Breakfast desserts are a wonderful venue for experimentation. With this treat I took some morning time favorites and reframed them with an eye toward the tart/pie family. The crust is an oatmeal crumble, the body a tremble of yogurt set with gelatin, and the top is crowned in fruit. A joy eaten in the morning and a secret eaten at night, this tart will become a staple in your repertoire once you've tried it. Any fruit on top will do, I swap it out as the seasons shift. My new favorite? Fillets of mango spiraled around the yogurt.
My pursuits of the perfect Saag have taken me far and wide. I’ve tried many a recipe in my kitchen, some my own, some belonging to those far more well-versed in Indian cooking. My efforts have brought forth this dish, reminiscent of the saag at my favorite Indian restaurant, but tweaked for my Brooklyn kitchen. Instead of spinach I used rainbow chard because it was local, fresh and calling to me with jewel-toned legs amidst the shrubbery of the produce aisle. Two bunches may look like a lot when you stick it in your cart, but chard (like every leafy green) cooks down to nothing. Ergo, buy more than you think you need.
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I'm not a fan of the hotel fruit salad, a jubilee of unseasonal and underripe cubes with little or no thought to structure and shape. And so, when I set out to make a fruit salad it must have perspective, maturity, and reason. You'll never find a tumble of melons, citrus, berries, and grapes on my table. Our brunch was in close enough proximity to Passover that my brain subtly injected this reference to Charoset. Chopped apples, dates, and cashews, dressed with lemon and tamarind. It's a Southeast Asian take on my Jewish roots, and I'm eagerly awaiting a repeat performance.
Beginning with an Indian inspiration I tore the insides from mental samosas and packed them into a casserole dish. The result is a tray of scoopable, spiced, tender, and crusty potatoes, perfect as the bed for some fried eggs. I add a lot of peas to my potato mixture, feel free to adjust the proportion should you be pea-averse.
Whether we plan it or not, we all wake up with an extra body in our beds from time to time. No need to panic, either escort your drowsy guest to the door or fire up the griddle and get some breakfast on the table. Here's your full menu for the morning after, bacon, pancakes, good music, and a brilliant little quip from James Beard.
James Beard provides some of the best kitchen commentary in his infamous Menus for Entertaining. He writes delightfully about changing appetites, etiquette, and servants. Yes, he is inappropriate and outdated and it's glorious. Here's his introduction to a section on breakfast menus.
It's downright irresponsible to have a late breakfast without some sort of vegetable on the table. Though it may run counter to your upbringing, the breakfasts of my young adulthood have always featured something green to accompany my meats and starches. But I'll cut you some slack here, it is the morning after, after all. Have a bunch of kale in your fridge? Is it starting to wilt? Yes, of course it is. Well strip the leaves from the stems and let them crisp up in the oven. Everybody loves a good chip.
Bacon needs no introduction, it begs no accoutrements, but sometimes (just sometimes) it likes to be treated like a GD star. It doesn't take much to put bacon in the spotlight, just of touch of sweet spice and some proper cooking. I like my bacon straight and stiff as a board, thick and crisp. For my tastes, there is no better purveyor of the porky strip than John O'Groats in LA. I base my cooking technique on their expert presentation, and it doesn't fail.
Whether or not you had an inadvertent overnight guest, take a few minutes and flap some jacks this morning. Pancakes aren't complicated, and if you make them a semi-regular part of your morning routine (say, perhaps, a weekend tradition) you'll find you know the formula by heart in no time. I threw some bananas into the mix, but if you don't have any on hand, skip 'em. Pancakes ahoy!
Did you wake up with one less pillow? Is there another body sharing your bed? Well, now you've got two choices: 1) kick the straggler out before you've even brewed coffee, or 2) acknowledge your adult sleepover by making breakfast.
If you choose option 2, let me help you. This week we'll draft a quick and easy menu for the morning after. Impress your guest while you're still in pi's with pancakes and bacon.