Sunday, October 15, 2006

Book Club Brunch

I cherish my every-month-or-so book club. Not just for the accountability to read since I usually read on my own, nor for the additional night out during the week, nor even for the aura of intelligence and culture it lends me when I mention I am in a book club.

No, what I really love about my book club is spending time with smart, beautiful women and having engaging conversations about something other than dieting or men, although we do talk about those things on occasion. And of course...the second best part and close runner up...the food and wine.

So this month, I hosted the book club and served brunch. Here is the menu & recipes.

Champagne and orange juice (thanks Jennie for the juice)
Mixed fruit salad of apples, strawberres and red grapes (thanks Jennie)
Chedder Green Chili Cheater Souffles
Sweet and Spicy Bacon
Apple Tarte Tatin

Cheddar Chili Cheater Souffles:
(serves 6-8)

8 slices fresh white bread, crusts removed, cut into rough cubes
1 4 oz can green chilis
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese - can use any cheese you like
2 cups milk
Salt & pepper to taste

These are called cheater souffles because the white bread absorbes the liquid and the texture is just like a souffle, only they are more stable. They still will puff up beautifully (and sink) but not quite so dramatically as a souffle.

Layer bread chunks, chili and cheese in ramekins or muffin tins, or use a 9 x 9 caserole dish. Individual servings are more fun for brunch, so I typically use muffin tins. Pour egg/milk mixture that you have whisked well to incorporate over the bread/chili/cheese. Salt and pepper. Bake at 350 until puffed up and golden brown. Serve immediately.

Sweet and Spicy Bacon:
(serves 6-8)

From Gourmet, this recipe is a keeper.
1 lb thick-cut premium bacon
4 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp cayenne (or to taste)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Lay bacon on a baking sheet, not overlapping. Sprinkle spice mixture over top, bake at 350 until crisp and brown, turning once.

Apple Tarte Tatin:
(serves 6-10 for a brunch)

This is the oh-so-simple but impressive recipe I posted here.


Brilynn said...

What a great idea! (The brunch and the bookclub)

Kirsten said...

Thanks Brilynn! It was a fun change of pace for our book club...and we really didn't talk about the book at all. :)

Anonymous said...

How many eggs for the cheddar chili cheater souffles?? This is exactly the type of egg dish I've been looking for.

Thanks for the great website (especially for a beginner like me). I made your simple butter garlic shrimp last week ... first time I ever reduced anything by half! It was delicious.

Kirsten said...

Hi annonymous!

eek, I can't believe I left out how many eggs! I believe I used 8 eggs. I would recommend the recipe - it's sooo easy.

I'm so glad the shrimp went well and you enjoy the Web site. Happy cooking!