Tuesday, January 13, 2015

#310 Bon Voyage Brunch, By: V

Before N headed back to San Francisco I had her over for brunch with S and I.  I took help from the store and bought some Pillsburry Cinnamon Rolls and Hash Browns.  When N and I were little girls our mom would make cinnamon rolls every Saturday morning.  As an adult, the mere smell of cinnamon rolls reminds me of those Saturday mornings, and I know how much N loves them! Another N favorite, are hash browns, I modified the store bought hash browns by adding green peppers, onions and spices for added flavor.  Here's the full brunch menu:

Oven Broiled Sausage and Tomatoes
Spinach, Mushroom and Feta Frittata 
Pepper and Onion Hash Browns
Cinnamon Rolls
Berries and Nectarine drizzled with honey

N brought me some delicious ground coffee from a wonderful coffee shop we visited when I was out in San Francisco this summer (Sightglass), so I brewed up some coffee for all of us to enjoy.  We sat around and munched on all of the breakfast food, while watching a few funny YouTube videos that S just had to share!  It was the perfect way to spend the last day with N before she left for San Francisco.  

Pepper and Onion Hash Browns

Ore-Ida 2 lb bag of Diced Hash Brown Potatoes
1/2 jalapeno, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup onion (yellow or red), diced 
2 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp thyme

  1. To a large non-stick saucepan add 1/2 the bage of Ore-Ida Diced Hash Brown Potatoes.  Cook per directions on the bag.  You can also use fresh potatoes, but I would recommend piercing them with a fork and cooking them per your microwave directions for a baked potatoes, then cut them up and add them to a pan with about two tbsp of olive oil to cook. 
  2. In a small saucepan add 2 tbsp olive oil, green bell pepper, jalapeno and onion.  Let this mixture cook down until the peppers are softened and the onion is translucent.  
  3. Turn the heat off and add the spices.  Mix together and then add to the cooked hash brown potatoes.  
  4. Let this cook on medium heat for ten minutes just to allow the flavors of the spices and pepper/onion mixture permeate the potatoes. 
Turkey Links with Roasted Tomatoes

13.5 oz package of Hillshire Farm Turkey Polka Kielbasa (or any cooked sausage)
8 oz. Medley Tomatoes (variety of colored tomatoes or cherry tomatoes can be used)
2 tbsps olive oil

  1. Preheat the oven to a high broil.
  2. Cut each tomato in half lengthwise.  Cut each sausage link in half.  
  3. Arrange the tomatoes and sausages on top of foil laid on a baking sheet. 
  4. Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes and sausages and toss them to coat. 
  5. Bake in the oven on a high broil for 20 minutes until the sausage skin has blistered.  
Spinach, Mushroom and Feta Frittata

8 oz. fresh mushrooms (I used baby portabella, but anything will work)
1/2 tsp minced garlic
non-stick spray
1 10 oz. box of frozen spinach
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 oz. feta cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. If your frozen spinach is not already thawed, thaw it in the microwave. Place the spinach in a colander and let it drain while you begin to prepare the rest.
  2. Slice the mushrooms thinly.  Place the sliced mushrooms in a skillet coated with non-stick spray, add the garlic, and sprinkle a little salt and pepper. Turn the heat on to medium-high and saute the mushrooms for about 10 minutes, until they are brown and any liquid released has evaporated. 
  3. Spray a dish with non-stick spray. Squeeze the rest of the water out of the spinach and spread it out on the bottom of the pie dish. Next add the cooked mushrooms and crumbled feta. 
  4. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs.  Add the milk, parmesan, and another small sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Whisk to combine. Pour this mixture into the dish over the spinach, mushrooms, and feta.
  5. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese over top. Place into the preheated oven and bake until it is golden brown on top.  Bake for 1 hour and serve. 

This week we had some serious snow in the D.C. area.  Worked from home one day and slowly trekked into the office the next.  Even with all the messy roads I managed to catch dinner with a good friend at RANGE, a restaurant by Bryan Voltaggio, who placed second to his brother in the televised cooking competition, Top Chef (he was in Season 6).  RANGE serves modern American cuisine. The food was pretty good, although I heard through a law school classmate of mine that Voltaggio's restaurant, Family Meal, is much better.  This might be a place I'll have to check out! 

We started off my order a drink called What's With All The Tattoos? and what came to the table was certainly a surprise.  I asked the waiter how the bartender managed to get these images on top, and much like the writing floating atop my foamy drink says, the bitters placed on top of the drink formed this magnificent creation.  
For the first course I ordered the Bone Marrow topped with a mixture of shallots, pinenuts and raisins.  I scooped the marrow and placed it on the toasted bread - delish!  Yes, marrow can often appear unalluring, but the contrast of taste with the fatty marrow and the sweet/sour shallot mixture was great spread atop a piece of crusty bread.  

For the second course I ordered the Market Cod with cured lemon, fried capers and brown butter.  I was curious about the taste of fried capers, but it was absolutely great.  Crunchy on the outside with the bitter tang that I love in capers! My friend ordered the Pork Belly (pictured in the back), which came topped with a crispy pork rind, vanilla sauce and fennel.

We ended the meal with our own Molasses Cake topped with a spiced sorbet.  It came in a small sized cast iron skillet and was deliciously warm.


  1. oh my goodness yum! It all looks delicious

  2. The brunch looks tasty!

    The restaurant food also looks amazing... I love the marrow & toast plate. YUM.


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