By Cheramie Sonnier
Advocate Food editor
August 29, 2012
Cooking teacher and cookbook author Betty Rosbottom grew up in the South in a house where her parents entertained friends often. A popular way to entertain was with a late-morning brunch, which she says is an “inexpensive yet special way to socialize.”
Whether you’re thinking of hosting a morning gathering for lots of guests or a small get-together with close friends, Rosbottom says brunch offers plenty of possibilities for creative, flexible fare.
She offers an eclectic collection of her favorite brunch recipes in her latest cookbook, “Sunday Brunch: Simple, Delicious Recipes for Leisurely Mornings” (Chronicle Books, $19.95, paperback). The 120-page cookbook, illustrated with many full-color photographs by Susie Cushner, provides tips and guidelines for cooking eggs, pancakes, waffles and quick breads.
Each recipe includes estimated prep time, start-to-finish time, and says if it can be made ahead. Many of them include cooking tips, market notes, and suggestions for variations, but none have nutritional breakdowns.
Recipes are divided into seven categories: eggs; all-in-one dishes cooked in the oven; griddle fare; breads, such as scones, muffins and popovers; fruits; breakfast sides such as bacon and potatoes; and drinks. Among them are Grape Tomato and Blue Cheese Tart; Orange Whole-Wheat Waffles With Yogurt and Fresh Berries; Bacon With a Brown Sugar-Mustard Glaze; Heavenly Little Crab Cakes; and Cranberry-Pecan Scones.
Rosbottom also includes a brunch planner, which offers menu ideas for a dozen get-togethers from Christmas morning to a brunch with a healthful angle. This cookbook is a good choice for the person who enjoys entertaining and is looking for creative and appealing, yet simple-to-prepare dishes.
Cheramie Sonnier is The Advocate’s Food editor. Her email address is email@example.com.
Fresh Citrus Spritzers
Makes 1 quart; serves 4 to 6. Recipe is from “Sunday Brunch: Simple, Delicious Recipes for Leisurely Mornings” by Betty Rosbottom (Chronicle Books).
4 to 5 navel oranges, plus thin orange slices for garnish
2 to 3 lemons
2⁄3 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups Perrier or other sparkling water, chilled
1. With a swivel peeler, remove the peel (avoiding the white pith beneath the skin) from 2 of the oranges and 2 of the lemons. Place the peels, water, and sugar in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Boil gently until the syrup is infused with the orange and lemon flavors, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the syrup steep for 5 minutes. Transfer the syrup and the peels to a bowl and refrigerate until just cooled, about 10 minutes.
2. Halve the fruits and juice them, to yield 1 cup fresh orange juice and 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice. (Both the syrup and the juices can be prepared 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate.)
3. When ready to serve, strain the sugar syrup over a small bowl, pressing on the peels to extract as much liquid as possible. Combine the strained syrup, juices and Perrier in a pitcher, and stir to mix.
4. Pour into wine glasses filled with ice. Garnish each glass with an orange slice and serve.
Cooking tip: You can add dry white wine to these spritzers for a more spirited drink. Use 1 part spritzer to 1 part white wine. Pinot Grigio is a particularly good choice.