Impromptu Sunday brunch
Weekends are for slowing down and relaxing at our house, so a lot of the time we just enjoy simple things like throwing the ball for the puppies, reading books on the couch while dozing off, tending to our garden, or baking for me and cooking for Anthony. Needless to say, most of our conversations revolve around food, and while we were out and about doing our activities, we started talking about what we wanted to eat. I suggested a crab omelette with lots of vegetables (spinach, onion, cherry tomatoes, mushroom), and something that involves basil because we have three different types growing in our garden and none of them have been tried yet. I also baked a blueberry galette the day before and mentioned that savory may have been better so we came up with fillings like bartlett pears, arugula, prosciutto, gorgonzola cheese, oregano from the garden, and a semi-sweet balsamic reduction. By this time, we had both gotten hyped up about our Sunday feast idea, and I invited my friend Erica to come over who is always up for spontaneous cooking and feasting.
We also decided to make smashed potatoes with bacon and garlic sauce because what kind of brunch doesn't have potatoes? For the basil dish, we decided on a caprese salad. It's simple, yet has so many complex flavors. Add some rose and a Army Navy cocktail and it makes an amazing multi-course brunch. Like the Europeans, we soaked in the sun outside and ate and drank for hours. That's my favorite part about hosting really. There's nobody rushing you to finish up the meal because it's our house, our rules. And our rules state that if you want to keep eating and talking, we'll always offer you more food and libations.
Scroll down for recipes on the Army Navy cocktail and the savory pear galette.
Army Navy cocktail
1 oz gin
3/4 oz lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
2 tsp orgeat (by El Guapo Bitters)
1 egg white
1 tsp sugar
zest of half a lemon
In a shaker, combine ice and the first three ingredients listed above. Shake and pour into a coupe. In a bowl, whisk together the egg white and sugar until frothy but still runny. Make sure not to over whisk or the meringue will become too stiff to sip and you'll have to... chomp(?) it. Pour the egg foam onto the drink and sprinkle the zest on top.
Savory pear galette
Pie crust (refer to the recipe from my frangipane)
1 ripe bartlett pear, cored and sliced thin
1/3 cup gorgonzola cheese
2 slices of prosciutto, ripped into small chunks
oregano for topping
1 egg, whisked with a fork
Make the pie crust from the recipe above and let chill for 1 hour in the fridge. While that is chilling, prepare the balsamic reduction and the pear. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the pie crust from the fridge and roll out the crust on a well floured surface. It helps to roll it out on a piece of parchment paper if you have someone that can keep it from sliding for you while you roll. Once it's rolled out, transfer onto a piece of parchment paper and onto a baking sheet. Place a layer of pear in a circular pattern on the pie crust, slightly overlapping each piece while making sure to leave some room for the pie crust to fold over later. Sprinkle the prosciutto and gorgonzola cheese over the pear slices. Top with another layer of pear slices and salt the galette to your liking. Fold over the crust and press gently to keep it in place and continue to do so until it looks like the picture. With a pastry brush, brush on the whisked egg on the pie crust. This will give it that golden color when it's baked. Bake for 30 minutes.