18/12/13 - Say 'Cheeeeeeese'!

There's a chill in the air and the nights have officially drawn in (it's starting to get dark at quarter to four, what is that?), and you know what that means...comfort food is an absolute must.  Now is not the time for diets and calorie-counting, and the other night I treated my family to the perfect decadent treat for those cold evenings.  You can never go wrong with cheese, especially at Christmas, so why not have a meal which is essentially entirely that?  Cue the luxury of a baked Camembert, served with a homemade red onion relish and some lovely crusty bread.

Now this is clearly crazily easy even for the most novice of cooks, but I'll run you through the way I do things anyway.  Preheat your oven to like, gas mark 6.  Maybe.  I'm not good with temperatures.  Just get your oven nice and toasty.  Grab a couple of cheesy wheels (I went for two 250g servings between four, but I'm fairly certain one each wouldn't have gone amiss), unwrap them and make little incisions into both sides.  I was lacking in rosemary sprigs so I had to suffice with sliding little slivers of freshly cut garlic into the holes, but go as crazy as you like with the seasoning.  Wrap them up in foil, leaving the top a little open and pop them back into the bottom half of the boxes they came in.  I topped them off with a few teaspoons of white wine before closing the foil over, sliding them onto a baking tray and whacking them into your oven.  Leave for about twenty minutes or until they're gooey and delightful inside.  Cheese: done.

I served mine with a slightly improvised sticky balsamic onion concoction.  I roughly chopped three big-ish onions and popped them into a hot pan with quite a lot more butter than was probably strictly necessary - this is definitely not a healthy recipe!  Keep stirring until the onions have softened, then add a few glugs of balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper to your tastes, and make sure to move them around a bit so they don't stick and burn.  Basically just keep an eye on them until the vinegar has reduced off a bit and you're left with a lovely rich onion-y mixture of joy.  

The one thing I don't think I got quite right was only buying one load of bread.  This was £1 from Asda, a soft crusty white with lots of little chilli flakes which made a great addition to the other elements of the meal.  As delicious as Camembert is, a whole big wheel can be a little rich on its own so mixing up the flavours you combine with it is a good idea.  I wrapped it in foil and let it warm in the oven alongside the cheese for about fifteen minutes.

Serve and enjoy!  

Once the food was all set out, there was little time for photography as we all heartily dug in!  I just about managed to get the little snapshot below before this chunk of bread found its way rather quickly into my mouth, along with a lot more of the same.  It's not a meal that I have very often for various reasons so it means that it's always a treat!

What's your favourite luxury meal?  Let me know in the comments!

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