apr 1, 2020

Brunch for dinner (with Fruit Compote)...

It's April Fool’s Day...why not have brunch for dinner? We’re thinking waffles with fruit compote, bacon for those who eat meat, and champagne cocktails. Mocktails, too, if you're steering clear of alcohol.
About those cocktails, we usually have a bottle of bubbles knocking around somewhere...the one we’re saving for a special occasion. Tonight totally qualifies. Jen has some suggestions for you in the attached recipes. Now on to the food...
Mark Bittman’s overnight waffles over on Epicurious are a family favorite. Indeed, our 14-year-old daughter made them for brunch last Sunday. These yeasted waffles take a little planning, but they are so worth it...light and fluffy with a wonderful aroma. BTW, if you mix up a batch this morning and cook them tonight, we’ll count that as ‘overnight’. We’re flexible.
About that bacon...we suggest you bake some up in the oven. Never tried it? It is our favorite method - crisps up beautifully and without a stovetop mess. Take a look at Food52’s instructions.
Finally, to the quick fruit compote. We’re not suggesting for a moment that you skip maple syrup & butter. But most of us have some fruit lying around, so why not put it to good use? Our daughter also makes a mean fruit compote (this week it was Mango, made from the wrinkled specimen languishing in the fruit bowl). Here’s how she does it:
SImple Fruit Compote
You can use almost any fruit, be it rhubarb fresh from the farmer’s market or that last quarter bag of blueberries in your freezer. Berries may be added directly to a small saucepan. Fruits like apples, pears or rhubarb should be chopped into small pieces before adding them to the pan. Add a few grains of salt and 1 tablespoon of water, cover the pan and put on a medium-low heat. Harder fruits will take longer to cook than softer ones, and most berries need only a few minutes, so check on them often, giving a stir each time. You want the fruit to soften but not go completely to mush. A little texture is nice. Give it a taste…does it need sugar? You could add a touch of cinnamon or citrus zest…or just keep it plain. You may want to squeeze in some lemon juice after cooking to brighten it up.
When you’re satisfied with the texture and taste, spoon it into a bowl to put on the table.

Bubbly Brunch Cocktails

Author Jen Nurse

Yield   Each recipe makes 6 cocktails


Perfect Champagne Cocktails

6 sugar cubes

1-1½ oz. Angostura bitters

1 bottle well-chilled Champagne

Lemon peel for garnish

Prosecco al Balsamico

2 oz balsamic vinegar

1 bottle chilled prosecco

Diced strawberries, for garnish


The Perfect Champagne Cocktail
Drop a sugar cube into the bottom of each Champagne flute, and pour 4-5 drops of bitters on top of each one. Let the cubes absorb the bitters until amber-colored – about 30 seconds. Muddle the sugar cubes, breaking each one up into a soft, granulated mound. Slowly fill the glasses with Champagne, allowing the bubbles to subside as needed.
Twist a lemon peel over the top of each glass – this sprays the surface of the Champagne with fragrant lemon oils – and drop a twist into each glass to serve.
Adapted from Highballs High Heels by Karen Brooks
Prosecco al Balsamico
Pour a few drops of the balsamic vinegar into the bottoms of 6 champagne flutes. Slowly fill the glasses with prosecco, allowing the bubbles to subside as needed.
Serve simply as is or garnish with some diced strawberries.
Idea from Viola Buitoni, Italian cooking instructor extraordinaire