serendipitous reflections

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Sunday Brunch

On Sunday, Dean and I had the pleasure of having a little brunch for Tiffany and some of her friends (Ellen, her son Will, Shelly, Lisa, her daughter Gracie, and Dean's cousin Kerry). We had a wonderful time. Unforturnately our A/C decided not to work, but it was fixed today. Sorry ladies for the streamy apartment.

The Menu
Crustless Broccoli-Cheddar Quiches
Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup (Paula Deen)
Mr. Lou's Kicked-Up Coffee Cake (Emeril Lagasse)
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with Blackberry Butter (Emeril Lagasse)

Crustless Broccoli-Cheddar Quiches

1 (10 oz) pkg frozen broccoli florets
6 large eggs
1/2 C half and half
coarse salt and ground pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 C shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Butter four 8 oz ramekins or a 9" pie dish; set aside. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add broccoli; cook 1-2 minutes. Drain well; transfer to a cutting board, and blot dry with a paper towel. Chop coarsedly.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp of pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in broccoli and cheese.

Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Ladle broccoli mixture into ramekins, dividing evenly. Bake until golden brown, 35-40 minutes.

**This would be awesome for a bridal shower, baby shower, and a brunch. Serving this in the ramekins really adds a little something special to the presentation. Also make sure to bake this on a cookie sheet because if the ramekins are too full they will spill over the sides some.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with Raspberry Butter
Yield: 12 regular muffins, or 6 jumbo muffins

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar, plus 1 teaspoon for sprinkling
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt 1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a standard 12-well muffin pan or a jumbo 6-well muffin pan.

ift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, and lemon juice.
Make a well in center of the flour mixture and pour the buttermilk mixture into the well. Add the melted butter and use a rubber spatula to blend with quick strokes, being careful not overmix the batter; it should still be slightly lumpy. Gently stir in the poppy seeds and lemon zest.

Spoon batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each well 3/4 full. Bake until slightly puffed and golden, 20 to 22 minutes. Cooking time may be a little longer if you are baking jumbo-sized muffins. Lightly sprinkle sugar over the tops of the muffins, if desired. Remove the muffins from the pan and cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve the muffins warm, with Raspberry or Blackberry Butter.

**Emeril has these muffins being served with raspberry butter, but I didn't have time to make it. I impervised and made blackberry butter.

Blackberry Butter

1 stick butter, softened
1/4-1/2 C homemade blackberry jam

With an electric mixer, whip until blended well, about 2-3 minutes. Put in a dish and chill until ready to serve.

Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup
Yield: 6 to 8 servings

1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash salt
Praline Topping, recipe follows
Maple syrup

Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs). Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.

Praline Topping:
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. Makes enough for Baked French Toast Casserole.

** I added homemade whipped cream to this dish. I was a wonderful addtion and a real crowd pleaser.

Homemade whipped cream
1 C whipping cream or heavy cream
2-3 Tbl sugar

Chill a metal mixing bowl in a the freezer for about 20 minutes. Take bowl out of the freezer; add in cream and sugar. With an electric mixer, whip on high for 3-4 minutes or until peaks form. Spoon in to a bowl and serve.



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