BRUNCH FOR FATHER’S DAY OR ANY DAY!
By Lesley Younes
By all accounts Father’s Day may have been an afterthought as it was first celebrated on June 19, 1910. Mother’s Day has been around since ancient Greek times and was celebrated mostly in Britain and the Commonwealth with its resurgence in the USA around the year 1870.
The third Sunday in June is a time of burned toast and unusual breakfast combinations in bed, served by overly excited children. It’s time when fathers are to be indulged and reminded that they are not forgotten for all they do to support, guide and influence the family.
Below are a few recipes that you can mix and match, add to your own favorites or make all at once for a memorable brunch.
Makes 1 stacked sandwich
2 slices of any firm bread
Dijon mustard to taste
Dill pickles to taste
2 slices Black Forest ham
2 slices smoked turkey
3 very thin slices of Swiss cheese
1/4 tsp. garlic paste
1/2 tbs. mayonnaise
2 tbs. half and half or whole milk
Spread the bread with mustard and top with pickles, meats, and cheese. Make the garlic paste by mashing it with a pinch of salt and then mix it with the mayonnaise. Spread on remaining slice of bread and assemble the sandwich.
Beat together the egg, milk and a little salt and pepper, then soak the sandwich in the egg mixture – rather like French toast.
Melt butter and cook on both sides until golden brown. If you have a bacon press, this comes in really handy and works very well, but anything flat and heavy can be used.
MANLY MAPLE BACON
1 lb. your favorite bacon (thicker is better)
freshly ground black pepper
pure maple syrup
Lay bacon slices on a large oven sheet with sides to catch dripping fat. Liberally cover them with freshly ground black pepper. Bake or broil until crisp. Remove from oven and immediately drizzle them with pure maple syrup. Serve.
LUMBERJACK BREAKFAST BOWLS
serves 12, or six lumberjacks
1 lb. finely chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 tbs. unsalted butter
salt and black pepper to taste
2 tbs. crème fraiche or sour cream
2 tbs. fresh tarragon, finely chopped, or 1 tsp. dried
12 slices good Virginia ham
12 large eggs
Pre-heat oven to 400.
Cook mushrooms and green onion in butter with salt and pepper, until mushroom water has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the crème fraiche and tarragon.
Fit one slice of ham into each of 12 lightly oiled muffin cups, making sure that there are no ‘holes’ for the egg to slip through. Divide the mushroom mixture evenly between them, then crack an egg into each cup. Bake in the middle of the oven until whites are cooked but yolks still runny, usually about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove with a spatula or two spoons. If you have oiled the muffin pan sufficiently, this will be very easy. Serve while still warm. Recipe can be doubled if you have many visiting lumberjacks!
CORNBREAD WITH AN ATTITUDE
makes a 9 X 9 dish
1/2 lb. fresh Chorizo, removed from casing
1 cup white cornmeal
1 tbs. baking powder
salt to taste
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream, crème fraiche or yogurt
1 8-oz. can creamed corn
2 fresh jalapeno chilies, seeded and finely chopped
2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
Pre-heat oven to 350.
Crumble and fry the Chorizo over medium high heat in a dry pan, to render some of the fat. Pour off excess fat, reserving about 2 tablespoons. In a large bowl, combine the sausage and the rest of the ingredients. Generously butter a 9 X 9 baking dish or a 10-inch heavy skillet that can be put in the oven. Spoon in the cornbread batter and sprinkle the top with a little more cheese if desired. Bake for 45- 55 minutes, until the cornbread turns golden and starts to smell divine. Serve hot from the oven.
HONEY FRUIT WITH RUM
For the marinade: 4 tbs. Honey, 4 tbs. dark rum and 2 tsp. Angostura bitters or fresh lime juice
1 large orange, peeled and segmented with membranes removed if possible.
