This past Sunday we hosted a brunch at our place for the remaining 153rd. Their numbers are slowly but surely dwindling. It was a brisk but sunny afternoon, perfect for a big boozy get-together. Snakes put out an invitation on the yahoo-group to his coworkers and a group of around 30 showed.
I had been formulating a menu for weeks, delighted by all of the fall veggies lining the sidewalks down the block at Eastern Market. Once I had a reasonable grasp of how many to expect, I finalized my dishes: two Spanish-style tortillas (one with and one without meat), garlic roasted broccoli tossed with lemon and parmesan, maple roasted butternut with sage and pancetta. Since both of the veggies were so simply prepared (chop, toss, roast, toss, serve), they were a welcome addition to the table. And because no meal is complete without a sweet treat: lemon shortbread cookies (which I found arranged prettily on top of the fridge after everyone had left- an oversight? ah.. methinks not) and date spice bread with orange cream cheese.
As you may recall from our last 153rd gathering, these people are exceedingly generous. There was a beautiful assortment of pastries, spice cakes, a cranberry walnut tart, boozy poached apples with marscapone, a light and refreshing cucumber salad, panzanella, an egg and sausage jalapeno dish, warm cider spiked with jameson, a bloody mary bar…. and the list goes on!
One of my brunch stand-ins is this Spanish tortilla. It’s easy to prepare, fun to modify, perfect at room temp and delicious as left-overs. I usually just keep it simple with shredded zucchini and potatoes but decided to fancy one up a smidge with a little chicken sausage and roasted red pepper. The original recipe is archived here, I initially found it back when we still had our monthly subscription to Gourmet Magazine. (sniffle… really Conde Nast? Have you no mercy? no good sense? Admit to your poor judgement and bring it back already!!) The only modifications I made were to cook sausage separately and add to the egg mixture at the final stage of combining everything. Don’t be intimidated by slipping it out of the pan to flip it either. If you have a decent non-stick skillet, it’s a breeze.
Thanks to all who made it out to join in the pure pleasure of a lazy Sunday afternoon brunching with friends.