Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Brunch - April 24, 2011

Nick and I had a quiet brunch for two this past weekend, and that might be my favorite kind of brunch. On the menu, which was semi-made-up-on-the-fly, was Polish poppy seed pastry, a mustard tart, and ginger-citrus mimosas. I had planned ahead for the poppy seed pastry, and long time readers might think it looks pretty familiar to last year's Easter pastry. Indeed, I used the same pretty pastry braiding technique that I originally found here. And, I used poppy seed filling again, but this time I did a little extra Internet research to find a true Polish recipe rather than the hamantaschen recipe I used last year. It was an homage to my Grandma Mae (see my sister's tribute here, complete with fun pictures), whom we just lost, and the delicious makowiec she used to make. My intent is to make a true makowiec in the very near future, but in the meantime, I cheated and just used the filling here. Oh, and just to be clear, my Grandma never actually called what she made 'makowiec,' which is why it took me a little longer to find a recipe online. Also, I'm pretty sure she just used the store-bought canned poppy seed filling, but since I was already using store bought pastry dough, I thought I'd better at least make the filling up from scratch. Anyway, I'm delighted that I now know what it's called and that it's part of my Polish heritage.

Nick was in charge of our main dish, which kind of just fell into place. We had picked up Dorie Greenspan's new cookbook, Around My French Table, from the library the day before and were paging through it while waiting for the poppy seed pastry to cook. We happened upon her recipe for 'Gerard's Mustard Tart' and realized that if we cheated and used the second sheet of puff pastry for the crust, we could whip this up in no time flat. Nick jumped into action, and with minor assistance from me, we had this ready in time for our main course. It was light and quite mustard-y with that nice bite of horseradish that hits you in the back of your nose.

And of course, no brunch would be complete without some cocktails. I love how the term 'brunch' makes it not only okay, but expected, that you start drinking before noon. We had chilled some cava and I used the same ingredients as my citrus-ginger soda from a few weeks ago. Some freshly squeezed grapefruit and lime juice, a little ginger-lemongrass infused simple syrup, and cava replacing the soda, and we were in business. The bubbly cocktail was the perfect Easter egg hue and accompanied the mustard tart well, cutting the bite of the horseradish nicely.

I hope you all had a tasty holiday weekend!
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