Yes, Virginia, there was brunch

August 26, 2010

It was several days ago. It’s been a little…busy…since then.

So, I forgot to take pics until we'd already started digging in. Deal with it.

There was this stuff. From the top, corn soup with sauteed shrimps; fruit salad with creme fraiche; and capreses.

I was a little disappointed in the corn soup. I used the recipe in Michelle’s Thursday Night Smackdown blog, and then I got it sorta-kinda too thin because I didn’t reduce the corncob stock enough, so I added some cream. And it wanted to separate. And I wish I’d done the shrimp with some cayenne and lime, instead of paprika. But it did have an excellent flavor.

The fruit salad was fruit salad, with plums, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, strawberries and cantaloupe. The creme fraiche was creme fraiche. The capreses were capreses, with basil out of my very own herb garden, which has somehow survived the inferno that has been July and August until this week.

Chicken whatchamacallits. Or if you want to be classy, cheese-and-chipotle stuffed chicken.

These were good. I took chicken breast filets, pounded them flat, , trimmed them to roughly rectangular. Pounded them some more because those suckers did NOT want to thin out. I probably should have butterflied them.Anyway, then I mixed some ricotta cheese with a couple of minced chipotle chiles and some adobo, and a little paprika, spread that on them and rolled them up. Rolled them in flour, dipped them in egg/milk, and then rolled them in cracker crumbs, then baked at 350 for about 40 minutes. Let them cool overnight, and sliced them into nice little pinwheels the next day.They were pretty cute, even if the breading wanted to separate from the chicken a little. And they tasted pretty doggoned good. I served them with a grocery store salsa I’d pepped up with a little garlic and a little lime.

Asparagus and mozzarella-cantaloupe salsa, on my favorite carnival glass plate. And cornbread in silver tray that came from somewhere, I disremember where.

And then there was rosemary corn bread and asparagus with cantaloupe-mozzarella salsa on top, a dish I’m really fond of, and that didn’t all get eaten so I got to eat all the leftover asparagus.

Seriously, now. This cornbread? This cornbread, as noted before, rocks. And it’s easy. And if you don’t have fresh rosemary, I’d venture that dried would work.

But, a hint. Around Christmas, Lowe’s and Home Depot’s garden departments tend to have rosemary plants trimmed in the shape of Christmas trees. Get you one of those babies, keep it in a nice sunny window, let grow wild, and then set it outdoors when it gets warm. It’ll keep going forever.
Here would be the recipe for said rosemary cornbread:
  • Vegetable oil spray or butter, for greasing pans
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup cornmeal
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/2 cup half and half
    3/4 cups whole milk
    2 large eggs
    1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two (8” by 4”) loaf pans, and set aside.

Whisk the dry ingredients to blend in a large bowl. Whisk the wet ingredients together in a different bowl, then add to the dry ingredients, and stir until no dry spots remain.

Divide the batter between the prepared loaf pans, smooth with a spatula, and bake until brown at the edges and just cracking in the center, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pans, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

I might drop the sugar next time to about 3/4 cup. It was a tad sweet for me. But it was sure good with that corn soup, and would be even better hot with a schmear of butter.

I made a quiche, with sauteed zucchini and sausage and cheese, and a frittatta with red beans and corn and andouille sausage. And a pound cake with amaretto peach sauce. And called it done.

It actually was not completely done until everyone got here and started drinking mimosas and poinsettias (like a mimosa only with cranberry juice). But we laughed and talked and ate and gossiped and had a royal good time.

And then everyone left and I took a nap, and was almost late for the board meeting at 4 that afternoon. But that gave the board members who’d attended time to brag on my cooking, which in turn gave me a tremendously swelled head.

I’ve got to cook for these women again. It’s good for my ego. I might even cook for you and y’mama ‘n ’em if you’d brag on me like that.



One Response to “Yes, Virginia, there was brunch”

  1. RMJ Says:

    As the recipient of the devine Kay B food and one of the board members who attended and definitely bragged on her fabulous cooking and have continued to do so to everyone who will listen without telling me to please just shut up, let me say THANK YOU Kay B for this post and the opportunity to relive the sites, smells and awaking of the taste buds. Certainly not the same as the real thing but oh so nice to remember. Let’s do it again real soon. Wish you could have all been there.

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