On the eve of my one and only 27th birthday, the only thing on my mind is the feast of a brunch menu I have been fixating over for the past few weeks. Breakfast + Sunday + October + (-) BIRTHDAY?!= (I’m shy with mathematics but I’m pretty sure this is what every morning should feel like).
Every birthday for me has started with a special energy. Reflection at its peak in how much can or cannot change in a year. This year has handed me a lot to work on in strange capacities. I’ve put a lot of those feelings into cooking and just like any other form of self-expression, I find something new about myself.
I am starting this year in my kitchen. Up with the sun at 7am, I stretched for the sweater that is stained like an apron from previous meals that week. For my menu, I chose one dish from the savory side and another from the sweet tooth side: Kuku Sabzi which is a Persian herb omelet came from one of my favorite recipe sources, Tasting Table. This omelet cooks similar to a frittata, however, the bulk of filling for the eggs was stricly herbs, onion, and leek. I used Tasting Table’s recipe as a guide to flavor to my taste.
For the sweeter dish, and to celebrate the seasonal spices of apple and pumpkin (which has much much more indigenous meaning than your Starbucks latte) with apple cider pancakes and a quick pumpkin spice butter.
As much as these creations killed it in front of the camera, they were even more satisfying in leftovers throughout the rest of the day. Both recipes are also a great spin for feeding larger groups on account of the omelet cooked in a medium size-large skillet can feed 4-6 or more dependent on the amount eggs used and skillet size; as well as the pancakes which can be multiplied in servings by adding more flour and cider. The pumpkin butter from the recipe I used makes enough to fill a 32 oz. container or about 4 1/2 cups.
Yields 4-6 Servings (can easily be multiplied)
- Canola oil
- 1 Yellow Onion, small diced
- 1-2 Small leeks, small diced (trip the top half and bottom root, you want to cook with mostly the white part of the plant)
- Kosher Salt
- 6-8 Large Eggs
- 1 Tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- Pinch of Kosher Salt & Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Turmeric (careful of staining clothes)
- 1 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley, stemmed and chopped very fine
- 1 Cup Dill, stemmed and chopped very fine
- 1 Cup Cilantro, stemmed and chopped very fine
- Zest from Half of 1 Lemon
- Smoked Paprika (to preferred taste)
Set 1 oven rack on highest frame, set broiler to High
- In a medium-large size skillet on medium-medium high heat, add about 2 Tablespoons of Canola oil (count “4 Mississippis” while pouring). Add the chopped onions and leeks with a couple pinches of salt and ground black pepper. Allow to cook while stirring occasionally, look for translucent,soft color on both vegetables (at least 10 minutes). Once finished, turn off heat and allow to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl add: eggs, flour, baking powder, salt & pepper, turmeric. Whisk together to combine. With a wooden spoon or spatula, fold in chopped herbs and lemon zest one handful at a time. Combine until mixed. For added flavor, add a touch of smoked paprika to preferred taste.
- Add sautéed onion and leek mix to bowl and combine with spoon. Wipe skillet with another tablespoon of canola oil, be sure to include sides of skillet. Add egg mixture to the skillet and spread evenly.
- Cook on medium-medium high heat stovetop for about 8-10 minutes or until bottom and sides are cooked. Finish setting on top rack of broiler for 2-3 minutes. Time this carefully as eggs will quickly burn. Remove from oven when toothpick inserted is clear and top has set (jiggle the skillet by the handle and if egg mixture is cooked it will not wiggle).
- Allow to cool before serving. Garnish with herbs, lemon zest, or thinly sliced radish.
