Easter morning sunrise. All that beautiful snow … caused our flight to Mexico to be canceled last Wednesday. So, what better way to celebrate than to head out to church early (7:30 AM service!) and then make a fabulous champagne brunch?
I wanted to start with something “fancy” so I made a lobster, mango, avocado salad with citrus vinaigrette. No recipe, just throw things together and serve on arugula. Such an indulgent brunch called for something a little healthy — steamed asparagus drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice, sprinkled with lemon zest and sea salt. No recipe, just wing it. Ina Garten’s recipes are fool-proof — her spinach and cheddar soufflé was diva-licious. Follow her recipe to the letter and it’s a snap to make Ina’s Soufflé.
Ina’s spinach and cheddar cheese soufflé
Mimi’s lobster salad
Don’t forget the champagne … Deutz Brut Classic — one of my favorites!
Follow the diva for some of the dishes in this post — I published these because I think they are the most complicated. The others, not so much. It’s all in the timing.
Ready and waiting for the feast to begin …
… Mimi’s seat — closest to the kitchen …
…her husband’s seat at the other end of the table …
…in between …
…awaits the guests.
I stick to the tried and true for Thanksgiving. The same meal year after year and the only complaint I’ve ever gotten was that there wasn’t enough sweet potato soufflé. I took care of that this year and made 2 large and 1 individual sized soufflés for our gluten-free / dairy free guest.
Willie Bird Turkey (22 lb)
Sausage, Chestnut and Fennel Stuffing (on website)
Sweet Potato Soufflé (on website)
Green Beans Almondine
Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie (on website)
Kermit Lynch Côtes du Rhône 2011
L Tramier & Fils Roncier
The star of the show!!!
I love preparing this meal and could go on forever talking about it. I’ll only share a few thoughts. I followed Tom Colicchio’s advice and rubbed the turkey with olive oil rather than butter. (I was concerned that using butter would be a problem for our lactose intolerant guest.) I will NEVER use butter again on the turkey — it roasted to perfection. I owe the stuffing recipe to my sister who as a child was insistent that we get more creative and added chestnuts and sausage to my mother’s recipe. Many years later I decided to throw in fennel too. Finally, after much trial and error, I struck the right balance of filling to pecans in the bourbon chocolate pecan pie.
Kermit Lynch Côtes du Rhône 2011: I love this wine. I experience a slightly spicy and cedar aroma and then a currant, cherry and anise flavor. For me this complements all of the components of the Thanksgiving dinner perfectly.
L. Tramier & Fils Roncier: Honestly, I bought this wine because it was so affordable. Boy was I pleasantly surprised — another perfect complement to a meal that has such a variety of sweet, savory and salty. I experienced a fairly intense aroma and then a gentle frutiness — cherries again — in the flavor. It really went well with the meal, even the dessert.