Valar Morghulis, or All Men Must Eat Brie

This past Sunday marked another finale and, in my home, another feast inspired by Game of Thrones. For the last season-ender, I went all out with decor and cuisine (read about it here). This year’s celebration was more low-key, but the staples were still in place: people (and poodles) I love and plenty of food.

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 If best recipe of the night is defined as tastiest with the least amount of effort, the award goes to this brie en croûte appetizer. With fresh fruit and crackers, it’s a must-try.

Brie en Croûte
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (a Crescent seamless dough sheet works!)
14 cup favorite fruit preserves (I used half apricot/peach, half blueberry/lemon)
1 8-oz wheel brie cheese

  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Unroll pastry dough and lay flat on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Spread fruit preserves over pastry dough.
  • Place brie in the center (it’s OK to leave the rind on).
  • Wrap dough evenly around brie to cover, pinching the edges to seal. Trim excess, if necessary. Decorate top with pastry scraps, if desired.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

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The main course was a slow-cooked apple-cinnamon pork loin and parmesan-herb roasted potatoes.

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But let’s get to the important stuff: DESSERT. This was my first attempt at tart-making, and it turned out pretty well, I think. The cookie-like crust, lemony filling and colorful fruit topping turn this tart into a summer lovely. For added protein and less fat, use Greek cream cheese. More gains, less guilt!

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Greek Cream Cheese Tart with Summer Fruit

Crust:
1½ cups flour
¼ cup brown sugar
⅔ cup butter, softened
1 egg

Filling:
½ cup lemon curd (store-bought or homemade)
1 8-oz package Greek cream cheese (or regular if you prefer)

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Using a mixer or food processor, mix all crust ingredients until a dough forms.
  • Press dough evenly into an ungreased 10-inch tart pan.
  • Place pan in the freezer about 10 minutes. Remove from freezer, place on a baking sheet, and bake 10-12 minutes, or until light brown. Allow to cool.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add lemon curd and continue beating until fully incorporated and smooth.
  • Spread over cooled cookie crust and refrigerate at least one hour.
  • Arrange fresh berries or assorted summer fruit over filling.

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In case you aren’t up to speed with Game of Thrones, I’ll refrain from extended commentary. Let’s just say I sure hope things aren’t what they seem otherwise I may not have a GoT-related blog post next season. You can’t just wipe out an underdog with the best hair on the show and expect your audience not to retaliate!

Speaking of dogs, in my favorite moment of the evening I caught my dad reading my American Hair Metal coffee table book.

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Here he is studying Stephen Pearcy of RATT.  With a poodle butt in his face, no less.

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And here’s the BF snuggling my two little darlings, plus Mousse shamelessly begging for pork loin.

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On second thought…kill off whoever you want, George R.R. Martin. I have everything I need.

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