Tag Archives: brunch

Stuffing Frittata

This is a repost of my favorite “Thanksgiving Leftover” recipe. This stuffing frittata is SO easy to make for a post-holiday breakfast or brunch.

LEFTOVERS! Stuffing Frittata, MyLastBite

Ingredients 

Cooking spray
2 cups leftover stuffing
1 cup of diced leftover turkey
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
8 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon ground fresh nutmeg
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Stuffing Frittata by MyLastBite.com
Directions
Preheat oven to 400
Coat an ovenproof nonstick skillet with cooking spray.
Place over medium heat (on stovetop).
Mix stuffing and turkey in a bowl, then put mixture in the bottom of pan to warm through.
Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese over top.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, 1 tablespoon of parsley (save the rest for later), red pepper flakes, and nutmeg. Add salt and pepper to taste… it depends on how much seasoning was used in the stuffing.

Pour egg mixture over stuffing and cheese to cover stuffing. Sprinkle Parmesan over top.

Carefully transfer to preheated oven.

Bake until the eggs are set and the sides have puffed up a little bit and cheese is golden, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Cool before cutting.

Sprinkle with remaining fresh parsley.

Remember: This isn’t just for “Thanksgiving Leftovers”. I’ve made it with good old Stovetop stuffing on a lovely Spring day. It’s fun, easy and super tasty!

Stuffing Frittata by MyLastBite.com

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Lunch at Petrossian

Petrossian restaurant is as elegant or casual as you want it to be. Sure, there’s the Kaluga caviar tasting that can set you back a few hundred of your hard-earned bucks. A pasta hand-pressed with caviar powder is so luxurious you may want to share it with a friend (it’s worth it). But there are also plenty of reasonably priced items, like the Dungeness Crab Sweet Corn Soup or Asparagus with Foie Gras Ravioli,  that cost under $20.

Recently, Chef Giselle Wellman cooked up some new dishes for myself and writer Julie Wolfson to try (gratis) on a warm, spring afternoon. Contrary to what most folks think, I don’t accept too many comped meals (my waistline can’t take it!), and always note when I do.

With so many new restaurants constantly opening in L.A., I don’t always make time to visit favorites like Petrossian. In years past, Peter and I shared multiple meals with friends and family (which we paid for in full). It was wonderful to be back and taste some classics, as well as Chef Wellman’s new creations.

Egg Royale at Petrossian
Egg Royale: Soft Scrambled Egg, Vodka Whipped Cream, Caviar $14

Caviar Salad, Petrossian
Caviar Salad: Butter Lettuce, Shaved Egg, Shallots, Chives, Parsley, Lemon, Dill, Crème Fraîche $22

Dungeness Crab Sweet Corn Soup at Petrossian
Dungeness Crab Sweet Corn Soup: Fennel, Cherry Tomato, Serrano Chili, Avocado, Lime $16

Dungeness Crab Sweet Corn Soup at Petrossian
After the pour…

Asparagus with Foie Gras Ravioli, Petrossian
Asparagus with Foie Gras Ravioli: Black Summer Truffles, Little Gem Lettuce, Truffle Jus Vinaigrette, Foie Gras Ravioli $16

Summer Berry Gazpacho
Summer Berry Gazpacho: Armagnac Poached Foie Gras, Pickled Beets $22

Summer Berry Gazpacho
Think Borscht!

Caviar Pasta at Petrossian
Caviar Pasta: House-made pasta with caviar powder, Crème Fraîche, Chive $45

It was such a pleasure finally meeting Chef Wellman. Read all about the her here: “Talk With Giselle Wellman” at Food Replubic

About:  Petrossian is a casually elegant destination for lunch, dinner, happy hour, and weekend brunch featuring a selection of French-inspired California cuisine artfully prepared by Executive Chef Giselle Wellman. A boutique area adjacent to the dining room offers guests a way to continue the experience at home and is an ideal shopping destination for host or hostess gifts and customized epicurean gift baskets including tastes of Caviar, Smoked Salmon, Foie Gras, and Handmade Chocolates. More info on website

Petrossian
321 N Robertson Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90048
(310) 271-0576

Dining date: 5/17/12

Follow Chef Giselle Wellman on Twitter

Follow Petrossian West Hollywood on Twitter

All my Petrossian photos on Flickr

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The Flirtini Incident

The last time Peter and I hosted Easter brunch at our house, it was sort of a disaster.

