Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Brunch

Sundays are the bomb, hands down. Especially if you fill your Sundays with good company and great food. Lucky for me, that is exactly how I spent this Sunday.

A handful of us came together to create an exquisite menu - Avocado Fries, Tiramisu Pancakes, Oven Potatoes with ample servings of mimosas. Not bad, eh?

All of the dishes were amazing. The Tiramisu Pancakes were deliciously evil, especially with the marscapone cream. The Avocado Fries were the first to disappear, always a sign of a very tasty dish. And the Oven Potatoes were a wonderful savory compliment to the bouquet of flavors. Try one recipe, try them all...but make sure you are very hungry if you attempt this exact menu. ;) Enjoy!

Tiramisu Pancakes
Adapted from: The Ivory Hut

For the pancakes:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, slightly rounded, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • a generous pinch of salt
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup lite coconut milk
  • 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee
For the glaze:
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter
  • 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur

For the cream:
  • 4 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Start by preparing the cream and the glaze. For the cream, beat all ingredients together and whip until you have soft peaks. Set aside in the refrigerator. (Tip: this cream tastes amazing, and is what really makes these pancakes. If you like generous amounts of cream on your pancakes, you might want to make a double portion.) The glaze is optional, but very, very (and I mean very) good. Simply combine the ingredients well. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make sure the cocoa powder is well sifted, so that it will dissolve evenly.

In a separate bowl, combine both milks and sour cream until smooth (it helps to slowly dilute the sour cream with the milk while whisking, which reduces the chances of clumps). Add the instant coffee powder and mix well until dissolved. Whisk in the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, mixing gently until you have a slightly lumpy batter but without any large clumps of flour. If batter is a little runny, add a tablespoon or two of flour. I like to transfer my batter to a measuring cup or something else with a spout, for easier cooking.

Let the batter sit while you preheat your griddle. When griddle is hot, drop batter in portions desired (1/4 cup for regular-sized pancakes) onto the greased griddle. When bubbles come up and edges look cooked, gently flip to cook the other side. Once pancakes are cooked, transfer to a plate. Spread a small amount of the maple glaze over the top of the pancake so it soaks in while still hot. Continue with the remaining batter until done.

To serve, dollop a generous amount of the cream in between layers of pancakes. Top with more cream, and then top with shaved chocolate, or a light dusting of sifted cocoa powder.

Serve with extra cream and/or glaze on the side for dipping. A bonus: these pancakes taste amazing even when cold.

Avocado Fries 
Adapted from: Circle B Kitchen 

  • Canola oil for frying   
  • 1/4 cup flour 
  • 1 tsp kosher salt 
  • 2 large eggs, beaten to blend 
  • 1 1/4 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs) 
  • 2 firm-ripe medium avocados, pitted, peeled, and sliced into 1/2-in. wedges
  • Sea salt for finishing
Preheat oven to 200°. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 in. oil until it registers 375° on a deep-fry thermometer.

Meanwhile, mix flour with 1/2 tsp. salt in a shallow plate. Put eggs and panko in separate shallow plates.

Sprinkle the avocado slices with the remaining ½ tsp salt.  Dip each slice in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg, then panko to coat. Set on 2 plates in a single layer.

Fry a quarter of avocado slices at a time until deep golden, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer slices to a plate lined with paper towels. Keep warm in oven while cooking remaining avocados. Sprinkle with sea salt to finish. 

** PS - the Oven Potato recipe is forthcoming, and it's well worth the wait! **

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