Oven Roasted Wild Cherry Tomatoes &Whipped Rosemary, Truffle Salted Goat Cheese
Yields 2-4 Servings
- 1-2 Cups Cherry tomatoes, stemmed and washed
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt & Ground Black Pepper to taste
- 1 Cup Creamy Goat Cheese (you can usually find in logs or half logs at most food stores)
- 1/4 Cup Heavy (Whipping) Cream
- 1/2- 1 Teaspoon of Black Truffle Salt (you can find other truffle salts easily online or local stores like Trader Joe’s
- 2 Tablespoons fresh Rosemary, stemmed and very finely chopped (think a little bigger than crumb size)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
- Juice from 2 wedges of same lemon
Set oven to 400ºF
- In a medium size mixing bowl, add: tomatoes, olive oil, salt & pepper. Toss and mix until tomatoes are completely coated.
- Lay evenly onto ungreased baking sheet and set in oven for 5-7 minutes. After 7 minutes, check skin for caramelization, soft and almost wilted. Remove when achieved and serve warm.
- In a stand mixer or medium bowl with a hand mixer, combine: goat cheese, heavy cream, salt, rosemary, zest, and lemon juice. Mix with spoon first.
- On Low setting, whip ingredients together until cheese is set with small stiff ripples (almost looks like whipped cream). Flavor to taste before serving. Garnish with rosemary, lemon zest, or light drizzle of olive oil.
Apple Cider Pancakes with Honey Syrup
Yields 6-8 Four Inch Pancakes
- 2 Eggs, well beaten
- 1 Cup of Milk or Yogurt (any fat content type will work)
- 1/2-3/4 Cup Apple Cider (unsweetened Apple Juice substitution also works)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Freshly Grated/Ground Nutmeg
- Pinch (1/2 Teaspoon) of Sea Salt
- 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar (Agave or Honey substitution also works)
- Zest of half of 1 Navel Orange
- Unsalted butter (for frying)
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs, milk or yogurt, apple cider, vanilla, and agave or honey if substituting sugar until well combined.
- In a separate medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg, sea salt, sugar (if not substituting agave or honey), and orange zest. Mix well before adding to large mixing bowl of egg and cider mixture.
- Stir until pancake batter is smooth consistency but not runny. If consistency is too runny, add more flour a little bit at a time. If too thick, add more cider a splash at a time. If time permits, allow batter to sit in fridge for up to 30-40 minutes.
- In a medium nonstick skillet or frypan, on medium-low heat, melt 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Pour or ladle batter in pan, cooking two pancakes at a time. Look for air bubbles before flipping and cook until lightly golden brown color shows on each side.
- Serve warm with Pumpkin or Apple butter or honey syrup and powdered sugar…or both.
Pumpkin Spice Butter
Yields 32 oz. or 4 1/2 Cups
*This can also be spread on waffles, toast, sugar/ginger cookies, roasted squash or used as fruit dip
- One 29oz. Can Pure Pumpkin (not pie filling)
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar (light or dark works)
- 1/2 Cup 100% Maple Syrup
- 1/4 Cup Molasses
- 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Apple Juice or Apple Cider
- 2 Teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- Juice from 1/2 Lemon or Orange
- 2 and 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
- 2 Teaspoons Ground Ginger
- 1 Teaspoon Ground or Fresh Grated Nutmeg
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
- 1 Teaspoon Ground AllSpice
- Pinch of Kosher Salt
- In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine all ingredients and stir with whisk until well blended.
- Once surface of mixture begins to bubble or splash, turn down heat to medium and cook slightly covered (cover pot with spatula or wooden spoon sticking out) for 15-20 minutes while stirring occasionally to keep bottom from burning.
- Allowing to cook for longer or until butter is thickened (consistency of apple sauce), will add more flavor.
- Taste what is cooked and adjust seasoning (adding more cinnamon, lemon/acidity, or salt can balance or bring out flavor in other ingredients).
- Tastes best served warm and can be stored in refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2-3 weeks.
In the post-brunch light of day, my best lady and I took advantage of the sunniest day of the week. In autumn, in Andersonville, this means art walks, outside seating, busy crosswalks, and of course a set up pumpkin patch in between streets. Needless to say, the celebration gets simpler and simpler with every year.