intolerant, it was just that good!
Sadly, not all cheese is created equal and some varieties are better than others. One of my personal favorites is brie, there is something extra special about brie in my book. Its subtle flavor allows it to pair with so many things, and it's a little bit pricey so whenever I am having some, I try to savor it because it's special. Hot or cold, I will never turn down a good wedge of brie. But when you heat it, well, lookout! It transforms from tasty to ah-mazing!
Normally I will wrap a wedge up in some tinfoil and heat it up in the oven, but since it's summertime, and nothing says summer cooking like the grill, I got to thinking how lovely it would be to warm this outside – those lovely char marks, and the smell, oh the smell of a grill is a potent elixir, isn't it?!
As my mind began to spin with the yummy possibilities of grilling a tasty summer fruit and this adored fromage, REALITY set in. The grates on the grill are pretty wide and the vision of me screaming and crying (I'm dramatic like that) while staring down at my cheese which has melted through to the icky bottom of the grill was a nightmare I just couldn't endure. But the vision of those lovely grill marks haunted me and I knew I needed to think up an alternative. And then it hit me, my grill pan! Whoever thought this up was a genius. Now, I know that it's not “the same” as real grilling, but if this keeps me from shrieking and tearing my hair out (and scandalizing my neighbors) then I am all for it!
Recently, I discovered these miniature brie wedges in the fancy cheese bin at my local grocery store. They are the cutest, little individually wrapped bundles of joy I could ever imagine discovering in my deli counter. A small bag of them costs the same as a large wedge, but now I can open one (or two) and enjoy it for lunch or dinner and not feel obligated to eat the entire wedge up quickly (because, let's face it, this is not a low-cal food!). These little guys offer flexibility and a sense of luxury! Pair this with peaches, one of my most loved fruits, and well, I have a recipe for success! Which leads me to tell you about the actual recipe!
Fresh peaches are delicious on their own, but I just had a hankering to grill them too. I decided to marinate them in a pepper jelly vinaigrette first – and boy, am I glad I did! The pepper jelly vinaigrette caramelized the peaches and made them even better. So, let's first start with the pepper jelly vinaigrette recipe.
It only takes three ingredients and you have a zesty dressing or marinade.
Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup Avocado Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Pepper Jelly
- 2 Tablespoons Pear Infused Balsamic Vinegar
- Combine all ingredients in a mason jar. Shake well. Enjoy!
This is awesome on spinach salad by the way!
Drizzle the dressing over the sliced peaches so they can absorb some of the flavors and get cozy before sizzling on your grill pan while you prep the bread.
I always like to have something a little crunchy with cheese – a cracker is ok but sliced french bread is my fav. Here I sliced a mini baguette and brushed on a little bit of avocado oil mixed with just a bit of garlic salt (the kind with a few herbs mixed in). It makes it extra savory. Toast these in your toaster oven or drop them in your grill pan if you have room.
Drizzle a little oil in your grill pan and heat it up! You want it nice and hot when you put your cheese and fruit on there so it will sear in the juices and flavors. I also threw in a little piece of ham because I realized I might like that mixed in – and I was right. The ham was a delicious compliment to the peaches and brie – just like we knew it would be!
Grilled Peaches and Brie Recipe
- Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette see recipe above
- Toasted French Bread
- Avocado Oil
- Garlic Salt
- Drizzle sliced peaches with pepper jelly vinaigrette and set aside.
- Slice french bread and brush on avocado oil and garlic salt. Toast these.
- Heat a little bit of avocado oil in a grill pan - be sure pan is HOT. Place marinated peaches and brie in hot grill pan. It should sizzle immediately when you put it on there.
- Allow to cook for just a couple of minutes, flip and cook on the other side. This entire process will take less than five minutes if you are using mini brie wedges, longer if you are using a bigger piece.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
You know how I love these dishes that feel fancy but that don't require a ton of work, and this is one of those. It's party food that will leave you still in the mood for celebrating – not exhausted from all the effort! But, I say don't wait for a party to enjoy this. Paired with a big green salad, this is a great way to enjoy a little luxury on a weeknight. I hope you will give it a try.
Do you have any favorite fruits you like to grill? Do you cook them on the traditional grill or do you use a pan like I did? Let's chat in the comments below-
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