Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Getting ready for Thanksgiving:
An appetizer is born

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. No gifts! Lots of food! Good wine! And it's over in a single day—unless, of course you drag out preparation for three weeks likes I do. But it's all fun, right?

Here at the Figs house because I'm starting to noodle over what I will serve at my dinner. Thanksgiving dinner is admittedly an array of old favorites, but every year I like to add a few new things. My friend Alex provided inspiration for an appetizer last weekend with sandwiches she served when we got together to press our Zinfandel.

Alex and her husband Tim are the proprietors of the Kensington Marmalade Company, which specializes in organic preserves using fresh locally grown produce and a minimal amount of sugar. The products are insanely good. One of my favorites is Stafford's Picnic Jam. Can you think of any words that go together better than picnic and jam? Picnic jam is a marmalade that includes Eureka lemon, Meyer lemon, Valencia orange, bay, rosemary, and juniper berry—sweet and savory. Eating it makes me feel like I'm on a picnic. You should really go to their website and order some at once. It is also available at a few high-end food shops in the bay area (listed on their website) and every Sunday at the Kensington Farmers' Market.

Alex says the two best ways to eat marmalade are with a fork and a spoon, but she is forever coming up with ways to eat and cook with marmalade. For lunch she spread thick crusty bread with Picnic Jam, melted brie over the top, and served this open face.

So I got to thinking, wouldn't this make a nice appetizer in a smaller version using baguette slices? The MIL is fortunately game for trying out almost anything, so I served it before our dinner on Sunday night (along with the pear rosemary martini).

She liked it, it's easy and quick to prepare (the baguette can be slice the night before and wrapped in plastic), and it's now on the menu.

Marmalade Brie Toasts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice a fresh baguette as thinly as possible.

Spread each slice with marmalade (I highly recommend the Picnic Jam).

Layer each slice with brie or other soft cheese.

Bake in oven for about five minutes or until cheese melts. Serve warm.

Stay tuned for my test run of a new stuffing recipe and exciting table setting updates. 


J said...

You had me at melted brie. Those look so yummy!

Miss Shortcake said...

oh! oh! oh! Cheese and marmelade? Need to try it now!

ms. mindless said...

jam and brie on a baguette is one of my favorite snacks! sometimes i put it in the oven on broil because i love when the brie gets a little crusty.

Midge said...

um, yum.

tommie said...

This looks so yummy! I like to serve a light snacky appetizer on Thanksgiving day while we are watching the parades. I think I am going to try this one.

Purple Flowers said...

Thanks for sharing this information about the marmalade. I am going to purchase the picnic jam. I love the ingredients mentioned. And as of right now, there's nothing more that I would like than a picnic (or least an in-house picnic).

adozeneggs said...

Sounds and looks so good!

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

Oh yum! I've done this with apricot or fig preserves but will have to try it with marmelade now! Mmmmm!

sarafoop said...

Sprinkling toasted pine nuts over the top makes it even more yummy. :)