Saturday, March 17, 2012

So this is brunch?

A lazy Sunday brunch, on a sunny day, with mimosas and friends.  Doesn't get much better than that.  Plus the nice thing about Sunday brunch is that you don't have to get a baby sitter, just some kid friendly food and a room that they can more or less safely dismantle.  So we invited 3 families in our neighborhood over for Sunday brunch.  Amazingly the house withstood the 7 kids, all under the age of 10.  And the cooking was actually pretty simple.  Well, except for the homemade croissants, which I had to start 3 days in advance and use a bulldozer to roll all the butter into.  But otherwise it was pretty simple.

  • Mimosas
  • Blood Mary's
  • Croissants, with butter and jam
  • Sticky Buns (made with croissant dough)
  • Ham and guyere quiche
  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Waffles (for the kids)
  • Fresh fruit (so we could all pretend like we ate something healthy)

I was most proud of the croissants and sticky buns.  The dough took 3 days, and lots and lots of rolling.  But they turned out the perfect fluffy layered croissants that I've had in Paris.  Of course they were about 50% butter by weight.  But hey, its not like I make them every week.  The quiche was kind of made up.  Quiche is a great brunch food because its savory and eggy, but unlike omelets and scrambled eggs it doesn't taste so bad if it isn't perfectly warm.  And it went pretty well with the vaguely French theme that seemed to crop up as I planned out the menu.  Which is good because cooking for 15 people, 7 of which are picky by nature, is no small feat especially for a Sunday morning.

As usual, we all gathered in the kitchen for drinks and then the 3-ring circus of feeding the 7 kids.  Afterward we sat down to what was a very nice brunch.  It ended a little earlier than I was expecting, and there was only 1 bottle of champagne and 2/3 bottle of vodka consumed, so it was a pretty mild event. But I am pregnant, so its not as if I was able to contribute.  I ate extra croissants to make up for it.  I can't wait for the next one.

Ham and Guyere Quiche (approximately)

  • 1 round pre-made pie crust (refrigerated type)

  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped in 1/2in pieces

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1/4 lb thinly sliced smoked ham, diced

  • 6 oz Gruyère, coarsely grated (1 cup)

  • 2 oz Italian Fontina, coarsely grated (2/3 cup)

  • 3 large eggs

  • 2/3 cup sour cream

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

  • Preheat oven to 375.  Bake pie crust for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.  Cool pie crust but leave oven on.  Saute onion in butter until golden and caramelized.   Whisk eggs, pepper, and nutmeg.  Stir in ham, cheese, and caramelized onions.  Pour the mixture into the prepared pie crust and put back in the oven.  Check part way through and cover crust with aluminum foil if it becomes too dark or dry.  Bake for a total of 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until center is set.  Serve warm or room temperature.

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