“Food for Thought” Cookbook book club – Brunch at Bobby’s Cookbook
For the cookbook club’s first meeting of 2016, we cooked from Brunch at Bobby’s cookbook by Bobby Flay. Cookbook club is no stranger to Bobby Flay’s recipes – in fact, we cooked from his Boy Meets Grill cookbook in 2014.
As the title indicates, this cookbook features 140 recipes for Bobby’s favorite meal of the week – brunch. I find brunch to be a treat as well. It’s an easy meal to be laid back, enjoy a cocktail and splurge on indulgent entrees and other treats not normally eaten during the week’s meals.
Terri hosted this cookbook club dinner. To kick off the New Year, we invited our husbands to join us for this gathering – and some helped with onsite cooking, typical with certain brunch items that need to be made fresh.
This cookbook gets the brunch party started with simple and exciting drinks – both spiked and virgin, iced and hot coffees and teas. So we felt it appropriate for our brunch meal to begin in the same fashion. Sharon made an Earl Grey Spritzer. It was delicious simple syrup saturated with the tea and poured over crisp champagne.
Val made Sangria Sunrise. It consisted of a blend of fruits – pineapple, orange, and blackberries – with the fruity red wine bleeding down into the orange base.
The drinks were appealing both visually and to the taste!
Terri chose to divide the brunch meal into three sections – starters, entrees and sides and a sweet ending. To kick off the starters, Val made tropical fruit salad with ginger syrup. It was a refreshing combination of tropical fruits – a far cry from your typical fruit salad.
Sharon made pumpkin-cranberry scones. The combination of pumpkin and ginger, peppered with the dried cranberries made for the moistest scones I may have ever eaten. They were a treat that I treasured the next morning as well.
Sharon also made our savory starter dish – Fig jam, ham and cheese Panini. The blend of sweet (from the jam), salty (from the prosciutto), peppery (from the arugula) and creamy (from the cheese) is an amazing combination for the grilled sandwich and one that I’ll need to make again!
The main course featured a decadent take on the brunch classic eggs benedict and ratcheted it up several notches. Terri made crab cakes benedict with Old Bay hollandaise on Johnnycakes. It’s a rather involved recipe because it consists of four elements that come together to create this multi-layered dish.
And Terri cooked the dish to each person’s likings to accommodate for any seafood and egg allergies.
Accompanying the benedict were three sides. Terri made rosemary home fries with pancetta, Parmesan and parsley. The potatoes were wonderfully crispy and flavored with a salty (from the pancetta) and peppery (from the red pepper flakes) combination.
Pat made the other two dishes to complete our entrée portion. For our breakfast meat, she made the maple-mustard-glazed Canadian bacon. Another wonderful blend of flavors that elevates the dish.
Pat also made the tomato strata. While this recipe is listed under the “savory side dishes” section of the cookbook, it could serve as a side or as a brunch entrée. The baked dish is bursting with tomato flavor. It would be a great dish to make when the local tomatoes are available.
Concluding our cookbook club’s brunch was a sweet ending. I stepped aside in cooking for this meal and my husband took over the chef’s apron. Mike made double chocolate pancakes with salted caramel sauce. He spotted the recipe right after the cookbook arrived and was dying to try it.
For anyone who thinks chocolate-chip pancakes are a decadent treat, this raises breakfast pancakes to a whole other level. Surprisingly the pancakes were not overly sweet or heavy. The addition of the caramel sauce, raspberries and dusting of confectioner’s sugar put this dish into the dessert category in my opinion.
In total, ten dishes were made from the Brunch at Bobby’s cookbook. Everyone in the group had a difficult time deciding what to make because there are so many delicious recipes packed into this cookbook. I will definitely be trying out several more – maybe even for those Easter and Mother’s Day brunch celebrations forthcoming!
Have you ever hosted a brunch gathering?
What’s your favorite brunch recipe/ dish?
Disclaimer: While the cookbook book club was provided with copies of Brunch at Bobby’s cookbook, the opinions and views expressed above are my own and describe my personal experience.