Monday, May 4, 2009

Mediterranean Sunday Brunch


Call me a recluse, but I am that one...who turns down brunch dates and inevitably schedules a dinner in its place or invites you to my place for brunch. Why? Because to me, screaming across a table in a crowded café on Sunday morning is about as appealing as an appendectomy. Oh no, no, my friends, Sunday mornings to me are (ahhhh) sacred time to be spent at home, happily nesting in comfy clothes, enjoying time alone and with loved ones and my cast iron skillet. (I have a standing joke with my fiancé that my cast iron skillet is going to be invited to the wedding, because of its quiet dependability and faithful companionship.) ;)

Here is a quick and lovely brunch that you can make at home for yourself, your loved ones, or as host/hostess of your own brunch party. However you like it, like it even more with a Mimosa, put on some Ben Harper (Disc 1 please!), and live large, live luxuriously, at home.

FLAX RYE BREAD (or Muffins)
Makes 12 muffins or 2 mini-loaves

This bread takes 15 minutes to make. That’s IT! Sooo simple, and the house smells cozy and delicious as it bakes. Once you pull the bread out of the oven to cool, you can prepare your eggs, and a Mediterranean brunch is just a moment away!

Because of the combo of wheat and rye flours, this bread has a tender flavor —it's not too sour like a traditional rye bread (that tastes yummy too but it isn't keeping with the Mediterranean theme). I like to spread mine with butter and drizzle on some buckwheat honey. (Then again, I enjoy everything drizzled with butter and honey.)


Ingredients:


1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 cup Rye Flour, Dark, Organic
2 tb Turbinado Sugar or honey
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 handful of whole flax seeds
2 Tbs. sunflower seeds (optional)
1 cup Milk or Buttermilk
1 Egg
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin, set aside.

In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients. Combine liquids and stir into dry ingredients. Spoon into prepared muffin tin. Bake for 15 minutes for muffins, 17-20 minutes for 2 mini loaves.

Makes 12 muffins.

MEDITERRANEAN SCRAMBLED EGGS

I made up this recipe after having a delicious omelet like it at a Portuguese restaurant. I decided to make it by scrambling the eggs (rather than preparing as an omelet) only because I happen to prefer the juicy texture of European-style scrambled eggs cooked soft. Mmmm…

1-2 Tbs. olive oil
6 large eggs
6 Tbs. Milk
10 olives, pitted and split (Kalamata, Mixed, Sicilian, Spanish, etc)
1 small sweet onion, sliced very thin
2 sprigs fresh oregano leaves (or 2 sprigs fresh thyme)
1 sweet Italian frying pepper, sliced
Salt & pepper

TIP: To easily pit olives, just place a large knife flat onto the olive, and press down over it with your palm, much like you would crush a clove of garlic. The pit comes right out. Easy-peasy!


1. Pull the eggs out and allow them to come to room temperature before cooking them. Crack eggs into a bowl, add milk, and whisk with a fork. Set aside.

2. In a non-stick skillet, heat 1 Tbs. olive oil over medium-low heat, and sautee onions, peppers and oregano till soft and caramelized. Stir often. Add a little more oil if needed, and add olives. Season with salt & pepper. Remove to a plate.

3. In the same pan, heat remaining Tbs. of olive oil. Whisk a pinch of salt into the egg mixture and pout into the hot pan. As soon as curds begin to form, increase heat to high and instead of stirring, use the spatula to fold the eggs over themselves while gently shaking the pan with your other hand. Turn off the heat.

4. Add cooked vegetables over the top and fold into the eggs. As soon as no more liquid is running around the bottom of the pan, remove from the heat and serve. TIP: If they look done in the pan, they'll be over-done on the plate, so remove quickly!

6 comments:

Barry Hamm said...

Mmmmm!!! Where can I order that bread? If it's as moist and hearty as it looks--your photographer is impeccable--then I might have a Flapperdiction.

Jessica Martiele said...

Two questions:

Why bring the eggs to room temp first? and...

Can you use any other flour besides rye? (I'm not a big fan of rye - by any stretch - but it just looks so dang good, I want to try it!

flappergirl said...

Dear Barry,
I am very pleased to report there are no 12-step programs for Flapperdiction. ;) I am glad you enjoy my photography!

flappergirl said...

Hi Jessica!
Bringing eggs to room temp is not a necessity, but I do recommend it. I recently learned that starting with room temperature eggs and slow-scrambling them makes for creamier and more delicate eggs than cooking them quickly over high heat does. This also applies to baking--I always pull my eggs out for a few minutes before cracking them into the mixing bowl.

A quick and safe way to bring them to room temp is to just submerge them in a bowl of slightly warm (not hot) water.

As far as flour goes, I'm sure you could use all whole wheat flour for another nice result. I haven't tried it yet but let me know how that turns out! :)

vik4re said...

Now it's MY turn to lick the computer screen ... every time I see that little pat of butter melting on that slice of warm bread

*sigh*


-V

flappergirl said...

hi V,
I sometimes wonder what the state of the world would be today if all world leaders ate some warm bread daily with sweet, drippy honey and butter. I think they'd peacefully solve all the world's problems!!
xo
Dianne

 
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