Note: this food was gone in less than 4 seconds after taking this picture – JBaker
This Sunday was a rainy, drizzly affair in NYC. But I had a great time chopping it up with five good friends over brunch. The key to being able to actually entertain and enjoy your guests is doing simple dishes that can be done ahead of time and donâ€™t require you to cook each dish to order. Horrified at the idea of flipping dozens of French toast slices through a hangover, I prepped the French Toast Bread Pudding the night before and then threw together the sauce, salad and eggs the morning of. The cooking on the day of brunch took about an hour, leaving plenty of time for chatting with my friends. Hereâ€™s the brunch menu I served:
Challah â€˜French Toastâ€™ Bread Pudding
2 10-12 oz. loaves challah bread sliced into Â½-inch slices
3 cups half and half
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 stick butter
Arrange challah slices in well-buttered 13×9â€ baking dish. Combine the next seven ingredients, pour over the bread slices. Top casserole with brown sugar and remaining butter. Let sit for 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake casserole for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for five minutes. Cut into 12-15 squares and serve with Pear and Elderflower compote.
Pear and Elderflower Compote
1 33.8 oz. bottle of Looza Pear Nectar
Â½ cup sugar
2 oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
2 tbsp lemon juice
Reduce the pear nectar and sugar over medium heat until 1/3 of the original volume, about 15 minutes. Once it has reached the desired consistency, about that of pancake syrup, add the lemon juice and St. Germain. Serve warm or room temperature.
Above: Miko, the official Parlour Canine Representative was a satisfied customer…
Scrambled Eggs with Chives and Havarti
Â¼ cup heavy cream
Â¼ cup minced chives
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter
5 oz. havarti cut into Â½ inch cubes
Whisk together eggs, cream, salt and chives in mixing bowl. Melt butter in non-stick skillet over low heat. Add egg mixture, stir slowly as curds form, for about 5 minutes or until eggs reach desired doneness (I like my eggs soft scrambled). Add cheese cubes once eggs reach desired doneness and remove from heat. Stir to incorporate cheese. Serve immediately.
Refreshing Herb Salad
Â½ lb. Mesclun greens or baby arugula
Â¼ cup finely chopped scallions
Â¼ cup finely chopped dill
Â¼ cup finely chopped shallots
Â¼ cup finely chopped chives
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Â½ cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
Toss greens and herbs together, set aside until the meal begins. At the table, dress greens with lemon juice and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dress with olive oil and toss until thoroughly coated. Sprinkle with feta cheese if desired.
Let me know how yours turns out!
Check out the rest of Nichelle and the rest of the ladies’ adventures in cooking here.
Last 5 posts by Nichelle
- FOODIE: Spiced Rack of Lamb with Fresh Spring Peas - April 21st, 2009
- FOODIE: Awards Season's Eatings w/ Blinis with Smoked Salmon and Herbed Cream - March 10th, 2009
- FOODIE: Dinner Party Supergirl! - January 27th, 2009
- Back to the Real World: Roasted Salmon w/ Orange, Red Onion and Feta Salad - January 13th, 2009
- FOODIE: Meatloaf and Brussels Sprouts with Lardons - December 16th, 2008