Sunday, June 19, 2011

summer brunch (& happy father's day)

We're wrapping up another Father's Day, and I have an announcement to make:  I have the best dad in the world. I know, I know, many of you probably thought your father or husband held that title, and I'm sure those men are all perfectly lovely human beings. To me, though (and I speak for my sister here as well), my dad wins.

So, what do you make for the best dad in the world on Father's Day? Brunch, obviously.

Brunch is an institution in Charleston, and there are a ton of great places to go (a few of my favorites:  High Cotton for food, Triangle for mimosas, Fuel for everything). But I was visiting my parents at Edisto Beach, and homemade brunch holds a special place in my heart anyway...not least because it means I can crawl back to my bed after the inevitable food coma that comes along with two meals in one.

We had a small group today, just my mom, my dad, and me, but the good thing about small groups is you can make a lot of different dishes without too much trouble. Our menu included light blueberry muffins, not-so-light cheddar and cream strata, fresh tomatoes and watermelon, mimosas, and the star of every show, bacon.

And now I'm really sad I didn't bring any leftovers home with me. But hey, at least I have pictures.

summer brunch menu
blueberry crunch muffins (recipe follows)
cheddar & cream strata (recipe follows)
sliced tomatoes 
sliced watermelon

blueberry crunch muffins
adapted from america's test kitchen 
makes a dozen
per muffin:  199.7 cal, 2.1g fat, 45.8g carb, 1.0g fiber, 4.5g protein, 6+ weight watchers

1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 c packed light brown
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 c granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 c plain nonfat Greek
1 1/2 c blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin or line it with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose and cake flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/2 cup of brown sugar.

In a small bowl, melt 1 tbsp of the butter. Add 1/4 cup of the flour mixture, remaining brown sugar, and cinnamon, and mix together with a fork to make a crumbly topping. Set aside.

In another medium bowl, use a mixer on medium-high speed to beat remaining butter with granulated sugar until thoroughly combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

Using a mixer on low speed, alternatingly add flour mixture and yogurt to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Gently fold in blueberries.

Fill each muffin cup with about 1/2 cup batter, then sprinkle crumb topping over them all. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out with a few crumbs attached.

overnight cheddar and cream strata
adapted from america's test kitchen
serves 4
per serving:  353.6 cal, 21.4g fat, 22.3g carb, 1.6g fiber, 18.3g protein, 9+ weight watchers

does this look like a US state to anyone else?
1 tbsp unsalted butter,
a few slices dense white
   bread (I used sections of
   an epi I had left over)
4 oz sharp cheddar, grated
3/4 c whole milk
1/4 c heavy cream
4 large eggs
1 shallot, minced
handful of parsley, chopped
dollop of dijon mustard
1/4 tsp hot sauce
salt and pepper, to taste

Grease a small casserole and line bottom with bread. Butter tops of bread and sprinkle with half of cheddar.

Whisk together milk, cream, eggs, shallot, parsley, mustard, and hot sauce. Pour over bread and top with remaining cheddar. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap dish and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. You can also speed up the browning process by broiling for a couple minutes at the end.

my dad ate all the bacon before i could get a picture of it (who am i kidding? i ate most of it.)

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