Granola

GranolaThere is no more addictive snack than this simple do-it-yourself mix of healthy, hearty foods.  Granola can be so much better than the stuff you buy at the store.  This makes a lovely hostess gift, yogurt-topper, between-meal munchie… the list goes on.  Credit for this recipe goes to the Manhattan restaurant Eleven Madison Park, where chef Daniel Humm sends guests off with a half pound of this granola as a parting gift.  The recipe was published in the May 2012 issue of Food Network Magazine.  I’ve made a couple of minor modifications to my own taste. Continue reading

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Eggs Benedict

20130505-081234.jpgThis past week I had the privilege of accompanying my boss to a breakfast roundtable on Russia hosted by a business association at the St. Regis Hotel. The discussion, with about 30 smart people representing some of America’s biggest corporations, was a stimulating one, and I swear I was paying close attention. But the highlight of the occasion was undoubtedly the food. The meal began with a salad of shredded canteloupe and honeydew. The main course was a superb and unusual eggs Benedict, which impressed me so much that I decided to replicate it at home for Sunday brunch today.

This tower of delight is constructed on a foundation of a toasted English muffin and topped with a layer of smoked salmon, wilted spinach, and a poached egg, drizzled with Hollandaise sauce and sprinkled with snipped chives. I managed it in about 40 minutes and served it with sliced and sautéed polenta left over from last night’s dinner, with a French-press pot of freshly home-roasted coffee on the side. Continue reading

Popovers

PopoversWhen I was growing up in Fort Worth, my mother occasionally took me out for a special lunch at Hedges, the elegant little restaurant at Neiman-Marcus (which has since been renamed the Zodiac).  I knew it was special because, instead of the dry dinner rolls that many restaurants serve, Hedges greeted their guests with steaming hot popovers and strawberry butter.  These airy little treats bring a touch of decadence to any meal, but I especially like them as part of a Sunday brunch.  This recipe comes from Mark Bittman’s encyclopedia of the culinary arts, How to Cook Everything (which, incidentally, is now available in its entirety as an app for your iPhone or iPad).  The recipe is outrageously simple, and the result is just like those perfect golden clouds of happiness at Hedges. Continue reading

Spinach, Onion, and Feta Quiche

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you really want to impress your guests for Sunday brunch, this is it! I first found this recipe in an NPR article. On September 13, 2009, I had the time and a good excuse to make it. And it was unbelievably fabulous. I’m reprinting the recipe below exactly as it appeared, but with photos of my own result. Instead of the standard Quiche Lorraine, I decided to go for a meatless combination and substituted a mixture inspired by my wife’s family spanakopita recipe: 10 oz. of frozen spinach, thawed and with all water squeezed out; 2 medium-sized onions, chopped finely and sautéed in butter over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes; a cup (or a little less) of crumbled feta cheese; 3 chopped scallions, and 2 teaspoons of oregano. I used this mixture in place of the bacon-onion combination in the original recipe, layering it inside the pre-baked crust together with the custard mixture and a cup of grated Emmentaler cheese. (The recipe calls for a half cup, but I doubled it because I like cheese.) Also, because I was a bit pressed for time, I didn’t chill it for eight hours after baking as the recipe recommends. But I didn’t notice that the end result was any less scrumptious. Continue reading