This month we celebrated with a brunch for husband’s retirement, my son’s birthday and a milestone birthday for me. Rummaging through my breakfast file, I came across two recipes, one from Bon Appetit Magazine from July 1992 for Grand Fruit Salad and Blood-Orange and Grapefruit Juice from Gourmet Magazine, February 2002.
The fruit salad is a classic as it uses easily found fruit in any food market. The recipe calls for green grapes, strawberries, plums, peaches, orange segments and kiwi. Other cooks mention adding or substituting other fruits depending on the season. The fruit is sliced and placed in a bowl, a bit of sugar is added to help the fruit macerate and some orange flavor liquor to add another dimension of flavor. Fruit salad is always a wonderful addition to any meal whether it be brunch or after dinner dessert.
I’ve only made the blood orange and grapefruit juice once before, but felt that the unusual combination of two fruits would make for an interesting and different vehicle for mimosas. Also, blood oranges are currently in season. My granddaughter loved the pretty pink color and initially liked it on her first taste. However, when I asked her to take one more sip, that’s when she realized it was too tart for her taste.
For the brunch I made a frittata with zucchini and goat cheese that was quick and easy to prepare. The fresh oregano (from my cold frame) added a punch of flavor and a bit of tartness came from the goat cheese. Very tasty!
Another entrée for the brunch was Apple Pie French Toast Bake, a recipe that my husband found. I used Fuji apples, which have a sweet-tart flavor (They hold up well in baking.), sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cornstarch and butter. For the bread portion of the recipe, you’ll need brioche or challah bread, half and half, eggs, vanilla extract, dark rum, ½ cup granulated sugar, brown sugar and salt. I used ¼ cup of sugar as I was afraid the French toast may turn out too sweet. I suggest that you click on the link I provided from the source of this recipe, So Much Food. There are suggestions for the types of apples to use, whether you can omit the dark rum and other tips. The French toast can be made the night before, a real time saver on the day company arrives!
You have to have bacon if it’s a brunch! So, I prepared bacon two ways, plain and Sweet and Spicy, a recipe from Gourmet Magazine 2001. A blend of brown sugar, cayenne and black pepper are sprinkled over the slices for the last 20 minutes of baking. Yes, no pan frying, use a wire rack over a foil lined, rimmed baking sheet to make this bacon one super easy job!
Lastly, I invited a friend over for lunch the other afternoon. She’s not a red meat eater, but a big salad lover. I prepared “Chicken Salad.” This recipe is from a former co-worker of my husband. For the recipe you’ll need a head of iceberg lettuce, cooked chicken breast, crushed peanuts, LaChoy Rice Noodles, white or black sesame seeds, sugar, red wine or apple cider vinegar, neutral oil (canola, corn), sesame oil, salt and pepper.
This is a really super easy salad to prepare and has so much flavor from the dressing. The sesame oil adds a nutty flavor. You get a bit of crunch from the rice noodles and the peanuts. Although I roasted several skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts, you could easily use a store-bought rotisserie chicken. My husband and I love this light and tasty salad. It’s perfect to use up leftover chicken, as a light supper or summertime meal.
Chicken with Tarragon
MCMLXXXII The New York Times/Margrace Corp.
Time: approximately 35 minutes
1 2- to 2-1/2 lb. chicken, split in half as for broiling*
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
½ cup dry white wine
¼ cup water
*You can substitute bone-in split chicken breasts or a spatchcocked chicken that split in half.
Grand Fruit Salad
By MARY SELLEN
BON APPÉTIT JULY 1992
Yield: Serves 8
2 cups green grapes
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups sliced plums
1 cup sliced peaches
1 cup orange segments
1 cup sliced peeled kiwi
1/2 cup Grand Marnier or another orange liqueur
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons sugar
Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Cover and refrigerate up to 8 hours.
Blood-Orange and Grapefruit Juice
Gourmet Magazine, February 2002
Yield: Serves 6
3 cups fresh pink or red grapefruit juice (from about 4 grapefruit)
3 cups fresh blood-orange juice or regular orange juice (from about 11 oranges)
Garnish: lime slices
Stir together juices in a pitcher and add ice (if desired).
Frittata with Zucchini & Goat Cheese
From the Williams Sonoma Kitchen
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 to 3 small zucchini, sliced 1/8 inch thick
2 Tbs. fresh oregano leaves
2 tsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and 1/2 tsp. of the salt. Set aside.
In the deep half of a frittata pan over medium heat, melt 1 Tbs. of the butter. When it foams, add the zucchini and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Sauté for 30 seconds. Add the oregano and the 2 tsp. parsley and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the eggs and, using a rubber spatula, quickly and lightly stir the eggs in a small circular motion to combine them with the zucchini. Using the spatula, gently lift the cooked edges to allow the uncooked eggs to flow underneath. Sprinkle the cheese on the frittata; do not stir. Reduce the heat to low and cook, without stirring, 4 to 5 minutes more.
Meanwhile, in the shallow half of the frittata pan over medium heat, melt the remaining 1/2 Tbs. butter. Place the shallow pan upside down on top of the deep pan and flip the frittata into the shallow pan. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 3 minutes. Remove the top pan and continue cooking until the eggs are set, about 5 minutes more.
Using the spatula, loosen the edges of the frittata and gently slide it onto a plate. Garnish the frittata with parsley. Serve with the arugula salad. Serves 8 to 10.
APPLE PIE FRENCH TOAST BAKE
Author: Jenny Goycochea
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
3 apples, peeled and medium-size diced
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons salted butter
1 loaf brioche or challah, torn into bite-sized pieces
2 cups half & half
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
1 tablespoon dark rum
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream, cold
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1-head of iceberg lettuce
2-1/2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
1/4 cup crushed peanuts
1 can LaChoy Rice Noodles
1 tablespoons white or black sesame seeds
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons red wine or apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup neutral oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
salt & Pepper
Remove core from lettuce. Slice into 1/2" slides then crosswise into 3 sections. Toss with peanuts, sesame seeds and chicken.
Whisk oils, vinegars, salt, pepper and sugar.
Pour over salad.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.