Weekend brunches make a habit of being my favorite meal of the week. The combination of comfort brunch food (usually involving that win-win combination of robust sweet and savory dishes) and the delicious lounging and lingering into the early, even late afternoon, I just love it. I think of the three-hour brunch that breezes by as one of those moments that C.S. Lewis refers to in The Screwtape Letters, when Screwtape talks about the innocuous forms of entertainment that humans enjoy (i.e., intimate family gatherings, appreciation of music) and which divert their attention from less wholesome pursuits.
Anyway, my love of the weekend brunch, an urge to break my cooking slump, and the imperative of catching up with some lady friends, induced me to draw up such a meal on Saturday. The menu: potato and andouille sausage hash and a spinach, fennel, and orange salad. And some homemade sourdough croutons, which me lady friends really liked 🙂
For the hash I crisped up some pancetta then cooked the potatoes, onions, portobello mushrooms, and sausage in the rendered fat. Lots of love and freshly ground black pepper. Cracked some eggs on top and finished it under the broiler, garnished with fresh parsley and the pancetta bits. Lots of flavorful ingredients made my work easy, though I almost burned the house down for this one (kitchen towel caught on fire).
Spinach, fennel, and orange salad, with a simple vinaigrette of olive oil, freshly squeezed orange juice, red wine vinegar, and mustard.
I was trying to recreate the shaved fennel, mixed greens, and mandarin orange salad that I always get from the Harvard Market. This one could have used some oomph but I am not quite sure what the missing ingredient was, so I will have to work on that. But thanks O and C, for giving me the best of excuses to break out the skillet! It felt good to be in front of the stove again.