Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I Never Realised Brunch Was So British

We had a lovely little Brunch Salon here on Sunday, with 6 folks joining me at the F.o.t.D. headquarters to cook and eat with each other. I greeted them with some coffee from a friend's roasterie (which, in my opinion, is the best around) and a bloody mary using vodka I'd soaked cucumbers in, bringing a nice freshness to the drink. For the garnish, I pickled some stems of those great ramps my friend brought me in some red wine vinegar, cane vinegar, coriander, mustard seed, ajowan, salt and sugar and added them to a colorful skewer of yellow pepper, Persian cucumbers and piquillo peppers. Then we got to work.
We made:
  • Cranberry Cream Scones. Rich and delicious, served with Devon cream, tart cherry preserves, and the bacon jam we made in the Pork Salon;
  • Homemade English muffins. The night before the Salon, I made a rather moist dough using the starter I got from old crazy hair and let it rise overnight. Then, the Saloneers shaped it into rounds, let it rise again, and we griddled them, giving them that distinct English muffin char and shape.
  • Sauteed ramps. Oniony and representing everything good about Spring.
  • Hollandaise sauce. A quick step by step demo was given on making this rich sauce, loved by many, made by few. Easy, wasn't it guys?
  • The F.o.t.D. Ramp and Double Smoked Pork Loin Benedict. We warmed and sliced a smoky loin I picked up at Gene's, and the Saloneers learned how to poach eggs properly. I've gotta say, they did a pretty good job, too. Nice and creamy yolks. We sliced the English muffins in half, griddled them again and topped them with the sliced loin, poached eggs, ramps and Hollandaise sauce.
  • Homey Fried Potatoes. Chunks of potatoes cooked with red and yellow pepper, jalapeno, onion, garlic and plenty of lard.
  • ...and we rounded things out with a platter of sliced pineapple, blackberries and the mysterious supreme of orange.
All in all, it was a great late morning/early afternoon, with some terrific participants who learned some technique and created a tasty meal. A big thanks to those who came to the Brunch Salon, and we're looking forward to the next one: Pasta!