Sunday Brunch on a lazy sunny afternoon with great friends- one of my favorite things to do! And who’s cooking but my foodie friend Shirley. Bless her foodie heart; she prepared all weekend for this wonderful birthday brunch, and it was much more than any of us had expected. For starters, she was serving my favorite cocktail Campari grapefruit. The best cocktail to cure a hangover!
When I entered her apartment, I immediately honed in to that distinct lovely smell of bacon. She prepared the bacon with brown sugar, and black and cayenne pepper. Mmmm, sweet and spicy fried bacon. That really hits the spot for a hangover.
Chef de Cuisine Shirley was making fresh lemon and ricotta cheese pancakes for us on the griddle. They were so incredibly delicious and went really well with the bacon. The tartness of the lemon and even mellowness of the ricotta cheese was heavenly, and I couldn’t stop eating them. We ate them with fresh whipped cream and succulent juicy berries.
Meanwhile, sous chef Nol was appointed the task of deep frying the spicy chicken. Mmmm, now we’re talking! I love the quiet popping and cracking sounds of meat patiently cooking in bubbling oil. The chicken was very tender, moist and juicy, and the skin was fried to a perfect crisp.
A light and tasty avocado and grapefruit salad to balance out the hearty meat dishes…
My favorite dish of the day was the mac and cheese soufflé. It came fresh out of the oven, warm, airy, soft and cheesy. She used Tillamook extra sharp cheddar, large shell pasta and canned green chilis. I loved the light and fluffy texture of the soufflé in this hearty dish. Oh, she spoils me!
What a wonderful spread. You can tell she spent a lot of time devising the menu and preparing it down to every detail. It was a beautiful brunch and everything was just delicious.
As if all of this wonderful home made food wasn’t enough, she continued to amaze and wow us with 2 excellent desserts. I absolutely loved the crystalline texture and sharp coffee kick of her espresso granita. She took the frozen mixture out of the freezer and started scraping it into coarse crisp shavings. It was a delightful palate cleanser before the dessert finale.
The festivities climaxed when she brought out the beautiful chocolate cheesecake. The colors, the even sheen, the perfectly circular cake. It was like an art piece in a gallery, almost too perfect to cut and eat. But of course, we indulged.
The cheesecake was very rich, creamy, dark and sweet. It was a powerful and sexy dessert, just like the chef who made it.
By this time our stomachs were full and we were happily dozing off on the couch in a deep deep food coma. Sundays should always be like this. Thank you Shirley!
Random trivia: Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas, the petite Korean American competitive eater previously featured in the random trivia section of my blog, holds the world record for cheesecake. She ate 11 pounds of cheesecake in 9 minutes. She is still single.