Skip to main content

Pair Up - Sunday Brunch

May 01, 2015 11:46AM, Published by Jennifer Neys, Categories: In Print, Food+Drink



by Maria Terry

Sunday brunch is a fun alternative to a dinner party and gives us a reason to pop open a bottle of sparkling wine before noon. Whether it is served straight out of the bottle or mixed with your favorite fruit juices, sparkling wine is the quintessential brunch beverage. Italian sparkling wine is called Spumante or Frizzante. Spumante is fully sparkling, and Frizzante has slightly fewer bubbles. Here are three different Italian sparkling wines to pair with Italian-inspired recipes to create a memorable Sunday brunch.

Start the party off with a tray of Smoked Salmon Crostini with Dilled Cream Cheese. These toasted bread appetizers are topped with creamy cheese, smoky salmon, and tiny sour capers. Pair with Prosecco from Italy's Veneto region. It is made from eponymous Prosecco grapes and is usually off-dry. The slight sweetness in the wine will counter balance the tart flavors of the capers, and bubbles will cut the richness of the salmon and the cheese.

Your main course is a savory Crab Cake Benedetti. This Italian spin on eggs Benedict substitutes doughy, salty focaccia bread for the classic English muffin and lemon-basil cream sauce for the hollandaise. Crab cakes are the star of the dish and a crunchy alternative to ham. Plan to prepare the components before your guests arrive, and assemble the Benedetti at the last minute. Partner with Italy’s most elegant sparkling wine, Franciacorta. It is made using the méthode-champenoise technique, where the bubbles are formed inside the bottle rather than in a tank. Like classic French champagne, the grapes in Franciacorta are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, although other Pinot varieties can be included. Franciacorta is dry, and its subtle flavors won’t overpower the delicate flavor of the crab. Furthermore, the fine bubbles will cleanse the palate after the egg and the cream. Since Franciacorta is produced in small quantities, a Brut Sparkling wine will substitute nicely if you can’t find one.

A sweet ending calls for Moscato d’Asti. Slightly less fizzy than Prosecco, Moscato d’Asti is called Frizzante instead of Spumante. This lower pressure means that it is closed with a standard cork instead of a wired down one, like in most sparkling or Spumante wines. Moscato d’Asti is also lower in alcohol because the fermentation is stopped sooner so the wine can retain its traditional sweetness. Stuffed Mascarpone French Toast Soldiers with Warm Blackberry Syrup is a decadent pairing with Moscato d’Asti. The filling between the bread is Italy’s Mascarpone cheese, which is generally less tangy than American cream cheese. To me, it tastes like super-thick, unsweetened whipped cream.

So, go on. Pair Up!

Maria Terry is a Certified Sommelier and Wine Educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. www.LaSommelierre.com

 

Smoked Salmon Crostini with Dilled Cream Cheese 

INGREDIENTS

1 French baguette, sliced into long ovals (about 16)

Olive oil and kosher salt

4 ounces smoked salmon

2 tsp. non-pareil capers

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

DIRECTIONS

In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, fresh dill, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.

Drizzle olive oil on bread slices and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 275° for 15 minutes. Cool.

Top each crostini with cream cheese mixture, a thin slice of salmon and 3-4 capers. 

Yield: 4 servings

 

Crab Cake Benedetti 

INGREDIENTS

For the crab cake:

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning,

1 tsp. lemon juice, divided

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 cups buttery cracker crumbs, divided

1 lb. fresh crabmeat

For the lemon basil cream sauce:

2 tablespoons salted butter

8 fluid ounces heavy whipping cream

Juice of 1 lemon

1 chicken bouillon cube

4-6 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, pressed 

4 eggs, poached

8” x 4” focaccia bread, cut in half and then horizontally making (4) flat squares, toasted.

 

DIRECTIONS

Crab Cakes:

Preheat oven to 425°. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil, then spray with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Combine remaining 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, egg, Worcestershire sauce, and 1 cup cracker crumbs in large bowl. Gently stir in crabmeat; shape into 4 patties.

Evenly coat patties with remaining 1/2 cup cracker crumbs. Arrange on prepared baking sheet. Bake, turning once, 16 minutes or until golden brown and thoroughly cooked.

Lemon Basil Butter Sauce:

In a saucepan, heat butter over medium temperature until melted. With a whisk, gently stir in heavy whipping cream and bring to a low boil. Continue to stir and slowly add lemon juice until blended, then add chicken bouillon, basil, and pressed garlic stirring until bouillon is dissolved and sauce reaches desired consistency.

