Brunch at 7 O'Clock pm

The Gourmet Girls met on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 for an autumn brunch dinner! It was so much fun to try all kinds of new breakfast/brunch dishes!  I made Cheese and Tomato Galette and Almond Ciabatta French Toast, both from a fantastic cookbook (entitled GALE GAND'S BRUNCH!), which was a gift from Lara. LS made some delicious Caramelized Banana Bread with Browned Butter Glaze (Our Best Bites). Raquel's scrumptious dish was also from Our Best Bites, Mini Breakfast Quiches/Baked Ham and Egg Cups. Lara's tasty Pastry Wrapped Breakfast Sausages with Maple-Dijon Dipping Sauce were from the latest Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites (it's on my Christmas list)! Andrea brought beautiful dishes of fresh berries topped with a Creme Anglaise; Lynley made yummy crepes (Williams Sonona) and Jodi baked some awesome Starbucks Pumpkin Scones.  Everything was absolutely delicious (and low-calorie too)! The best part of the night was our guest of honor, Jodi's fiance, Shane. We all enjoyed getting to know him better and are so excited for their big day! 

 Cheese and Tomato Galette
2 1/2 cups cake flour, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 large egg yolks
4 Tablespoons sour cream

3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped (optional) - of course I did 5 slices
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives or 1/4 cup chopped scallions (white and green parts) - I did scallions
3 gratings whole nutmeg or 3 pinches ground nutmeg
6 drops Tabasco or other hot sauce
2 medium tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick

To make the crust, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, and salt on low speed.  Add the cold butter and mix on low speed until it looks pebbly.  In a small bowl, combine the yolks and sour cream. Pour this into the mixer bowl and mix on low speed until the dough almost comes together and no flour remains at the bottom of the owl.  Turn the dough out onto a work surface and form it into a disk.  Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour.
On a floured work surface, roll the dough out 1/8 inch thick.  Line a 4-cup-capacity ceramic flan pan or quiche dish with the dough, trimming off any excess.  Chill the dough in the pan while you make the filling.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
To make the filling, whisk together the eggs, cream and milk in a bowl until smooth.  Stir in the three types of cheese, the bacon (if using), and the parsley, chives, nutmeg, and Tabasco.  Pour the filling into the tart shell, and then lay the tomato slices on top of the filling, distributing them evenly.
Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, checking for doneness by sticking a knife into the custard; the knife should come out clean.  Serve hot or at room temperature, cut into wedges.

 Almond Ciabatta French Toast

3 large eggs
2 pinches salt
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
Eight 1-inch slices round ciabatta
Unsalted butter, for cooking
1 cup sliced almonds

Head a griddle over medium-low heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs well.  Whisk in the salt, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract. Gradually whisk in the milk and cream.  Pour the mixture into a shallow baking dish.  Workin in batches if necessary, place the bread in the dish and let it soak for 3 minutes; then turn the slices over and soak on the other side.  Butter your griddle and let the butter bubble.  Just before placing the soaked bread slices on the griddle, place almonds in a single layer (but fairly densely packed) on the griddle, forming an area the size and shape of a bread slice.  Press one side of the bread into the almonds n the griddle, and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes.  Flip the bread to the other side and cook until speckled golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.  Serve hot.

Pastry-Wrapped Breakfast Sausages with Maple-Dijon Dipping Sauce

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed in refrigerator
1(12 oz) package uncooked breakfast sausage links, about 14 links
1/2 c shredded cheese of your choice (I used cheddar)
1 egg, lightly beaten with 2t water, for egg wash

Preheat oven to 400. Gently unfold the puff pastry sheet onto a lightly floured surface.  Lightly sprinkle the surface of the dough with flour and roll into a 12x12 inch square.  Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to slice into 4 equal strips.

Working with one strip of dough at a time, place 3 sausages, lengthwise down one side of the dough strip. If extra space remains,  trim another sausage to fit so the entire length of the dough strip is covered.  If using cheese sprinkle about 2t shredded cheese next to the sausages.  Starting from the edge where the sausages are, gently roll the dough so it wraps around the sausage and cheese and folds over itself.  Gently press or pinch dough to seal and softly roll to smooth out surface. Repeat with remaining puff pastry strips, sausages, and cheese.

Using a pastry brush, brush tops of rolls with egg wash.  Using a sharp knife, slice rolls into 1  1/2- 2 in pieces.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet (I used silpat) and bake 15-20 min or until light golden brown.  Cool 3-5 min and serve with Maple-Dijon dipping sauce or pure maple syrup for dipping. 

Maple Dijon Dipping Sauce
2 T Dijon mustard
4 T pure maple syrup
4 T mayonnaise

 Fresh Berries with Creme Anglaise


 Jodi and Shane

I do believe this is the first time anyone has packed heat to gourmet, 
so I thought it best to document.

Group Shot!

I always include a picture of the table setting before the meal, but I thought I would mix it up and include an "aftermath" shot as well!

If by chance you happen to notice the improved quality of the pictures of tonight's meal, you have my wonderful husband, Rob to thank.  Anniversary gift = awesome new camera! Thanks babe!

Playing throughout the evening was a new CD I picked up at Daynes Music that morning, a piano duo called Anderson + Roe.  Check it out!

Stay tuned for pictures and recipes from Jodi's recent bridal shower, as well as her upcoming wedding dinner, where all of the appetizers will be provided by the Gourmet Girls!

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