Tag Archives: Brunch

Refreshing Summer Drinks

Basil is a nice addition to plenty of easy cocktails: add a torn leaf or two to your gin and tonic, or tap a little into the bottom of a mojito. But these drinks are a change of pace from the classic and the ordinary that feature the fresh green flavor of this herb, and are just right for summer sipping.

Honey-Basil Lemonade

Honey-Basil Lemonade Recipe

 

This simple lemonade combines fresh basil with a touch of honey.

Makes 1 Quart, Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 cup fresh juice from 10 to 12 lemons
1/2 cup honey
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
Pinch salt
3 cups cold water
1 quart ice
Basil leaves for garnish

Directions:
Combine lemon juice, honey, basil leaves, and salt in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher. Discard solids. Add cold water and whisk to combine. Add ice. Serve in ice-filled glasses garnished with basil leaves.

Cucumber and Basil Slush Cocktail

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(Photo Credit : Kelly Carámbula, Serious Eats, 2012)

As temperatures and humidity rise, having some frozen drinks in your arsenal becomes more and more essential. This one offers double-cooling action with loads of ice and a soothing cucumber in the mix, plus fresh lime and basil. Vodka’s an easy partner that won’t dominate the flavor—try Karlsson’s Gold, which has a slightly floral side and rich texture—but if you prefer another spirit, feel free to experiment.

Makes 2 cocktails

Ingredients:
1 kirby cucumber, sliced
2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup basil leaves
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup vodka
1/4 cup water
3 1/2 cups ice
Garnish: cucumber slice

Directions:
Place all the ingredients in the blender. Using the ice crush setting, blend until all the ingredients are even and finely chopped, about 30 seconds.

Pour the slush into a glass. Garnish with a cucumber slice and a straw.

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Snow Crab Eggs Benedict

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This dish is  an  elegant twist on a classic and is perfect for a Sunday Brunch.

Ingredients:
3 pounds Cooked Snow Crab Meat
1 pound Butter

For the Eggs:
6 Eggs (room temperature)
1 teaspoon White Vinegar

For the Hollandaise:
1 cup Melted Butter (from crab poaching)
4 Egg Yolks (room temperature)
1 Lemon (juiced)
1/4 cup chopped chives
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

To Serve:
3 English Muffins (split and lightly toasted)
8 ounces Philadelphia Onion and Chive Cream Spread
6 slices Canadian Bacon
Arugula

Directions:
Heat butter in a saute pan over medium-low heat until melted and warm. Place crab meat in the butter to poach for 3 minutes.

For the Eggs: Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add white vinegar. Reduce to a light simmer. Line a plate with paper towels. Crack one egg at a time into a bowl and slide into the water. Do not over crowd the pot. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes and remove to the prepared plate with a slotted spoon.

For the Hollandaise: In a bowl over a double boiler, whisk the egg yolks, and lemon juice for 4 to 5 minutes until it begins to thicken. Once the mixture is ribbony and can coat the back of a spoon, drizzle in the melted crab butter, whisking continuously. Stir in some chopped chives and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Once muffins are toasted drizzle with some of the melted crab butter. Spread onion and chive cream cheese on the bottom of the muffin. Place the muffin on a small plate and top with Canadian Bacon,arugula, a poached egg, and drizzle with hollandaise sauce. Serve immediately.

Pimento Cheese Muffins

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Adapted from Lincoln Carson
Food&Wine Magazine, December 2014

Chef Lincoln Carson’s  mixes his version of pimento cheese into a muffin  batter, that gives you those cheesy, peppery flavors in every bite. The muffins can be made ahead time and you can keep them at room temperature overnight.

The original recipe also  called for Pimento cheese, to be served on side, but I opted for a homemade fruit jelly made of plums. The sweetness of the jelly and the spicy cheesy muffins were a perfect combination.

Makes 12 Muffins

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 tablespoon Harrisa(See Cook’s Note)
1/4 cup finely chopped chives
1/2 small yellow onion, minced
3 Tablespoons sliced scallions
3 Tablespoons minced parsley
1  1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
5 ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (1 1/2 cups)
3 ounces Monterey Jack cheese (1/2 cup)
4 ounces drained jarred pimientos, chopped (1/2 cup)
Plum, Grape or Apple Jelly, for serving

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375° F.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the paprika, salt, baking powder, baking soda and pepper. In a large bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the eggs, butter, harissa, chives, onion, scallions, parsley and Worcestershire until smooth. Whisk into the dry ingredients just until combined. Stir in the cheese and chopped pimientos.

Using a 1/3-cup measure, scoop the batter into 12 muffin cups. Bake for about 18 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes, then unmold and serve with  your favorite fruit jelly.
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COOK’S NOTES: The original recipe called for a Harissa Paste, the brick-red Tunisian chile paste, is available at specialty food stores and markets like Whole Foods. In this adaptation, Williams-Sonoma Harrisa Spice was used. You can also make you own harissa seasoning with this recipe provided by Whole Foods.