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A combination of ham and brie can make for an elegant and delicious appetizer or light meal. One of the best tips for serving these two foods together is to provide a selection of condiments or sides alongside the ham and brie. Ensuring that they are served at the same temperature may also be a good idea. Using complimentary glazes on the meat and cheese is one of the most common tips for serving this appetizer, as is ensuring that both the ham and brie are of the highest quality.
Ham and brie are often considered ideal for appetizers, small meals, and as a part of a larger spread. While these two items are typically the primary focus, serving them with a small assortment of sides is often ideal. Slices of quality crusty bread or a mixture of crackers can give people the option of creating a small sandwich, and can make the meat and cheese easier to eat. Providing two or three different types of mustard, from sweet to spicy, can complement the main items, and a platter of fresh cut fruit, particularly grapes and pears, can complement the flavors and round out the assortment.
In general, brie should always be served either warm or at room temperature. This can be accomplished by letting the brie sit out for 30 minutes to an hour prior to serving, or baking it in the oven while still in the rind until warmed through. Serving the ham at approximately the same temperature as the brie can help to make the spread more cohesive. When serving brie at room temperature, the ham can simply be cooked with a glaze prior to serving and then left to cool slightly, or sliced and kept warm in its own juices.
The combination of ham and brie is often popular because both lend themselves well to slightly sweet glazes. A good tip for serving these together is to make sure that the glaze used on either one has the same base flavor, even if they taste slightly different. For example, a honey-based glaze can be modified in several different ways, and two different honey glazes for the ham and brie can tie the two foods together without making them taste too similar.
Ensuring that both the ham and brie are of the utmost quality is one of the best tips for serving these items. Brie should smell somewhat sweet and give slightly when pressed. When choosing a cured ham, the color of the meat should be a relatively uniform shade of pink, indicating that the ham was cured properly. Fresh ham that seems watery or has a slight green tinge to it should be avoided. Instead, opt for a fresh ham that is slightly gray or pink, or variations of these two colors, and firm to the touch.
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