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.
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.
A delight of layers, this cake has enough personality to please every texture nerd. I line the pan with caramelized walnuts, then pour the batter on top for baking. Once the cake is out of the oven and cool, I plaster the top with an easy chocolate mousse. Though it may look complicated, fret not- this is a cake you can throw together with minutes on the clock and look like a winner when the buzzer sounds.
It wasn't until I was in college that my family (all living gluten free at that moment) discovered the wonder of this Brazilian bread. No yeast, no complicated blend of gluten free flours, this batter comes together in a few minutes with a small list of ingredients. You can make it with or without cheese. Adding handfuls of something sharp will amp up the flavor, though I must admit an addiction to this simple, dairy free, version. Traditionally, the batter is baked into small muffins, small rolls, but I've taken this opportunity to present you with my favorite alternative: the grill. Pour the batter directly onto a cast iron grill/griddle and you'll be rewarded with an alchemical transformation.
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.
This date night meal needed some heft (I intend to put my dear friend into a food coma) and what adds more power to a meal than the humble potato? Boiled, smashed, and pan fried, this potato has everything: a tender center, a crisp skin, salt, garlic. It was only missing one thing: intrigue. Enter caraway. You think of it as the flavor of rye bread, and it's the perfect compliment to a smashed potato.
I could ruin an entire meal by nibbling snacks before dinner, and these nuts only contribute to my mealtime treason. Roasted nuts are easy to make ahead of time in large batches. They keep well in the freezer so you'll always have something on hand to feed those precocious guests arriving before you've finished in the kitchen.
It's remarkable how many times I change a dessert when menu planning. What began as chocolate cupcakes with ginger sabayon morphed three times until it ended up as mossy green ramekins of matcha custard. I love the herbal note to end a meal, it feels complete.
The perfect appetizer for a small group. Make a batch and let your friends gather in the kitchen to nibble the crisp edges as you scrape these off the hot griddle.
Continue for the recipe...
Beets are always paired with blue cheese, which is lovely but needed a kick in bum for this dinner party. Cheese provides fat and acid which match well with beets, so I opted to trade them for chorizo. Spicy, fatty, crisp, they make the perfect accompaniment to luscious beets.