The Gay Gourmet
|by Patrick Evans-Hylton|
A May Shower of Brunch Ideas
The Europeans know how to live, dont they? Ruled by a queen, all that art, and dining al fresco. (Thats eating outside, not going out to dinner with a trick named Al.)
Spring is the perfect time to start moving your dining experiences outdoorslazy Sunday brunches or light lunches on a porch. Cookouts in the backyard or in a park.
Much of the windy weather associated with March and showers that come with April are out of here, and its a good time to pack a basket (I wont go there) and enjoy the great outdoors with family and friends. Audrey Hepburn, that diva who brought us Holly Golightly in the camp classic Breakfast at Tiffanys, was the inspiration for this trs European menu. I mean, darling, you can never be too thin, too rich, or too Continental when it comes to entertaining. Ciao.
INSALATA DI FUNGHI CRUDI
(Raw Mushroom Salad)
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms 2 teaspoons lemon juice 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion greens 3 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 teaspoon salt
Method Of Preparation:
1. In a large mixing bowl, toss the mushrooms with the lemon juice until the slices are lightly moistened. Add the scallion greens, oil and salt and toss again.
2. Chill the salad before serving.
This brunch delicacya cousin to the omeletis finger-snappin good.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter 16 oz. bag frozen vegetable mixture 8 eggs 1/2 cup water 1 tablespoon Tabasco 3/4 teaspoon salt Grated cheese
Method of Preparation
1. Heat unsalted butter in skillet, add vegetables and stir to coat well. Cover skillet; heat 3 - 5 minutes. Stir vegetables and pour egg mixture into skillet
2. Smooth over eggs, add cheese, return to heat. Heat covered for 15 minutes. Top with more cheese, place in oven to brown top.
3. Serve out of skillet for a rather rustic (or shall we say butch) atmosphere.
4. Top with Salsa di Pomdori.
SALSA DI POMDORI
This is a classic tomato sauce that can be used to top pasta, vegetables and many other dishes.
2 tablespoons olive oil 3 medium cloves garlic, peeled 1 28-ounce can whole peeled Italian plum tomatoes 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1/8 teaspoon table salt 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley
Method of Preparation
1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Place garlic cloves in oil; cook until cloves are browned on both sides, approximately 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and juice, red pepper, salt and pepper. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, breaking tomatoes into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook until sauce thickens (about 25 minutes) stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, add parsley, stirring to incorporate, and transfer to a serving dish.
PESCHE RIPIENE (Ripe Peaches)
6 firm but ripe peaches 5 macaroon cookies 2 tablespoons sugar 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 egg yolks
Method of Preparation
1. Preheat the oven to 375o. Wrap the macaroons in a towel and crush with a rolling pin.
2. Blanch the peaches, 2 at a time, in boiling water for about 20 seconds. Lift them out with a slotted spoon, plunge them into cold water and peel off the skins with a small sharp knife. Cut the peaches in half, and remove the pits.
3. Scoop enough peach pulp out of each half to make a deep space in the center. Add this pulp to the crushed macaroons, then stir in the sugar, butter and egg yolks.
4. Stuff the peach halves with the macaroon mixture. Arrange the peach halves side by side in a buttered baking dish or oven proof platter and bake them for about 25 minutes or until just tender.
5. Baste with sugar syrup from the pan during baking; serve hot or cold.
ASK THE GAY GOURMET
I am going on a picnic, and want to include Deviled Eggs. Any tips for getting that hard-boiled egg naked? I usually do a butcher job on the egg inside.
A reader in Annapolis
Here are some easy tips for peeling a hard-boiled egg when making Deviled Eggs, or just enjoying them whole as a picnic side item. (1) Tap each egg gently on the side of a bowl, circulating to crack all over. (2) Roll the egg between your hands so the shell will loosen. Roll in the direction of the crack. (3) Start with the end that has the most shell, and peel slowly, moving outwards. GG
Chef Patrick, The Gay Gourmet, is a caterer, food writer, and member of the American Culinary Federation. Submit any questions, comments or recipes to share in care of LETTERS from CAMP Rehoboth, or via e-mail at AskChefPat@aol.com.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 9, No. 4, May 7, 1999