1 large Fuji-style apple, unpeeled, cored and diced
1 pear, not too ripe, unpeeled, cored and diced
1 banana, peeled, sliced
1 cup seedless red and green grapes
1 cup strawberries, halved
1 cup raspberries and blueberries, and/or other fruits of your choice
Whisk marinade together, test for balance, adjust if necessary with a little more of this and that.
Mix in fruit and any juice which occurred from preparing the oranges/fruits.
Chill for 30 minutes to three hours before serving with a scoop of coconut or mango ice cream, or both.
(Leek and asparagus)
Serves 6 – 8
1/4 stick butter or 2 tbs. truffle oil
1 cup chopped leeks (white and pale green part only)
1 12-oz. bunch thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces (about 2 1/2 c.)
1 cup sliced stemmed shitake mushrooms or chanterelles if you can find fresh ones.
8 large fresh eggs
1 cup diced Fontina cheese, divided
dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Note: If you have never worked with leeks before, please make sure that you wash them thoroughly as the sand and the soil that they’re grown in tends to cling. Leeks have a gentle onion flavor and when cooked impart a sweetness to all dishes. They are worth substituting for onion in all dishes when they are in season.
Pre-heat broiler. Melt butter in an oven-proof skillet, add leeks and sauté until soft, then add asparagus, mushrooms and sprinkle lightly with salt. Sauté until tender, about six minutes. Whisk eggs, three-fourths cup cheese, salt and pepper to taste and gently fold this into the vegetable mixture to combine. Cook until almost set, then sprinkle remaining cheeses on top and broil until the frittata is puffed and cheese begins to turn golden. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.
TWICE-BAKED CROISSANTS WITH ALMONDS AND ORANGE SYRUP
serves 8 – 16
Pre-heat the oven to 350.
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp. vanilla essence
1/4 cup fresh orange juice or 1/4 cup concentrate and a little water to thin
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup almond paste (not marzipan), cut into pieces
1 large egg
5 Tbs. unsalted softened butter
1 Tbs. rum, preferably dark
1/2 tsp. pure almond extract
8 croissants – day-old are best
3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted in a moderate oven
confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Make syrup by combining sugar and water in a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean, if using, with a sharp knife and scrape out the seeds. Add pod and stir until sugar is dissolved, then bring to a boil. Do not stir while boiling. Simmer for two minutes, then remove from heat, remove the pod and stir in orange juice. Cool.
To make the paste, pulse the almonds in a food processor or blender with two tablespoons sugar, until finely ground. Add almond paste and pulse until finely chopped.
Beat together butter and remaining two tablespoons sugar, almond mixture and a pinch of salt, until fluffy, about three minutes. Whisk together egg, rum and extract and gradually add to the almond cream, beating until well combined.
Cut croissants in half horizontally. Brush insides with orange syrup (top and bottom half). Spread two tablespoons almond cream on each bottom half, mounting in centers, then cover with the tops. Spread one tablespoon almond cream on top of each. Line an oven tray with parchment paper and transfer croissants. Sprinkle the tops with two tablespoons of toasted almonds, bake until golden brown and warmed through, 15 – 20 minutes. Cool slightly, then dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm.
As this is a frozen drink, it can be made ahead up to two days ahead.
Makes 6 servings, can be doubled.
2 1/2 lbs. ripe in season tomatoes (about eight) cored, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup packed torn fresh basil leaves
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. hot pepper sauce, or to taste
1/2 tsp. fleur de sel or good kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
6 tbs. vodka (preferably Stolichnaya)
finely chopped celery leaves, plus 6 small whole leaves for garnish
Combine first six ingredients in processor. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a glass baking dish. Freeze until starting to set around the edges, stirring occasionally, about one hour. (This will be like granite.) Continue to freeze and stir until the granita consistency is visible.
Before serving; Remove from freezer, let stand until soft enough to scrape with a fork, about 20 minutes. Scrape granita, forming flakes. Divide them between six glasses. Pour one tablespoon vodka over each. Sprinkle each with chopped celery leaves and garnish with a whole celery leaf and a spike of celery.
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