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Monday, July 15, 2013

Celebration Brunch

This Father's Day I invited our oldest son and his family for a celebration brunch. We had two fathers, two birthday's, one college graduation, one new job, and an upcoming wedding to celebrate.  I decided to make it a more elegant affair, so I pulled out my china, silver, and crystal to make the table look special. That is always a lot of work, but well worth the effort! I wanted to cook something out of the ordinary to make the occasion even more memorable. This is what I served:

Crostini with Blue Cheese, Mushrooms & Prosciutto
Black Peppercorn Pate' with Crackers
Fresh Figs with Honey, Blue Cheese, Basil and Prosciutto
Phyllo Cups with Brie and Preserves
Deviled Eggs with Goat Cheese, Cornichons and Prosciutto

Fresh Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Ginger Dressing

Country Ham Creamed Grits with Asparagus, Seared Scallops and Hollandaise Sauce
Baked Parmesan Tomatoes

Lindy's New York Cheesecake

Summer Fruit Sangria
Orange Juice
Bloody Marys

It was quite a meal, and got rave reviews.  I am going to post most of the recipes on my blog, and wanted to start with the main course.

Country Ham Creamed Grits with Asparagus, Seared Scallops and Hollandaise Sauce

Grits Ingredients:
1 C grits
2 1/2 C chicken stock
1 tsp. salt
2 TBS butter
1 1/2 C heavy cream
1/4# country ham, chopped and lightly sauteed
Grits Instructions:
Bring stock to a boil in heavy saucepan.  SLOWLY add grits, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat to low and continue to stir to keep grits from sticking.  Cook grits about 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until stock is absorbed, and grits are tender.  Stir in cream and ham, cook about 10 more minutes while stirring.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Keep warm until ready to serve.
Asparagus Instructions:
Wash asparagus and cut off tough ends.  Place on baking sheet, Salt and pepper to taste, drizzle lightly with olive oil.  Bake at 400* for about 15 minutes, or till fork tender.  Keep warm.
Blender Hollandiase Sauce Ingredients: (From The New Orleans Cookbook)

1 stick butter
3 large egg yolks
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
Scant 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
Sauce Instructions:
Melt butter in small saucepan.  Combine rest of ingredients in blender.  Cover blender, and pulse to mix the ingredients lightly.  Remove center section of blender lid, turn on high speed, and gradually pour in hot, melted butter in a steady stream.  Cover again and switch the blender on for 60 seconds, off for 30.  Repeat cycle until sauce thickens.  You can put this sauce in a jar, and keep warm in a pot of hot water...do not put on burner...jus replace hot water to keep sauce warm.  I have never had this sauce break, and have made it since the 1970's.
Seared Scallops Ingredients: 
1- 1 1/2# dry sea scallops (12 scallops)
2 tsp. butter
2 tsp. olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
Seared Scallops Instructions:
Remove side muscle, rinse in cold water and thoroughly pat dry; salt and pepper to taste. Put oil and butter in heavy saute' pan over high heat.  When fat begins to smoke, carefully add scallops to keep fat from splattering. Keep scallops from touching, do not crowd pan.  Sear about 2-3 minutes on each side.  They should have a golden crust, and translucent in the center.

Place grits on serving plate, then asparagus, Hollandiase sauce, and scallops on top..Serve immediately

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