Monday, June 11, 2007

Brunch for a Rainy Day

In the summer, when the kitchen is warm, I don't do much baking. The garden and the patio keep beckoning me to attend to them. (The garden actually attends to me, as it keeps me balanced and in touch with what is really important in life) After 10 days of hot weather, a little cool front blew in, and with it some rain. It happened to be a Sunday, so I was home from work, and wondering what I could make for brunch that would brighten our spirits. These little inspirational cooking sessions always come with one codicil.....only use whatever I have in my home and garden! I took stock:

1/2 container of soft goat cheese (the kind that is in the little pyramid)
Yummy Bleswold yogurt (2 kinds)
2 melons
Edgar Farms Asparagus (3 bunches!)
Sour cream (2 containers....I better use some up quick!)

In my garden (many things not ready for eating yet, but managed to find some things)
Italian Parsley
Mint ( 3 kinds!)

Last bag of frozen raspberries from my brother-in-law's raspberry patch

Always an adventure going into my pantry, as there are things that I forget I have!
Now the inspiration:

  • Raspberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake
  • Rhubarb Tarte
  • Shirred Eggs with Fresh Herbs and Goat Cheese,
  • Asparagus and Saffron Yogurt

Rubarb Tarte: Recipe by Colleen
Pasta Frolla
Pasta Frolla is a cake like short pastry that Italian cooks use for crostate (a closed tart made with any kind of jam and or pastry cream)

280 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
140 grams cold butter cut up into small pieces
zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 egg
1 egg yolk

Put dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process briefly. Add the butter and pulse again until it is mealy. Add lemon juice, and zest, and the egg and egg yolk . Pulse until it comes together. Divide into 2 disks and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least half an hour.


500 ml plain yogurt (natural style, no thickeners)
Put the yogurt in a strainer lined with cheesecloth and let drain for a few hours
1/2 cup Whipping Cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Lemon Zest
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 oz limoncello liquer

Whip the cream and sugar, until soft peaks. Add in the drained yogurt cheese, and the lemon zest. Whip in the limoncello.

Rhubarb Topping
4 cups chopped rhubarb
1/3 cup white wine
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp cold water

Place the rhubarb, sugar and white wine in a baking dish, cover and bake in the oven for approx 30 minutes. Drain off the liquid into a saucepan and cool the fruit. Bring the liquid to the boil in the saucepan and then thicken the liquid with cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbsp of cold water. Bring back to the boil until clear and thick. Add back the fruit, and the vanilla and chill until ready to use.

Roll out the Pasta Frolla between 2 sheets of parchment, chill again to firm it up and then line a fluted tart pan with a removable bottom with the dough. prick the bottom with a fork and bake blind in the oven until golden brown. Cool.

Assemble the tart:

Spread the yogurt filling in the cooled tart shell. Smooth the top. Spoon on the cooled rubarb topping. Chill for a few hours to set.

Shirred Eggs - Recipe by Colleen

I had my father-in-law make me 12 stainless steel rings, about 4 inches around and 3 inches high a few years ago. I knew they would be handy in the kitchen, but did not have the inspiration to use them yet. Today was going to be the day.

I toasted 4 slices of bread and then used the rings to cut through the toast. I left the toast round inside the ring. If you don't have rings, cut circles to fit into a large muffin cup that the sides are sprayed.

Herb & Goatcheese mixture

1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 tsp fresh thyme
2 tbsp fresh mint
60 grams soft goat cheese

Put the herbs into a food process and process until almost smooth, Add the goat cheese and pulse until it comes together.

Mix 1/4 cup plain yogurt with a tiny pinch of saffron, and a little lemon zest and juice

Cook the asparagus using your favourite method of cooking asparagus.
Put the dish together.

Spread the cheese herb mixture over the toast (in the ring or muffin cup).
Place the rings on a bakesheet. Layer a slice of proscuitto over the mixture, coming up the sides to form a cup.
Crack an egg into each ring or cup. Bake in a 350 deg oven for approx 20 to 30 minutes until the eggs are the desired doneness.

Remove the eggs from the rings, arrange on plate with asparagus spears, broiled tomato and drizzle yogurt saffron sauce over the asparagus.

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