Sunday, July 26, 2009

Saturday: A Day of Food, Drink & Holding Up the Couch

We started the day off with champagne (ok Prosecco) brunch on the patio. It was easy to throw together since I just had to bake the strata off, reheat the sausages and add the syrup and rosemary, slice fruit and make a simple topping for the fruit salad, and slice a tomato from the shared garden.

To make the Artichoke and Roasted Red Pepper Strata from the Candlelight Inn (B&B in Napa):

This recipe makes 16 servings but I get 8 to 12 servings from it most of the time. This recipe is easily adaptable. Just substitute different vegetables, herbs, or chopped ham or bacon, etc. for the artichokes and peppers.

12 eggs 2 tsp. hot sauce 1/2 cup flour 1 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 cup melted butter 1 pint cottage cheese 1 lb. shredded cheese, such as Jack & Cheddar mixed 8 oz. marinated artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped 8 oz. roasted red peppers, chopped 4 slices white bread, crusts trimmed off and cut into cubes

Beat eggs and add hot sauce. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together, whisk into eggs. Add melted butter, then fold in cottage cheese, shredded cheese, artichoke hearts, and roasted red peppers.

Sprinkle bread cubes into 2 buttered 8" x 8" glass baking dishes. Pour egg mixture evenly over the top. Recipe can be prepared ahead up to this point, covered, and refrigerated over night.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until eggs are firm and knife comes out clean. Garnish with sour cream and green salsa.

To make the Breakfast Sausages with Caramelized Onions, Rosemary and Maple Syrup: This recipe is also easily cut in half.

2 (12 ounce) packages good-quality breakfast sausage links
1 large onion, peeled and cut into very thin wedges
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

Cook sausages in a large skillet 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add onion; stir for 15 minutes more or until onions are very soft and caramelized. Stir in syrup and rosemary.

Note: I make this a head most of the time. Cook the sausages and onion following directions; cover and refrigerate. Before serving, slowly reheat in a skillet. Add syrup and rosemary at this point, then serve.

To make the Fruit Salad with Limoncello: This recipe makes 6 servings, again easily cut in half.

7 ounces Greek yogurt (I usually use low or non fat)
1/3 cup a good bottled lemon curd (I usedsome of the homemade I made recently)
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons limoncello liqueur (I used homemade shared with us by our neighbors Jeff and Kelli)
1 banana, sliced (I used only berries this time)
Fresh mint sprigs, if desired
For the lemon yogurt topping, whisk together the yogurt, lemon curd, honey and vanilla and set aside at room temperature.
For the fruit salad, carefully toss together the three types of berries, sugar and limencello. Allow them to stand at room temperature for about 5 minutes to let the berries macerate with the sugar and liqueur. Gently fold in the banana into the mixture.
Serve bowls of fruit with a dollop of lemon yogurt on top. Top with a sprig of fresh mint if desired.
Note: If you can't find Greek Yogurt you can easily use plain yogurt and put it in a strainer to drain off liquid so it becomes thick like Greek Yogurt. The consistency of Greek yogurt is closer to a creme fraiche or sour cream.
Sarah holding up the couch.

For dinner I made insalata caprese using fresh heirloom tomatoes from the garden and burrata (fresh creamy mozzarella) we got at Dean and DeLuca's while in Napa, Mushroom Risotto finished off with Pecorino Romano, and Italian marinated lamb loin chops. A very simple Italian meal which we also ate on the patio. The weather has been just beautiful.

We drank a bottle of Chiarello Family Vineyards Zinfandel which we enjoyed as much as we had the day before with our lunch at Bottega.
This morning we enjoyed leftover strata, sliced tomatoes and a glass of Prosecco. We spent the morning talking before David took Sarah to the airport to head back to AZ. It was sad to see her go. We all look forward to the next time she comes to spend time with us.

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