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"One of the things I love about cooking is how subtle touches can bring artistry to food," Basch adds. Since she started Everyday Gourmet last year, Basch has brought "subtle touches" to events throughout Richmond.

For those who prefer to have someone else do the cooking for them, Basch recommends tasting menus. "Chefs who offer tasting menus love to impress with their culinary expertise," she says

When Everyday Gourmet caters an event, Basch works with the client to come up with a menu that fits the occasion and then takes care of all the details, from rentals to cooking and clean-up, allowing the host and hostess to enjoy the party.

Want to try something special this Valentine's Day? Why not try your hand at Basch's recipe for brie and raspberry beggar purses. They may leave you begging for more.

For more information about Everyday Gourmet, call Chef Ellie Basch at 873-5156. HS

Brie and raspberry beggar purses

Makes 4 appetizers/desserts)


Phyllo sheets, thawed overnight in the fridge

1 stick butter, melted

1/4 lb. brie, cut into 1-inch wedges

1 pint fresh raspberries

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

4 sprigs of mint

Powdered sugar (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 400§ F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick oil.

2. Take 1 pint of raspberries, and mash them coarsely. Add the sugar to the mashed raspberries and let them sit at room temperature while preparing the phyllo.

3. Place phyllo on a large cutting board or work surface. Cover the phyllo with plastic wrap and then place a clean, damp kitchen towel on top of the wrap to prevent the phyllo from drying out.

4. Carefully peel one sheet of phyllo and lay it flat on the counter. Lightly brush phyllo with melted butter. Add another sheet on top and brush with melted butter. Repeat until you have a 3-sheet stack. Cut the sheets in quarters lengthwise and thirds widthwise. You will have 12 squares of phyllo.

5. Place the brie and a dollop of mashed raspberry on the center of the square. Gather up the edges to cover the filling. Pinch the phyllo to seal the "purse".

6. Place the purses on a baking sheet. Lightly brush with melted butter. Bake at 400§ F for 10 minutes or until the purses are golden.

7. To serve: Place 3 purses in the middle of a plate. Spoon some of the leftover raspberries around the plate. Scatter 2-3 fresh raspberries on the plate. Place a sprig of mint on top of the beggar purses and dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.


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