Chronicle Cookbook Classics: A Perfect Brunch Menu
Warmer weather means more opportunities to host al fresco parties, and we’ve got the perfect menu for a brunch party. We’re sharing recipes from all-time favorites and bestsellers like Plenty by Yotam Ottolonghi, Flour by Joanne Chang, and Huckleberry by Zoe Nathan.
Here’s a menu featuring Cherry Tomato-Goat Cheese Cobbler, Raspberry-Rhubarb Muffins, and Asparagus Mimosa that will be a surefire way to celebrate the weekend and welcome longer days to come.
Cherry Tomato-Goat Cheese Cobbler
from Huckleberry by Zoe Nathan
- 3 tbsp whole-wheat flour
- ¾ cup/100 g all-purpose flour
- 3½ tbsp cornmeal
- 2¼ tsp baking powder
- 1½ tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup + 1 tbsp/130 g cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 3½ tbsp cold buttermilk
- 5 cups/900 g cherry tomatoes
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 batch Egg Wash (recipe follows)
- 4 to 6 tbsp/55 to 85 g goat cheese
Makes about 1/4 cup/60 ml
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- Pinch of kosher salt
Combine the egg yolks, heavy cream, and salt and whisk until homogeneous. Refrigerate until needed. This keeps, refrigerated, for up to 2 days.
- To make the biscuit topping: Combine the whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a very large bowl. Stir to blend. Toss the butter with the flour mixture. Work the butter between your fingertips until the pieces are pea-and lima bean-size. Add the buttermilk and lightly toss to distribute.
- Dump the dough onto a clean work surface. Begin by firmly pressing the entire surface of the dough with the heel of your palm. Toss and squeeze the dough to redistribute the wet and dry patches. Repeat, pressing thoroughly again with the heel of your palm, and continue pressing, tossing, and squeezing until it begins to hold together. But be sure not to overwork the dough! It should stay together but you should still see pea-size bits of butter running through it.
- Press the dough into a disc ¾ in/2 cm thick. Cut the dough into nine biscuits. Transfer to an ungreased sheet pan and freeze for 1 to 2 hours. Preheat your oven to 350°F/180°C.
- To make the filling: Combine the cherry tomatoes, olive oil, 2 sprigs of the thyme, and the salt in an ovenproof sauté pan. Cover and cook over high heat until the tomatoes begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until all the tomatoes burst slightly.
- Brush the frozen biscuits with egg wash and arrange them, 1 in/ 2.5 cm apart, on top of the tomato mixture in the skillet. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove briefly and quickly dollop the goat cheese between the biscuits over any exposed tomato. Return to the oven, increasing the temperature to 475°F/240°C, and continue baking until the top is nicely browned, about 10 minutes longer. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with the remaining thyme. This is best eaten the day it’s made.
from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
- 2 eggs
- 2 bunches of medium asparagus
- 2 tbsp good-quality olive oil
- 2 tsp small capers, drained
- 1 tsp Maldon sea salt
- black pepper
- Gently place your eggs in a saucepan of boiling water and simmer for 9 minutes. Remove the eggs from the pan and immerse them in a large bowl of cold water. After a few minutes, take them out of the water and leave to cool down completely. Peel the eggs and grate them on a coarse cheese grater.
- Bend the asparagus until the tough bottom ends snap off; discard the ends. Place the spears in a large pot of boiling water and cook for 3 minutes, or until tender. It may take slightly longer if they are thick.
- Drain and, while still warm but not hot, divide among four serving plates. Drizzle the oil over the asparagus and sprinkle with the capers, salt and some pepper. Top with the grated egg, staying close to the center of the stalks so that the tips and bases remain visible.
From Flour by Joanne Chang
Makes 12 muffins
- 3¼ cups (455 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1⅓ cups (270 grams) sugar
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (1¼ sticks/140 grams) butter, melted
- 1 cup (240 grams) milk, at room temperature
- 1 cup (240 grams) crème fraîche, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup (130 grams) fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1 cup (120 grams) chopped rhubarb
- Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a standard 12-cup muffin tin, coat with nonstick cooking spray, or line with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolk until thoroughly mixed. Slowly whisk in the sugar, butter, milk, crème fraîche, and vanilla until well combined. Pour the butter-sugar mixture into the flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula, fold gently just until the ingredients are combined. Gently fold in the raspberries and rhubarb until evenly distributed. The batter may seem lumpy, but don’t try to smooth it out. (The batter can be made up to 1 day ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.)
- Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing it evenly and filling the cups to the rim (almost overflowing).
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown on top and spring back when pressed in the middle with a fingertip. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan.
- The muffins taste best on the day they are baked, but they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up 3 days. If you keep them for longer than 1 day, refresh them in a 300-degree‑F oven for 4 to 5 minutes. Or, you can freeze them, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 1 week; reheat, directly from the freezer, in a 300-degree-F oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
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We’re also excited to be collaborating with our friends over at Hedley and Bennett for a weeklong giveaway on Instagram, where we’re pairing Chronicle Books cookbook classics with gorgeous Hedley and Bennett aprons. Be sure to follow along on our Instagram and Hedley and Bennett’s to enter for a chance to win one of these three cookbooks and a couple others, as well as some very snazzy aprons. Contest ends 6/3/16.
And share your brunch creations with us by tagging #ChronicleKitchen on your photos–we’d love to see what you cook!
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