We invited my sister Janet, Peter’s sister Susan and both their families for a late Sunday brunch. I spent a few days getting the back garden perfectly decorated with new flowers, and set up a long dining room table outside with my great aunt’s hand-painted china. I even got out my Scottish (clan Maxwell) grandmother’s antique linen napkins and gently ironed each piece, which wasn’t so easy to do because of the hand-embroidered “M” sticking up on the corners.

It was a gorgeous Easter Sunday and our backyard looked like a page out of House & Garden magazine, especially with the flea-market chandelier hanging above the table. Peter secured the heavy fixture to a large branch on our oak tree, even though we didn’t need the light of course. The glass made the garden so pretty, twinkling in the sun through the leaves.

I always like having a “signature” cocktail when I entertain for a large group (even for brunch!). It makes it easier for the hostess (so I don’t have to set up a full bar) and it makes it fun for the guests, especially if the drink is something new.

A few weeks before the disastrous Easter, I was watching the Sex in the City episode where Samantha befriends the transvestites in her new apartment building. Throughout most of the episode she and the “ladies” were arguing over late-night noise outside her bedroom window and Samantha couldn’t get any sleep. After an ongoing catfight with the “guys”, including throwing water on them from her apartment window, she finally decided it would be better just to make nice, and hosted a roof-top barbecue for the whole gang. The episode ended with Samantha raising a glass, toasting Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and her new “girl friends” with a cocktail called, “Flirtini”.

Samantha’s Flirtini Recipe:
2 oz. Vodka
1/2 oz. Apricot Liquor or Triple Sec
1/2 oz. Pineapple Juice
Splash of Champagne, garnish with a strawberry

I thought it would be so fabulous to serve Flirtinis for Easter lunch. They sounded so “fresh and fruity, like springtime”! It was about noon when our guests arrived and the grown-ups started drinking the first of several pitchers. I had never gotten a buzz so fast before (I’m sure it was the vodka mixed with champagne), and by the time we sat down to eat, we were all stinking DRUNK.

What type of food did I serve for our beautiful Easter brunch? I can’t remember (or maybe I don’t want to remember). I had a hangover by late evening and spent the next two days cleaning and packing up the antique dishes. All that effort setting up the garden, gathering our family together, and the memory of the day is just a painful blur.

I haven’t had a Flirtini since, and only remembered it when I suggested to Peter that we should host Easter at our house this year. But he had a much better idea: How about we treat our family to Easter brunch at the Bazaar?

*Brunch at the Bazaar by José Andrés [visit 10]

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Huevos a la Cubana “Andy Garcia” (12 Tiny Eggs Sunny Side Up), $12. One of the three new brunch items on the menu at the Bazaar by José Andrés. I know this LOOKS like a lot of yolk, but these were small quail eggs. Lightly crispy underneath with a savory tomato sauce on top.

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Eggs Benedict “New Way”, Iberico Ham, $18. So beautiful that I couldn’t stop turning the plate and taking photos! The piece of ham was CRISPY and crackled when I bit into it, and the foam tasted like butter. I’ll never be able to have Eggs Benedict anywhere else again.

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Savory Spanish Torrijas: Iberico Ham, Egg 63 (egg was poached at  63ºF.) and Idiazabal Cheese, $18. This was my favorite new brunch item. It was very similar to french toast under the ham… but so much better of course!

Along with the new brunch items, we shared dishes (that I’ve had several times before) from both the regular Traditional and Modern menus including:

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Tuna Ceviche and Avocado Roll, $12. My sister Janet’s favorite.

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Crab Meat Steamed Buns with Pickled Japanese Cucumbers, $18. Three per order (about two bites per little sandwich), never enough!

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Croquetas de Pollo (Chicken and Bechamel Fritters), $8 This is ALWAYS a favorite at the table. Perfect bites (like large tater tots) of little “chicken pot pies”.

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Bloody Mary: Freshly made tomato juice with a celery-wasabi foam, $16. Definitely could have been a meal in itself! I loved the wasabi foam on top.

