Tag Archives: Brunch

Baked

I had big plans to cook up a storm in my parents’ kitchen this weekend. Instead I picked on veggies and hummus and watched an obscene amount of terrible television. Trust me, it was as indulgent and glorious as it sounds.

Sunday morning I got ambitious and made a Paula-Deen inspired French toast casserole. I’ve always wondered how restaurants make perfect French toast: eggy all the way through, but never soggy. I have to believe this is the method.

On the menu:
Summer fruit French toast casserole

1 small loaf of Italian bread, cubed
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp maple syrup (REAL maple syrup! Step away from the Aunt Jemima)
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup ripe peach, sliced
2 Tbsp cinnamon sugar
2 Tbsp butter

Note: you can use any ripe summer fruit you have on hand, I just happened to have blueberries and peaches

Place cubed bread in a well-buttered baking dish. Whisk together eggs, milk, syrup, and salt together until well mixed. Pour egg mixture over the bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 6 hours.

The next morning: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle fruit over the top of the soaked bread. Break cold butter into small pieces and add to the top of the casserole. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of the fruit and butter. Bake for 40-45 minutes (until bread on top seems firm, not soggy).

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Crazy Deal Comin’ At Ya!

I’ll be out of town this weekend (dog-sitting! I’m more excited than I should be…) and while I’m stoked to get away, I can’t BELIEVE I’m missing this!

Prix Fixe Brunch and Oyster Lesson
What:
Chef Nick Korbee gives a shucking tutorial, followed by brunch in the quaint former carriage house.
Why: Penn Cove oysters with Rainier cherries, grapefruit brulee with lemon mascarpone, Broad St. Benedict (poached egg, Bluepoint oyster fritter, roasted potatoes, choron sauce), and a Bloody Mary or champagne cocktail for $18.
When: Saturday at 11:15 a.m.
Where:
Smith & Mills, 71 N. Moore St., b/t Greenwich & Hudson Sts. (212-226-2515).

Someone please, please go to this and then tell me all about it.

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Butter Face

The title of this post was born out of this thought process: Dandelion greens, dandelions in my front yard, rubbing a dandelion on my chin, looking like I rubbed butter on my chin, butter face. A peek into my psyche, ladies and gentlemen. I know. Terrifying.

Anyway… I mentioned a few posts ago that my boss gave me a boat load of greens, including the now identified rainbow chard and dandelion greens. Should you come across dandelion greens at your local farmers’ market, do not let those little yellow petals deter you! This is a spicy, strong-tasting green and it is delicious. Below, a few suggestions on how to eat them:

With over-easy eggs on toast, with TONS of parmesan cheese and plenty of salt and pepper. [This is my take on Serious Pie’s Guanciale, Soft egg, and Arugula pizza: I swear it had dandelion greens in place of arugula when I ate it in January]

To liven up ANY sandwich. My boring ham and swiss on white bread was enlivened today with some crispy leaves of dandelion greens and a smear of spicy mustard.

In a salad with crisped up chunks of bacon (lardons, if you’re fancy… and I am) and vinaigrette.

Sauteed in a pan with a little garlic and some spicy sausage, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.

The key to dandelion greens is that they have a very strong, sometimes acrid, flavor and they need additionally strong (but contrasting) flavors to make them work, i.e. ham and swiss, garlic, spicy sausage, etc.

Bon chance, mes petits choux!

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The Incredible, Edible…

You get it. Once again, this weekend was a scorcher. It’s forcing the cook in me to be creative and devise recipes and meals that don’t require my oven but are also innovative and appetizing enough to keep me from calling up Delivery.com. You know the feeling.

I dined on some INCREDIBLE Malaysian stew Sunday night for dinner, and will have that recipe for you tomorrow. In an effort to start your weekend off right (and drooling) this is a quick meal I whipped up sans oven and in two lovely little pans. It’s incredibly basic, and you’ll notice my fridge staples in there: tomatoes, goat cheese, and walnuts. If I have them on hand, I never go hungry.

On the menu:
Scrambled eggs with tomatoes, goat cheese, and walnuts over fried potatoes

There is no magic recipe here, folks. One tip I will share with you is my recipe for the PERFECT scrambled eggs. You start with a clean non-stick frying pan, and spray a little cooking spray in the pan. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs with a little milk and about 2 Tbsp cheddar cheese. Pour the egg mixture in the frying pan, and turn heat to LOW. This is important. Keep the heat at low the entire time, constantly moving the eggs in the pan with a spatula. Once the eggs start to firm up (when almost all the liquid is gone) turn off the heat. NOTE: eggs continue to cook even after you remove them from the heat, so if you want them delicious and creamy, kill the heat just before they’re done.

Et voila! I fried up some potatoes in an adjacent frying pan, plated them, poured the scrambled eggs over top, and added my toppings. It’s attractive, satisfying, and it took me literally 15 minutes to make.

Tomorrow: Malaysian stew! Get ready. It’s gonna be good.

