Mar 21, 2010

Multi-Celebratory Brunch

I have two brothers in law, and two sisters in law. Of the four, Abby and Jonathan both live out of town, but were here this weekend because my mother in law was throwing a surprise birthday party for her mother in law, Elizabeth's "Nana". Additionally, Abby just took a new job and is excited about moving to New York and continuing to grow her career there.

Did you get all that? Bottom line is it was a weekend of celebrations, and as a precursor to Saturday night's shebang for Nana, Elizabeth and I thought brunch with Abby and Jonathan would be a good way to catch up and get the festivities started.

Abby is a very healthy eater, so we knew we had to keep the fat content down. Without too much consternation, we came up with the idea of having crepes. Having learned a few things about what doesn't work well in a crepe on our trip to Chez Elle, we decided to fill ours with a savory mixture of caramelized mushrooms and onions, ham and swiss cheese, all of which we already had on-hand except the swiss. After a quick run to the grocery store, we had the whole setup planned out. Here's the official menu:

La Petite Dejeuner a Paris

Crepes with caramelized mushroom and onion, ham and swiss
Fresh fruit salad of strawberries and green grapes with powdered sugar
Healthy turkey sausage links
Roasterie French Press Coffee - Cafe Allegro blend

For the crepes:
Two large eggs
3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons melted butter

First combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until well-combined. Cover and let sit for an hour to allow bubbles to subside.

Coat a good non-stick pan with a little butter or cooking spray (easiest). Pour crepe batter into the middle of the pan and rotate pan to evenly coat. Cook for 30 seconds - one minute. Lift edges with a spatula, working the crepe loose from the pan, then flip and finish cooking on the other side for 30 seconds. Place finished crepes in a stack so they can keep each other warm.

For filling:
Wash and slice 8 to 10 ounces button or baby bella mushrooms
Slice one yellow onion
Heat a wide sautee pan over high heat.  Melt 2-3 tablespoons butter. Add the mushrooms and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the mushrooms and add the onions and cook for 7-10 minutes until cooked through. Add a splash of alcohol - vermouth, sherry or white wine - to deglaze the pan, adding depth to the flavor of the mushrooms and onions. Once absorbed, push the mixture to the side and add ham to the pan.
Add the ham and brown for a minute or so.

On a cutting board, shred the swiss cheese with a box grater or whatever you have.

In another warm pan, add one finished crepe, cover half with the ham, mushroom and onion mixture, top with swiss cheese and fold over the crepe.

We had a great time with Abby and Jonathan. The food was solid but we enjoyed each other's company and the conversation so much, we didn't dote over it. A perfect way to spend a Sunday midday.

Thanks to you both and congrats, Abby, on the exciting new j.o.b., and thanks for joining us for brunch!

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