photo by: Alan Richardson
This recipe for poached halibut with lemon and capers sounds so good and easy – you know I’m a sucker for recipes with a low number of ingredients.
Throw together a simple salad, or choose a fancier one like Rachael’s Beet and Walnut Salad.
Slice crusty bread and you’re done.
I saw these Baked Eggs on the Food Network today and they look SO. GOOD. Let me break it down for you:
- Baked eggs, in all their perfect runny healthy goodness
- Melted gooey cheese on top of the eggs
- Sweet yet salty meaty thing on top of the cheese
- All enveloped in salty crispy potato hash
Are we on the same page now? I MUST make these.
What a great dish to serve for a brunch! You can make them ahead, pull them out of the oven at the right time, and serve easily while you get to sit down with your guests. Put out a bunch of accoutrements so your guests can ladle on whatever they like: bacon bits, sour cream, salsa, extra cheeses of different kinds, green onion, ketchup, olives and olive tapenade. So fun and so YUM.
My sister gave me a real Belgian waffle maker for my birthday – it flips over and everything! – and I immediately made a feast of 7-Grain waffles and chocolate waffles, with bananas and strawberries, maple syrup, and whipped cream to plop on top. The family all went a little nuts over them and we ate so much we all had to have a bit of a lie-down afterwards to recover.
Eh. They were worth it.
For a party, it would be SO fun to make chocolate waffles – or pancakes, if you don’t have a waffle maker (see this healthier recipe here, or this classic recipe here) – and lay out a buffet spread like an ice cream sundae bar. Nutella, caramel drizzle, hot fudge sauce, nuts, sprinkles (yeah, that’s right: they’re sprinkles, not jimmies), strawberries, raspberries, bananas, and cherries for on top.
It works as a brunch bar with some side proteins like eggs and sausages, OR as a dessert bar with vanilla ice cream.
Just warn your guests that they’re going to have to be ready for joyous gluttony, a feast of gorgeous choices, and a good workout the next day to make up for it!
I’m a bad food blogger because I totally forgot to take photos of the food. You know how busy it is right when all the dishes are suddenly ready and hot and guests are standing around waiting to eat? Instead of taking photos at that moment, I put the food on the table and fed them. And didn’t take photos. I’ve decided (to make myself feel better) to chalk it up to being a good host but it still doesn’t change that I have no photos for you guys! Grrrr.
Next time, I will remember. Promise.
Easter Brunch Menu
- Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Gouda and Chives
- Blueberry Coffee Cake
- Turkey Bacon
- Greenmarket Button Mushrooms
- Fruit Salad with Honey Yogurt Sauce
I’ll post the recipes for the scrambled eggs and honey yogurt sauce over the next week.
As a penitent offering, please enjoy this photo of a sign I saw while wandering around a hunting store in Colorado. I seriously contemplated what kinds of other aids visually disabled people might need to be able to to hunt and how exactly that would work until I realized….
Colorado hunting store owners? Not so great at the capitalization. Plus, I actually showed this photo to the checkout lady and she didn’t seem to think it was funny at all, so what can you do.
For dinner, I paired Ina Garten’s Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli with her Sole Meuniere. Yes, I know you’re not supposed to put cheese with fish and I. Don’t. Care. I love parmesan in any situation, and the pine nuts and lemon on the broccoli matched perfectly with the lemon flavor on the sole.
It was a gorgeous meal, and honestly, so simple that I often make it for myself when I feel like putting a little extra effort into my dinner and making something special.
Sole Meuniere (adapated from Ina Garten)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon Vege Sal
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 fresh sole fillets (3-4 ounces is a good size, but you can buy them as large as will fit in your pan)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
Combine the flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon Vege Sal, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a large shallow plate. Pat the sole fillets dry with paper towels.
Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a large saute pan over medium heat until it starts to brown. Dredge 2 sole fillets in the seasoned flour on both sides and place them in the hot butter. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 2 minutes. Turn carefully with a large spatula and cook for 2 minutes on the other side. While the second side cooks, add 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to the pan (be careful that you don’t add much more than 3 tablespoons, or it will be too lemony). Plate the fish and pour any remaining sauce over them. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.
Here is my appetizer table from my most recent dinner party! I love presenting apps on a simple wood cutting board.
Click here for the recipe for the puff pastry tarts, adapted from Ina Garten. This is a very Barefoot Contessa-heavy menu because her recipes are just soooo good and I can’t help it.
Instead of the large puff pastry rounds she recommends, I cut smaller squares from the rolled-out puff pastry and tucked them into muffin pan cups that I had sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. I pricked the bottom of the puff pastry with a fork so it wouldn’t rise, and then layered the onions, tomato and cheeses according to the recipe.
Blue Cheese Crackers (adapted from Ina Garten)
Really these are thicker than most store-bought crackers. They have more of a Melba toast crunch to them.
- 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature – make sure the butter is very soft. Microwave for five seconds if you have to.
- 8 ounces Stilton cheese, crumbled (about 12 ounces with rind), at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 extra-large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash
- 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
Using a mixer, cream the butter and Stilton together for 2-3 minutes, or until smooth and fluffy. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour, salt and pepper and mix until it’s in large clumps, under 1 minute. Add a few more tablespoons of flour if it is still extremely creamy (as mine was). Add 1-2 tablespoons of water and mix until it all sticks together (gather it together with your hands to see if it holds).
Dump the dough onto a floured board, press it into a ball, and roll into a 12-inch long log. Brush the log completely with the egg wash. Spread the walnuts in a square on a cutting board and roll the log back and forth in the walnuts, pressing firmly so the walnuts are pressed into the dough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for up to 4 days.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the log 3/8ths-inch thick with a sharp knife and place the crackers on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 15 minutes, then remove pan from the oven and flip all the crackers, and return to the oven for another 15 minutes. Cool and serve at room temperature with a quince or fig jam, or cheeses.
Someone lovely sent me two dozen roses today. They’re assorted dark pink, light pink, peach and yellow, and I adore these colors together more than I expected.
I usually choose the classic monocolor bouquet when I buy roses at the market – peach roses are my favorite, with just enough pink and just enough yellow, they are frothy pieces of heaven – so this multicolor bouquet is a wonderful new bit of eye candy. Wouldn’t they be gorgeous placed in equally colorful vases?
I would pump up the volume by placing tins like these or multicolored bud vases over a turquoise-blue tablecloth and sky-blue napkins, simply folded so they don’t compete with the eye being drawn to the centerpieces. It would be a table joyously about color.
On a table this colorful, we have to make sure the food doesn’t clash. I’m thinking of using yellows of polenta and yellow peppers, greens of vegetables or salad, pinks and blues of berries and maybe some purple eggplant. This is a slightly unconventional menu, featuring an egg at dinner, but I feel like it goes strangely well with the burst of color on the table.
Menu for a Rose-Colored Table