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One Meal Becomes Another

I’m not gonna lie to you, folks. Sometimes I make dishes that suck. I’m still not incredibly skilled in seasoning, unless it’s a no-brainer like lemon and rosemary, or tomato and basil. So when I threw together the contents of my fridge in the form of pasta, cherry tomatoes, cooked spinach, and olive oil with a little salt and pepper, it was… bland. Real bland. And when I eyed the leftovers the following day, I wondered what to do. And then it hit me: frittata.

Seriously, mixing leftovers with eggs and cheese and baking it in the oven is the answer to all my leftovers. Random veg in the crisper? Eggs, cheese, bake. Bland pasta? Eggs, cheese, bake. Half a roasted chicken breast and some fried potatoes? Eggs, cheese, bake. Chocolate cupcakes with raspberry frosting? Eggs, cheese, bake. SIKE. Who has leftover cupcakes?

On the menu:
Macaroni frittata with tomatoes, spinach, and parmesan

What you’ll need:
Leftovers – really, anything that is already cooked or can be eaten raw (i.e. fruits and veg) will work in this dish. Don’t be throwing raw chicken in there.
Cheese – I used parmesan because to me, tomatoes and spinach says “salty Italian” but maybe you have some cheddar, some swiss, a little block of goat cheese. Throw it in.
Veg – as I mentioned, I had cherry tomatoes and cooked spinach already in the failed pasta dish so I just mixed it in with eggs and a little milk, but maybe you have a chunk of red onion or some slices of yellow pepper, a handful of raw broccoli or half a zucchini. Whatever you need to get rid of.

I also added a little oregano to my concoction, poured it in a skillet, baked it all up for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven, and had a deeeelicious dinner. Try it. You’ll like it!

[In other news, this dish is PERFECT and so easy for a brunch: cut it pie-style into slices and serve with mimosas, donut muffins, and a fruit salad]

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Happy Holiday Weekend!

I don’t know about you guys, but I am jonesing for a long weekend. And this one is especially spectacular because it’s Memorial Day weekend and it’s the OFFICIAL (drum roll pleeeeeease) beginning of summer! Prayers: answered.

This weekend, I’ll be eating a lot (I know, it’s terribly shocking) and to whet your palate, a few pictures of beautiful brunches inhaled calmly and daintily enjoyed last weekend.

Magnolia 6th Ave at 12th Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY

On the menu:
French toast with real maple syrup
Lobster frittata with red bliss potatoes and an English muffin
Eggs benedict with red bliss potatoes
Coffee
Mimosas

Verdict: Love this place! Let me paint you a picture: my old friend, Kristy, and I met at Magnolia to catch up after almost two years of not seeing each other. So we needed some time… a lot of time. The staff was incredibly sweet, amazingly patient, and they didn’t even judge us when we ordered three full meals between the two of us. “Can we uh… have the French toast for dessert?” Our waiter grinned and assured us that “people do it all the time!” Thank you for lying, waiter friend.

Another thing that completely sold me on Magnolia was their banana bread basket served before the meal. Tucked inside a linen napkin were squares of moist, flaky banana bread (without nuts! wahoo!) that Kristy and I munched on before, during, and after our meals. I love when a New York restaurant serves bread and water immediately after you sit down, as if saying, “Hangover cures while you wait!”

Happy Memorial Day weekend, friends! Enjoy every sun-filled minute.

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Brunch in BillyBurg

Country Ham Biscuit

This was a weekend chock-full of amazing eats. So for the next three days, I’m going to regale you with stories of what I ate in a two day span. Prepare yourself. It’s a lot of food for one small lady, but I ate so I could report back to YOU. Seriously, you should be thanking me. And sending donations for a gym membership.

Egg 135 N. 5th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY. Egg is a tiny white-walled hallway of a restaurant with a focus on Southern-style dishes. My lovely friend Sasha has been raving about this inexpensive brunch spot for months (“the biscuits! my GOD, the biscuits!”) so her sojourn into town from DC was a perfect excuse to make the trek to this neighborhood I otherwise steer clear of. Too much ironic-disheveled-Salvation-Army makes me itchy.

On the menu:
Eggs Rothko (easy-cooked egg in a slice of brioche, topped with cheddar, served with broiled tomatoes and kale)
Country Ham Biscuit (thick cut ham, fig jam, and cheddar on a country biscuit, served with grits)
Mimosas
French press coffee (NOTE: Egg serves each table its own French press; how swank is that?)

Eggs Rothko

Verdict: Hipsters, be damned, I am going back to EGG! Oh, the beauty of salty, thick-sliced ham paired with sweet fig jam and salty melted cheddar. I feel I have to discuss the filling and THEN the biscuit because they are magic alone and perfection together. Some might tell you I peeled away the top of the biscuit to save for later and eat slowly at the end of the meal with fresh raspberry preserves… but those people would be liars.

The wait at Egg will run you at least a half hour if you go during typical brunch hours, but it is worth the wait, my friends. Sasha did not tell a lie: the biscuits are to die for. Everything tasted like it was straight out of your Kentucky grandma’s kitchen: farm fresh, made on premises, and prepared with love. More than once my fellow diners and I cried out, “Man, that is SOAKED in butter!” But y’all know that’s just fine with me.

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