Assemble:

Place a slab of focaccia on each plate and top with crab cake and then poached egg. Drizzle with sauce.

Yield: 4 servings

 

Mascarpone French Toast Soldiers with Warm Blackberry Syrup

INGREDIENTS

1 large egg

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided

1 1/2 cups cold mascarpone cheese

2 tablespoons blackberry liqueur

8 thick (1/2 to 3/4 in.) slices of day-old white bread

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 1/2 cups blackberries

2 tablespoons butter 

DIRECTIONS

Whisk egg, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla together in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, stir together mascarpone, remaining 1 tsp. vanilla and the liqueur. Spread mascarpone mixture over 4 bread slices; top with remaining slices. Remove crusts and cut in thirds making long rectangles (soldiers). 

Cook maple syrup and berries in a small covered saucepan until berries start to break down, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Heat a large heavy frying pan; swirl butter in pan. Dip soldiers in egg mixture, then cook, turning to brown on each side until crisp, 4 to 8 minutes total. Serve soldiers with ramekins of syrup to drizzle or dip.

Yield: 4 servings



May 2015 Italian Brunch Pair Up sunday brunch


  • JENNY KERR BAND

    07/28/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “Country Rock, Blues and Soul” Jenny Kerr - vocals/ guitar/ banjo/ harmonica/ piano Philbilli...


  • Model Train sHOw & Open HOuse @ WCMRS

    07/28/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Join us this coming Friday night for our "Last Friday Night of the Month" train show/open house. ...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    07/30/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • THE SUNDAY PAPER

    07/30/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    "Bay Area Funk" With former and current members of Tower Of Power, Cold Blood, Sly & The Famil...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    07/31/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    08/01/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    08/02/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Volunteer Gardening

    08/02/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    It takes a lot of effort to maintain six acres of lush garden space, and as a small, nonprofit or...


  • Ninth Annual Mascot Day at Jelly Belly

    08/02/2017
    11:00AM — 03:00PM

    Visit your favorite mascots at the ninth Annual Mascot Day at the Jelly Belly Visitor Center. Mr....


  • Community Garden Swap Meet

    08/02/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Have an excess harvest of yummy and pretty things from your home garden? Bring fruits, vegetables...


  • Plant Spotlight Classes

    08/02/2017
    12:30PM — 01:00PM

    Bring a sketchbook or notebook to The Gardens at Heather Farm as we spotlight one special plant i...


  • Party Under the Palms

    08/02/2017
    05:30PM — 08:00PM

    Unwind under the palm trees at Jack London Square with the coolest craft cocktails as CUESA and t...


  • Habit is the first complete personalized nutrition solution, helping you eat right for your own u...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    08/03/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • JENNY KERR BAND

    07/28/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “Country Rock, Blues and Soul” Jenny Kerr - vocals/ guitar/ banjo/ harmonica/ piano Philbilli...


  • Model Train sHOw & Open HOuse @ WCMRS

    07/28/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Join us this coming Friday night for our "Last Friday Night of the Month" train show/open house. ...


  • Muir Orthopaedic Specialists annual event provides pre-participation evaluation and optional base...


  • Artist in Residence Open Studio

    07/29/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Bringing inspiring Bay Area artistic talent to the six acres of lush, natural landscapes at The G...


  • Eat Stay Love Lafayette Food Tour

    07/29/2017
    11:00AM — 01:00PM

    Green Hills. Great Schools. Good-tasting Eats. Our Eat – Stay – Love Lafayette food tour is a tw...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    07/29/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • You are invited to a Party with a Purpose benefiting Monument Crisis Center and Contra Costa Inte...


  • SHARK ALLEY HOBOS + JACKSON & THE IMMORTALS

    07/29/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    SHARK ALLEY HOBOS Che Prasad (guitar, banjo, uke, sitar, accordion, vocals) John Howard (guit...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    07/30/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • THE SUNDAY PAPER

    07/30/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    "Bay Area Funk" With former and current members of Tower Of Power, Cold Blood, Sly & The Famil...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    07/31/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    08/01/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    08/02/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Volunteer Gardening

    08/02/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    It takes a lot of effort to maintain six acres of lush garden space, and as a small, nonprofit or...


