Friday, March 29, 2013

In the Kitchen: Easter Brunch (Part 1)

For the final posts in the Easter table series we're getting down to the important stuff- food and drink.


To keep the meal as simple as the rest of the table I choose a few easy recipes that wouldn't have me in the kitchen the whole day. You may already know this about me, but I'm a terrible recipe user- I always add in my own things, change amounts that don't seem right to me, etc. The great thing about the recipes I picked is that they can be altered easily, so don't be afraid to try a change that appeals to you. 

Easter brunch menu:

Lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberries and Meyer lemon syrup (recipe below)
Thick cut bacon
Coffee
Maple Old Fashioned


A few quick notes about the changes I made to these Martha Stewart recipes:

-For the frittatas, I only made 1/4 of what the recipe calls for- it serves 4 that way. I used asparagus, red bell pepper, and carrot for the veggies and an aged Irish cheddar for the cheese. I also skipped the mini muffin tin and used a regular muffin tin- each frittata was a perfect portion for one person, just know you might need to cook them 5 minutes longer or so.

-The ricotta pancakes are great with orange as the recipe calls for, but since I had some Meyer lemons to use up, I swapped lemon zest in for the orange and added some extra sugar to balance out the tartness. 


For the Meyer lemon syrup you'll need:

~6 Meyer lemons to yield 1 cup juice (regular lemon juice will work, it'll just be a bit more tart)
Zest of 6 Meyer lemons
1 1/2 cups sugar



Start by zesting the lemons. I wanted to leave the zest in the syrup to give it a speckled appearance, so I used my fine Microplane zester. If you prefer to strain the zest out, you can get bigger strips with a traditional zester or a vegetable peeler. Be careful to only remove the outer rind, leaving the bitter pith (white part) behind.

Next, cut all the lemons in half and juice them into a liquid measuring cup. 


Strain the juice into a small saucepan, add the lemon zest and the sugar and simmer over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. If you plan to use this syrup only for drinks, remove the pan as soon as the sugar is dissolved, if you're using it for pancakes or desserts, cook another 5 minutes to get a thicker consistency. 

Let the syrup cool to room temperature and transfer to a jar or bottle. Syrup will keep, refridgerated, for up to 4 weeks. 


This tart syrup is great on pancakes, but can also be used on iced cream, to make sodas and cocktails or to sweeten your tea (I've been using it in iced tea and it's amazing). 

Now that the food is taken care of, stay tuned for part two- the Maple Old Fashioned recipe!

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