Come for brunch An invitation to a spring event is
especially welcome when it’s brunch. This meal that’s not quite breakfast, not quite lunch, began in England as the hunt breakfast, served after an
early morning spent on horseback chasing a fox and hounds around the countryside. Brunch was not popular in the
United States until the 1930s. At that time, well-known humorist and word purist Heywood Broun commented,
“There may be some perfectly nice peo- ple who use the word ‘brunch,’ but I prefer not to know them.” Despite Broun’s opinion, brunch is
more popular than ever. Here are some recipes you can share with the nice people you know.
Strawberry Upside-Down Cake
Spinach Sausage Pasta Makes 6 to 8 servings
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, cas- ings removed and sausage crumbled
1 (14-oz.) can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings such as basil, oregano and olive oil
1 (23- to 26-oz.) jar marinara sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed in garlic press or chopped very fine
1 t. dried oregano 1 t. dried basil
8 ozs. uncooked rotini, gemelli or elbow macaroni
1 (9-oz.) package frozen creamed spinach, thawed
1¾ to 2 c. shredded Italian cheese blend or 1½ cups mozzarel- la cheese and
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 13x9-inch baking dish with vegetable cook- ing spray. Set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage until no longer pink, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, marinara sauce, garlic, oregano and basil.
Spread 1 cup of the meat sauce evenly on the bottom of the baking dish. Arrange uncooked pasta in an even layer on top of the sauce. Pour the remaining meat sauce evenly over the pasta. Spread the creamed spinach evenly over the top of the sauce using a knife or an offset spatula. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. (The dish can be made up to 1 day in advance to this point. Refrigerate until baking time.)
Bake dish, covered, until bubbling, about 30 minutes. Uncover; scatter cheese evenly over the top. Cover again, and bake 5 more minutes.
Tip: To add an adult flavor to this kid-friendly meat sauce, add 1/3 to ½ cup dry red wine when you add the tomatoes and marinara sauce to the meat.
Margarita Shrimp Salad
Adapted from Swanson Chicken Broth Makes 4 servings
1 T. 1 lb. lime juice
2 t. grated lime peel 3 cloves garlic, minced
fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
¾ c. chicken broth 1 medium red or orange bell pepper cut into 2-inch long strips (about 1½ cups)
1 small onion cut into thin slices (about ¼ cup)
¼ c. chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
4 c. romaine or iceberg lettuce torn into bite-size pieces
3 c. cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half Ground black pepper, to taste
In a one-gallon resealable plastic bag, combine lime juice, lime peel, garlic and shrimp. Seal bag; refrigerate for 30 minutes, turning bag over several times.
In 2-quart saucepan, heat broth over medium heat to a boil. Add bell pepper and onion. Cook until vegetables are tender-crisp (about 4 to 5 minutes).
Reduce heat to medium. Add shrimp and marinade to saucepan. Cook until shrimp are cooked through. (Shrimp should look opaque. Do not overcook or shrimp will be tough.) Stir in cilantro.
Divide lettuce, tomatoes and shrimp mixture among 4 salad bowls. Sprinkle with ground black pepper, to taste.
From the California Strawberry Advisory Council Makes 8 servings
Topping: ¼ c. unsalted butter ¼ c.
light brown sugar
¼ c. granulated white sugar 2 c. sliced strawberries 1 c. dark chocolate chips or chunks
Batter: 1-½ c. all-purpose flour 2 t. baking powder
¼ t. salt ½ c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c. granulated white sugar 1 t. vanilla extract 2 large eggs, separated
½ c. whole milk ¼ t. cream of tartar Whipped cream, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place rack in the center of oven. Butter or spray 9- inch round cake pan.
Topping: In a small saucepan, stir butter and white and brown sugars over medi- um heat until butter has melted and sugars have dissolved. Continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes, without stirring, until sugar starts to caramelize (turns light brown). Do not stir or sugar-butter mixture will become grainy. Remove from heat; pour into prepared cake pan.
Arrange the strawberry slices and chocolate chips over sugar-butter mixture.
Batter: In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the vanilla then egg yolks, one at a time. Add the flour in three additions, alternating with the milk, and beginning and ending with flour.
In a clean bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until the whites just hold a firm peak when beaters are lifted. With a large spatula, gently fold egg whites into cake batter, in two additions, gently folding and turn- ing until no white streaks remain. Pour batter into cake pan, smoothing top.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the top of the cake has browned and starts to pull away from the sides. A toothpick inserted into the cake only—not the straw- berry layer—should come out clean.
Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan. Invert cake onto serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream, if desired.
Adapted from Grey Poupon Makes 8 servings
3 lbs. new red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed, with large pota- toes cut into 2-inch chunks
½ c. chopped green onions ¼ c. butter or margarine 1 t. dried thyme or tarragon
¾ c. light cream or half-and-half
1/3 c. Dijon mustard 1 T. chopped fresh chives ¼ t. coarsely ground black pepper
In a large pot, heat potatoes to a boil in one-inch depth of water. Cover; simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain; keep warm.
In a small saucepan, over low heat, cook and stir onion until tender but not brown. Stir in thyme. Add cream; heat to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in mustard, chives and pepper. Drizzle over warm pota- toes. Toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.
Ohio’s Country Journal • ocj.com
• April 2012 • Country Life 35
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