Brie is known as "The Queen of Cheeses," and if you have ever experienced its velvety richness lavished on hot, crusty bread you will not wonder why. Made from cow's milk, it is a soft French cheese with a mild, buttery taste. Brie comes in an edible white rind, usually in either a triangular wedge or an entire round. As with most soft cheeses, brie is very versatile. The main things you need to know about how to serve brie are listed in the steps below, which are arranged from the simplest to the more sophisticated.
Set a wedge of brie on a pretty serving tray. Arrange crackers to one side of the cheese, and a small handful of grapes--still on the vine--on the other. Place a knife on the tray so people can serve themselves.
Spread brie on toasted olive bread to accompany hot minestrone or beef stew.
Pile walnut halves on top of a small round of brie and sprinkle honey on top. Serve with hot French bread. This can also be done with cranberries and pecans or any other fruit and nut combination you like.
Wrap a round of brie in phyllo dough and top it with caramelized onions and dried cranberries. Bake it in a 400-degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes and serve on crisp, thick water crackers. This is an excellent dessert on a cold night, with a smooth red wine and dark chocolate.
Cut a long French baguette in half, lengthwise. Spread the bottom half with creamed horseradish. Pile shaved roast beef and thinly sliced onions on top. Smear the top half with softened brie, close the sandwich and slice it into appetizer-sized pieces.
Peel the rind off a wedge of brie, and slice the cheese into small pieces. Toss it with hot pasta, sun-dried tomatoes and black olives for a quick lunch.