Cheryl’s Cuisine

Dunmorean food editor Cheryl Radkiewicz chats with Bobby Flay during his recent book signing at Savor Borgata.  Flay's book, "Brunch at Bobby's", features 140 recipes for the best part of the weekend.

Dunmorean food editor Cheryl Radkiewicz chats with Bobby Flay during his recent book signing at Savor Borgata. Flay’s book, “Brunch at Bobby’s”, features 140 recipes for the best part of the weekend.

Recently, I attended the annual Savor Borgata 2015 where Bobby Flay and his new book, “Brunch at Bobby’s” were highlights of the annual “foodie feast.”

His new book is full of great ideas for brunch.  Do you ever run out of fresh ideas for breakfast and brunch?  I do.  Honestly, I’m even tired of the old scrambled eggs, frittatas, omelets, cereal, toast, French toast, Eggs Benedict, etc.  

This book opened a whole new world of brunch excitement for me.  The book itself will not only make a great holiday gift, but will also offer fresh ideas for brunch parties and breakfasts throughout the year.

Chapters include:  Coffee, Tea & Cocktails, Spreads & Syrups, Pancakes, Waffles & French Toast, Egg Dishes, Pastries & Breads, Sandwiches, Fruit Dishes & Fruit Salads, and Savory Side Dishes.  Tips include how to set up Bellini and Bloody Mary Bars.

Let me give you a sampling of some dishes I’m anxious to try:

Fresh Dill Cream Cheese:

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill
2 Tbsp. dill pickle juice
Pinch of fine sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Stir together the cream cheese, dill, pickle juice, salt and pepper in a bowl until smooth.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours to allow flavors to meld.  Makes about 1 cup.  Perfect on bagels or stirred into scrambled eggs.


Black Pepper Popovers:

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Generously brush a 6-slot aluminum popover pan with softened butter.  Put pan in the oven to heat for 5 minutes while you make your batter. Whisk together the flour, salt, pepper, eggs, milk and melted butter until smooth.  The batter will be thin.  Fill the popover pan less than half full and bake for exactly 30 minutes.  Do not open the oven while the popovers are baking.  Remove from the molds and serve immediately.  Serves 6.


Croque Madame:

7 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk, warm
3 cups grated Gruyere cheese (12 oz.)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
12 (3/4″) thick slices white Pullman bread, lightly toasted
6 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
12 thin slices baked ham
6 large eggs

Heat 3 Tbsp. of the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the flour and cook, whisking, until smooth, about 1 minute.  Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer until slightly reduced and thickened, 6-8 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup of the grated Gruyere and the Parmesan and whisk until smooth. Season the bechamel sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Heat the broiler. Put 6 slices of the bread on a baking sheet and spread 1 Tbsp. mustard over each.  Top each with 2 slices ham and then distribute the remaining 2 1/2 cups Gruyere over the ham.

Broil until cheese begins to melt, about 1 1/2 minutes.  Top with remaining 6 bread slices and then pour a generous amount of bechamel on top of each sandwich.  Broil until cheese sauce is bubbling and evenly browned, 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp. of the butter in a 12″ non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add 3 of the eggs, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the whites are set, but the yolks are still runny.  Transfer to a warm plate and then repeat with the remaining butter and eggs.  Serve each sandwich topped with a fried egg.  Serves 6.


Tomato Strata:

1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for the dish
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 medium French baguette, cut into 1/2″ diced pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 lbs. ripe beefsteak tomatoes, seeded and diced
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of red pepper flakes
6 large eggs
1/4 cup lightly packed thinly sliced basil leaves
1 cup freshly grated Romano cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 2-quart baking dish with olive oil.  Put 1/2 cup of the oil and garlic cloves in a large high-sided saute pan over medium heat and cook garlic until lightly golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes.  Add bread cubes and salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until bread cubes are lightly golden brown on all sides, 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, sugar, and red pepper flakes to the pan and continue to cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl, and let cool.

Whisk eggs in a small bowl and add to the tomato mixture.  Season with salt and pepper and add to the tomato mixture.  Season with salt and pepper and add the basil,   Pour into the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle evenly with the cheese and drizzle with the remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil.  Bake until the top is browned and the tomatoes are bubbly, about 30 minutes.  Note:  Delicious served hot or at room temperature with poached or scrambled eggs.  Serves 4-6.


Rosemary Home Fries with Pancetta, Parmesan and Parsley:

4 large russet potatoes (4 lbs.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup canola oil (plus more if needed)
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1-1″ thick slice pancetta, diced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Put the potatoes in a pot and add enough water to cover by two inches.  Season the water with salt, bring to a boil over high heat, and cook the potatoes until a skewer inserted into the center of each meets with just a little resistance, 20-25 minutes.  Drain well, let cool slightly, and then cut into 1″ dice.

Meanwhile, combine the oil and rosemary in a blender, season with salt and pepper, and blend for one minute.  Let the oil sit for 30 minutes before straining through a fine-mesh strainer into a small bowl.   

Heat rosemary oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook until lightly golden brown, 2 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.  Add the pancetta to the pan and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes.  Remove with slotted spoon to the plate with the garlic.

Add more oil to the pan, if none remains.  Add the potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cook until golden brown and crusty on all sides, about 7 minutes.  Stir in the red pepper flakes, cheese and parsley; transfer to a platter; and top with the garlic slices and pancetta.  Serves 4-6.


Maple-Mustard Glazed Canadian Bacon:

1/3 cup pure grade B maple syrup
1 heaping Tbsp. Dijon mustard
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. sliced Canadian bacon

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Whisk together the syrup, mustard, and black pepper in a small bowl.  Put the bacon on the baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes.

Turn the bacon over, brush with some of the glaze, and continue baking until golden brown and slightly crisp, brushing once more with the glaze, about 7 minutes longer.  Remove to a plate lined with paper towels.  Serve warm.  Serves 4-6.


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