Sunday, October 17, 2010

In the Kitchen: Weekend Baking & Brunching

I'll never pass up the opportunity to host and entertain - even if it means comfortably cramming 12 lovely ladies into my small studio apartment for an all-afternoon brunch this past weekend.  Baked, brunched and conquered - with a solid balance of health, indulgence, seasonal ingredients (and a few pear-peach mimosas) in mind.  From the mushroom-caramelized onion quiche to coffee cake & apple butter to spinach salad with roasted butternut squash, dried cherries and goat cheese, there's nothing better than a long, leisurely, boozy brunch and great conversation.  Wondering how I pulled it off in my pint-sized apartment?  Pre-planning and prepping and strategic placement of nearly every inch of my studio.  Here's how...

dahlias & cockscomb for color, marcona almonds for nibbling, pellegrino 
& a pitcher of mimosas set on the coffee table

a simple standby - cheese, crackers & concord grapes 

 sweet treats displayed on my desk: sour cream coffee cake, pecan cookies with spiced-caramel 
& a bowl of pastel-hued macaroons
 glasses & extra fresh-squeezed juices arranged atop an antique wooden armoire

quiche for the cutting - mushroom, thyme & caramelized onion 
and Swiss chard with fresh ricotta and parmesan

For a quick bonus, here's the recipe for the Swiss chard, ricotta & parmesan frittata above. 

Swiss Chard, Ricotta & Parmesan Frittata
serves 8 to 10

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small shallot minced

1 bunch rainbow Swiss chard, stems cut and set aside
6 eggs
3/4 cup fresh ricotta
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese divided *I had pecorino romano cheese on hand and used that instead
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 375.  In a large saute pan, cook Swiss chard stems with 1 tablespoon of water for about 2 minutes.  Set aside in a small bowl.  Heat olive oil in pan and saute shallots for 1 minutes on medium-high heat.  Add in Swiss chard leaves and stems and saute for 3 to 4 minutes until soft and wilted.  
In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, ricotta, and half of the parmesan, cayenne pepper and nutmeg.  Add in Swiss chard and shallots and mix well. 
In a tart or pie pan, pour in egg-Swiss chard mixture and sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese over top.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden brown.


Shayna said...

Everything was DELISH. Bravo Marissa :) xs

Will @ Bright.Bazaar said...

"sour cream coffee cake, pecan cookies with spiced-caramel
& a bowl of pastel-hued macaroons" Seriously, Marissa, are you TRYING to make me jealous or what?! ;) Looks like a fab bruncheon! xo

Julie B said...

I was lucky enough to be a guest at this amazing brunch! Marissa, you are the epitome of a chic NY gal who knows how to entertain with style, despite any space, budget or cooking ability (ie me). Can't wait for the next one :)