  • Ninth Annual Mascot Day at Jelly Belly

    08/02/2017
    11:00AM — 03:00PM

    Visit your favorite mascots at the ninth Annual Mascot Day at the Jelly Belly Visitor Center. Mr....


  • Community Garden Swap Meet

    08/02/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Have an excess harvest of yummy and pretty things from your home garden? Bring fruits, vegetables...


  • Plant Spotlight Classes

    08/02/2017
    12:30PM — 01:00PM

    Bring a sketchbook or notebook to The Gardens at Heather Farm as we spotlight one special plant i...


  • Party Under the Palms

    08/02/2017
    05:30PM — 08:00PM

    Unwind under the palm trees at Jack London Square with the coolest craft cocktails as CUESA and t...


  • Habit is the first complete personalized nutrition solution, helping you eat right for your own u...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    08/03/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Ballfield #2, Heather Farm Park 301 N. San Carlos Drive Bring your family and enjoy this FREE...


  • Summer Contra Costa Crystal Fair

    08/05/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    The fantastically marvelous Crystal Fair is coming to Walnut Creek on August 5-6. It will be a sp...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    08/05/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • Cute Critter Live Draw

    08/05/2017
    03:00PM — 05:00PM

    Join the Bedford Gallery for their Cute Critters Live Draw and art auction from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. ...


  • Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center

    08/05/2017
    05:00PM — 07:00PM

    Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center, presented by the Diablo Regional Arts Association, will ret...


  • The Electric Band: David Laflamme - violin/ vocals Linda Laflamme - vocals Val Fuentes - dru...


  • Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center

    08/05/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center, presented by the Diablo Regional Arts Association, will ret...


  • Summer Contra Costa Crystal Fair

    08/06/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    The fantastically marvelous Crystal Fair is coming to Walnut Creek on August 5-6. It will be a sp...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    08/06/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • Free First Tuesdays at Bedford Gallery

    08/08/2017
    12:00PM — 05:00PM

    Free admission first Tuesday of the month (when open) Sweet n Low features artwork from over 1...


  • Volunteer Gardening

    08/09/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    It takes a lot of effort to maintain six acres of lush garden space, and as a small, nonprofit or...


  • Community Garden Swap Meet

    08/09/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Have an excess harvest of yummy and pretty things from your home garden? Bring fruits, vegetables...


  • BANJOJAZZ featuring HOWARD ALDEN

    08/09/2017
    07:30PM — 09:30PM

    Jack Convery - banjo Howard Alden - banjo/ guitar Dave Marty - banjo Gary Newman - piano Bob ...


  • The Danny Green Trio

    08/10/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    A rising force on the jazz scene, Southern California pianist and composer Green has distinguishe...


  • Happy Hour & A Half

    08/11/2017
    04:30PM — 06:00PM

    Live music No cover charge Beverage discount Doors open 4:00


  • DEREK IRVING & HIS COMBO

    08/11/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “Retro Rock 'n Roll & Rockabilly” Derek Irving - guitar/ vocals Vance Ehlers - upright bass ...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    08/12/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center

    08/12/2017
    05:00PM — 07:00PM

    Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center, presented by the Diablo Regional Arts Association, will ret...


  • THE LADY BIANCA SHOW

    08/12/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “Blues and Soul” Bianca's Annual Birthday Party at Armando's! 2015 International Blues Chal...


  • Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center

    08/12/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center, presented by the Diablo Regional Arts Association, will ret...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    08/13/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • SOULFUL SECURITY

    08/15/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    "Classic Rhythm & Blues and Soul" Glenn Walters - vocals/ drums Jeff Tamelier - guitar Tony ...


  • Volunteer Gardening

    08/16/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    It takes a lot of effort to maintain six acres of lush garden space, and as a small, nonprofit or...


  • Community Garden Swap Meet

    08/16/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Have an excess harvest of yummy and pretty things from your home garden? Bring fruits, vegetables...


  • Happy Hour & A Half

    08/18/2017
    04:30PM — 06:00PM

    Live music No cover charge Beverage discount Doors open 4:00


  • THE JESSE BREWSTER BAND

    08/18/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    "Alt-Country, Folk Rock" Jesse Brewster - guitar/ vocals Dave Sampson - guitar Ryan Low - dr...


 

 

 

 

July 2017

 

Oasis Veterinary Pet Adoption Connection

 

Loading Family Features Content Widget
Loading Family Features Article

 

Interested in advertising or becoming a community sponsor? Contact us at 925-335-6397 or email us at info@ourcommunityfocus.com