P.G. Drunken Brunch of the Month, Take 1

Posted: February 10, 2010 | Author: Rita | Filed under: brunch, Rita | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments »

As much as I love my fellow Pretty Girls, we don’t see each other so often, what with each of our hectic schedules and vastly different neighborhoods we reside in. Most of us might be in the same city, but that doesn’t mean it’s so easy to get together! As Johanna mentioned, regularly hanging out is a new goal of ours, and thus the first ever Pretty Girls Drunken Brunch of the Month was born. If anyone can do homemade brunch, it’s us!

For the inaugural edition I decided to use a gravalax recipe I’ve had for over a year but never found the right occasion to make it until now. Joh made scandalously good bagels and green pepper jelly and Bakezilla brought the prosecco and juices; a perfect trifecta of brunch.

I’ll leave it to her how she actually made such wondrous, bready delights but you can certainly have my gravalax recipe! It came out great, especially considering I’d never made it before!

Gravalax
- 1/4 filet salmon (it doesn’t have to be the highest quality, necessarily)
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Handfuls of dill
- 1/2 tsp all spice (optional but recommended)
- Slices of fresh ginger or 1 tsp ground ginger (optional but recommended)
- Freshly ground black pepper

Debone the salmon, if necessary. Set aside. In a bowl, add the salt, sugar and optional spices together. Rub both sides of the filet with the salt mix. If there is skin, just rub the exposed side, or remove the skin and do both if preferred. Garnish each side with pepper and smother each side with dill, enough to cover the sides completely. Slice the salmon in half and fold together. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap then place in a ziplock bag and refrigerate for 48 hours minimum. The salmon should be weighted down and turned over every 12 hours. When it’s done, rinse off and pat dry with a paper towel. Slice, serve.

After all of us eating almost a dozen bagels fresh out of the oven, the entire plate of gravalax and consuming the whole bottle of prosecco, for having great times with friends on a lazy, brunchy Sunday, I deem the first round of PGDB to be a success!


Sunday Brunch, Anyday

Posted: November 14, 2009 | Author: Johanna | Filed under: brunch, Johanna, Make-Ahead, Monthly Mingle, vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

One of my favorite bloggers recently posted a recipe for Saffron shortbread cookies. And she posted it as a participant in something called the Monthly Mingle. The internet is full of blog events, from Novel Food to Daring Bakers to the BBA Challenge.

This month’s Mingle theme is brunch recipes. Now, I love me some brunch, so I decided that a heck of a time to start participating would be with brunch. So….. away we go!
Breakfast Bread PuddingWhile I love french toast or a good stack of pancakes as much as anybody, I’m much happier to put my energies into a savory brunch, and similarly much happier to eat it. Plus, it’s difficult for me to make a brunch decision out at a restaurant that doesn’t involve cheese or eggs in some way. Unless it’s corned beef hash. And honestly, cheese on corned beef hash would be delicious, but overly decadent.
And yet I digress.
We were out at a party the night before our at-home brunch, and I knew that I would be up early the following morning to go for a run (4.5 miles. ughhh). So, when we got home from the party, I threw together a Breakfast Bread Pudding, which much like a strata, can be left in the fridge overnight, fully assembled, and baked the next morning.
Breakfast Bread Pudding
1. Butter a baking dish. It can be round or oval or rectangular, 9×13 or smaller, or possibly bigger if you scale up. I used a smaller one than I planned, but any baking dish will do, as long as it has 2-inch or higher sides.
2. Tear up half a loaf of crusty bread. We used Pan Paesano from Whole Foods, which has a delicious cornmeal crust, but please feel free to leave whatever loaf of bread you want out on the counter all day, so you can tear it up at night. Rip it into bite-sized pieces, and scatter them evenly over the bottom of the dish.
3. Dice 1 small onion and 1 clove of garlic, and saute in 1 tablespoon of butter until soft. Add roughly 8 ounces of chopped crimini mushrooms, and cook until softened and starting to color. Add a pinch of salt, and season with pepper. While the mushrooms and onions cook, halve 3/4 of a pint of grape tomatoes and reserve.
4. Whisk together 6 eggs and 1 cup of milk, and season with salt and pepper. Raid your cheese selection to see what you have left in the fridge. Grate whatever looks good — in our case some leftover Madrigal baby swiss that was used in several recipes, most notably the Most Amazing Mushroom Risotto EVER. ¬†Grate 2/3 of a cup of cheese.
5. When the mushrooms are cooked, sprinkle the mushroom-onion mixture, as well as the tomatoes, over the bread chunks. Sprinkle with half the cheese. Pour in the egg mixture, and press everything down into the bottom of the baking dish. This is literally the most disgusting combination of sound and feeling ever, but persevere. Top with the rest of the cheese.
6. At this point, you could cover the bread pudding, and stick it in the fridge overnight. Otherwise, you could put it directly into a 350-degree oven for 1 hour.

You bring the champagne. I'll bring this.Call your friends up, and tell them to bring the mimosas.

Or, y’know, change out of your sweaty running clothes, thank the heavens for boyfriends who remember to put the food in the oven, and settle down on the couch with a plate of this and a cup of coffee. Your house will smell gorgeous and you will be eating a delicious meal. I suppose there might be more to life, but around 11am, I couldn’t think of a darn thing.



Johanna: The Improviser

Never quite follows the recipe. Doesn't really measure. Tastes with her fingers. Somehow, it always works.

Alyssa: The Triple Threat

Can do it all. And modest to boot.

Bakezilla: We Use Mixers Too

She likes to bake. Actually, baking is the only thing she does. It's a passion.

Rita: The Kosher Chick

Restrictions have nothing on her.