spring brunch

field tulips

Spring has sprung at last (although it’s raining again today, at least it’s a relatively warm rain). The tulip fields are coming into bloom (clogging up the local roads with tourist traffic), and my own garden is dancing with narcissus and muscari. We had a small brunch party this past weekend to celebrate spring/belated Easter, and it was good.

stuffed eggs

Of course, there were curried eggs (shown here without their blanket of curried bechamel). I don’t mess around with this recipe very much, because it’s so darned tasty – I especially love the fresh dill in the stuffing. I did use Mexican crema in place of the usual sour cream, since we had a big jar of it.

prosciutto asparagus

And the prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, which we tossed into the oven at 400° and then forgot about yet somehow did not destroy. We still don’t have local asparagus, but this was lovely stuff from California by way of our local co-op. The prosciutto adds enough fat and salt that we don’t need to add any additional seasonings.

gazpacho

One of our guests brought a big bowl of gazpacho, which was a fabulous idea and really delicious with the eggs and asparagus. We might have to make this a regular feature of these brunch parties. He added kernels of fresh corn, which I’ve never had before in gazpacho and really liked. We ate leftovers of this for dinner with a few poached shrimp.

rhubarb pie

lemon cream tart

Then there was pie. I did a straight rhubarb pie with a butter crust and lattice top, then we tried a new recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours for Lemon Cream Tart. The word “cream” here is misleading, as the tart doesn’t contain any. It does, however, have almost a full pound of butter in it. It was like a shortbread cookie filled with lemon curd, but very (deceptively) light and fluffy lemon curd. I was glad we had guests to help eat it, otherwise I might have done myself a mischief.

pate sablee

Spring is off to a good start.

tulip dancer

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the curried egg

hidden egg

For those who have not had a large Rubbermaid container of leftover curried eggs to work through this week, and are therefore not completely burned out on them, here’s a recipe (I omitted to include it in my Easter brunch report, obviously a mistake).

Ideally, this should be done with freshly found Easter eggs, wet with dew, delivered to the kitchen by victorious children, anxious to get back out into the fray. The finished dish will be ready by the time all the hunting is done, assuming you’ve begun the prep beforehand.

If you have no children or Easter eggs available, however, you can boil eggs just for this purpose. You could even make them sometime other than Easter. I won’t tell. Continue reading

Easter brunch

mosaic2176877

We had a rather fabulous Easter brunch (I say modestly) at our house yesterday. It was an excellent way to spend the morning, since the day turned out aggressively wet and windy. Not good egg-hunting weather.

hard boiled eggs
curried eggs

Curried eggs, from the original Vegetarian Epicure, are a must in our family for Easter. They’re some trouble to make, but worth the effort. The eggs are stuffed with their own yolks, which are mixed with sour cream, fresh dill and sauteed mushrooms. The devilled eggs are then baked in a curried bechamel sauce with a sprinkling of paprika.

sour cream coffeecake
coffeecake

Jon made his sour cream coffeecake, which turned out spectacularly well. Continue reading