Showing posts with label easy brunch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label easy brunch. Show all posts

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Zucchini Thief


Does anyone else think that sounds like the title of a French novel?

I'm always a little late getting our garden started. I see people planting their vegetable gardens in April but our area is prone to frost right up to May 15th. So I guess I'm not so much late as they are early.



I bought three zucchini plants and four yellow squash plants. They're blooming, and I finally saw our first little zucchini. I watched it, planning to use it in this dish. But last night, when I went to collect it, someone beat me to it. Now I'm not naming names but the guilty party knew a crime had been committed and ran like the dickens. Half of the purloined zucchini was left behind and consumed by his accomplice who undoubtedly intended to get rid of the evidence.

You remember these guys. Thief and accomplice are in this photo.


But drat the luck. The yellow squashes are blooming and developing and – they sure look like zucchini to me! LOL! You might be seeing a *lot* of zucchini recipes from me this summer.

The look huge in this picture! They were about 3 inches long!

Consequently, I used three teensy baby zucchinis in this dish. I'm not quite sure what to call it. One of my friends recently made a quiche in which she used no crust but she poured something over the top that sort of made a crust. Must get that recipe from her! So I had a crustless quiche in mind but when I made this, I thought it was really more like a pan-less frittata.

Technically, I believe a quiche is supposed to be made with a savory custard. While this is very good, and we snarfed it up, I don't think simply adding milk to the eggs before baking constitutes a custard. On the other hand, there are baked custards. Anyone have opinions?

In my Domestic Diva Mysteries, people often write letters like this to Sophie.

Dear Sophie,

My evil mother-in-law never gives me more than an hour advance notice when she's coming over. It puts me in a tizzy because I never know whether to clean or to make something to serve her. We won't even mention getting dressed. I've entertained her in my bathrobe more than once. I have begged her to please let me know when she's coming so that I can prepare something nice. I think she takes delight in her surprise inspections.

~Tired Daughter-in-Law in a Bathrobe That Needs Washing
 
 
Dear Tired Daughter-in-Law,

Tell hubby to clean (after all, it's his mom), make a crustless quiche, and you'll still have time to ditch the dirty bathrobe. The wonderful aroma will bowl her over when she walks in the door. It can be made from items in the fridge and takes almost no time to put together.

~Sophie

Sophie's Tip: Use your vegetable peeler to slice cheese quickly!

This is just the kind of recipe Sophie is talking about. It's yummy for a quick brunch, lunch, or dinner, even if you don't have an evil mother-in-law!


Crustless Quiche/Pan-less Frittata

one deep dish pie pan

butter for greasing pan
1 cup thinly sliced zucchini
1/2 cup chopped ham (or bacon!)
1/3 cup thinly sliced cheese (I used Asiago)

5-6 eggs (use 5 if they're large or extra large)
1 teaspoon pink sea salt
pepper to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 teaspoon sage
2/3 cup milk and heavy cream combined (I just used a splash of cream)

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 375. Grease the pan with butter. Combine the zucchini, ham, and cheese in a bowl and mix. Spread in the bottom of the pie pan.

Whisk the eggs with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and sage. Add the milk/cream and whisk to combine. Pour gently over the contents of the pie pan so you don't dislodge anything. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top.

Bake 45 minutes.


Mix ham, zucchini, and cheese,
Spread in greased pan.

Pour egg/milk mixture over everything.

SprinkleParmesan cheese on top.




In bookstores now!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

An easy breezy brunch for any weather!



I had been wanting to invite our friends Sue and George over for quite a while and soon they’ll be departing for their cottage for most of the summer. I was wondering about what to do that would be easy when I was so busy getting ready for a book tour, Malice Domestic and Festival of Mystery. Sue and George are fun and relaxed so I decided on a simple brunch. By some miracle after trying Cleo's fabulous recipes, I still had a half-cup of maple syrup left, from a sugar bush here in the middle of Canada’s capital. And I had an idea: Maple syrup French toast. As the maple leaf appears on our Canadian flag, it's downright patriotic.

I thought if we softened up Sue and George with mimosas and some easy advance nibblies, then served the French toast with a bit of maple-glazed bacon and fruit, that would do the trick. It’s all very easy, so we could relax too.

As you can see, Sue likes the mimosas!

I decided to follow it with an easy lemon mousse with served with a few berries and a chocolate cookies. What a nice way to welcome spring weather!

Unfortunately, the day was freezing and blustery with hail and winds and rain. At midday we turned on every light in the living area and hoped the power didn’t go out. The upside was that this brunch, which would be nice and sunny even served outside, was warm and comforting in the bad weather. My DH squeezed large juicy oranges and popped a bottle of Prosecco, a dry Italian sparkling wine. We like it more than champagne and that’s good because it’s not expensive.

Here is the recipe for Maple French Toast and I have to say it was absolutely delicious.

3 eggs

½ cup maple syrup

½ cup 5 % cream (or milk or heavy cream – suit yourself!)

½ tsp real vanilla

6 slices of bread


I used homemade, but any white bread is fine, especially egg bread or rustic – my attempt with whole wheat bread was not so successful in this recipe.

2 tbsp butter

Beat the eggs, maple syrup, cream, vanilla and salt in a bowl.

Arrange the bread in a baking dish or lasagne dish.

Pour the mixture over it. You can make it the night before and it will be perfect for breakfast. The bread will soak up all the liquid. Yum. Make sure you let it rest at least an hour.

Melt butter in a heavy pan with even heat or use a griddle. Keep it to medium heat. Fry slices for about two minutes on each side. They should be golden. We ate ours with bacon drizzled with maple syrup and pepper and baked. Some people had extra maple syrup for the vitamins.

I didn't include the bacon recipe, because it still needs experimentation to get a nice rich color. Stay tuned.


Mimosas (my kind of recipe – two ingredients)

Some fresh orange juice

Some Procecco or your favourite sparkling wine or sparkling water (chilled)

Pour into glasses and serve.

Lemon Mousse

Ingredients

1 ¼ cup whipping cream

1 lemon juiced and zested

½ fine sugar or regular sugar put through the food processor

2 egg whites

Put the cream, lemon zest and sugar into a large bowl and whisk them together until the mixture starts to thicken. Add the lemon juice and whisk again until the mixture thickens further, don't let it get too stiff or you won't be able fold in the egg whites.

Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks and then fold them into the lemon mixture. Spoon the mousse into 4 glasses and chill. Decorate with extra zest if you like, or berries and small cookies.

We think we’ll make this brunch a tradition! With a griddle, we can whip up enough for a crowd easily.

I've decided to offer all these recipes to Charlotte Adams, currently run off her feet in The Busy Woman's Guide to Murder. After all, she's offered us a lot of time saving tips and that's only fair.



The Busy Woman’s Guide to Murder: a Charlotte Adams mystery (April 5, 2011)
A TOP PICK! RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 stars

“Devotees of the classic mystery can do no better than this clever twister.” The Globe and Mail.