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
In front: Tableside “Nitro” Blood Orange Screwdriver: Frozen liquid nitrogen blood orange and vodka, $20. House-made Lemonade (freshly squeezed lemon juice, rosemary syrup), $6. Bloody Mary (back, left).

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Felix Meana making the “Nitro” Blood Orange Screwdriver: Frozen liquid nitrogen blood orange and vodka. I love when the liquid nitrogen cart comes rolling up to the table. This screwdriver was velvety smooth and strong! We all loved it.

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Clockwise from top left: Jade (partial), my nephew Cody, Peter’s niece, Chanel.
Top Right: My niece Kindal and Cody’s girlfriend Jade.
Bottom Right: Peter’s sister Susan and her boyfriend, Jerry.
Bottom Left: Chanel, Peter and Miles (Peter’s nephew).

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Clockwise from top left: Miles and my friend, Laur.
Top Right: Susan, Jerry, my sister, Janet and nephew, Chace.
Bottom Right: Jo (me!) and Peter.
Bottom Left: Cody and Chanel.

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Clockwise from top left: Miles digging into dessert, Chace gets comfy on the Blanco couch. With the twins, Chace and Kindal.

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Peter holding court in the Blanca room! The Rojo room was closed for the restaurant’s first official brunch.

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.com
Chef Marcel Vigneron invited the twins (my sister’s kids, Chace and Kindal) back to see the kitchen. They are both fans of “Top Chef” and have been cooking since they were really little, so this was heaven! Thanks Chef!

Dishes we also shared, that I’ve had on previous visits:

Sweet Potato Chips with Yogurt Tamarind Dip, $10

Philly Cheesesteak Air Bread, $8

‘Pa amb’ tomaquet (bread with tomato in Catalan)

Foie Gras and Quince on mini Brioche Bun, $15

Nitro Coconut Floating Island Dessert, $10

We also shared a pitcher of Sangria Rojo, $42. (no photo)

The Bazaar by José Andrés, SLS Hotel
465 South La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 9004
(310) 246-5555
Dining date: 4/12/09

Bazaar Brunch, MyLastBite.comAn extra treat for me was meeting Chef Katsuya Fukushima (in photo, at right). I had seen him on an episode of “Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie” and was wowed by his knowledge of “modern” cuisine. Chef Fukushima works closely with José Andrés at MiniBar in Washington D.C.

A very special THANK YOU to Bazaar Manager, Felix Meana (also in photo) for taking such good care of us. You made the day extra special.

Thanks also to William and Audra for organizing our large (table of twelve) reservation!!

All my Bazaar photos on Flickr

Mentioned above:

Sex in the City: Episode 48

Top Chef

The twins cooking

House & Garden

“The Flirtini Incident” originally published April 15, 2009

The Bazaar no longer serves brunch.

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Filed under Eating Out, Food Stories (written by me), Molecular Cooking

Rum Cake

I rarely make desserts. I don’t bake cookies over the holidays or even like sweets all that much. Every few years I’ll make a tasty bread pudding with whiskey cream, using the last of the Glenmorangie Scotch I’ll have brought back from Scotland (while visiting my family). I know I can buy Glenmorangie here in the U.S., but there’s something about my dad tucking it in my overstuffed suitcase, the night before I’m heading home, that makes it more special.

There is one little cake that I do make each and every year, and that would be the classic Bacardi Rum Cake (I KNOW, more alcohol!). My sister and I loved when our grandma would make it for the holidays, because it was so “grown-up” tasting with the aromatic Bacardi glaze. 

I’ve always called my version “Spring Rum Cake” because I top it with powdered sugar and pretty edible flowers. My husband Peter loves when I surprise him with it every year, and instead of dessert he likes it in the morning with coffee.

This Sunday is Easter and I’ll be making it over the weekend for sure. Luckily for me, my good friend Afaf recently gave me a gorgeous bottle of Depaz Blue Cane Rum, so I’ll use that instead of the classic Bacardi. The recipe is super easy and always a crowd pleaser.

Rum Cake for Easter, MyLastBite.com

Rum Cake Ingredients:
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 18 ½ oz pkg butter cake mix
1 pkg Vanilla Pudding 
4 eggs
½ cup cold water
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup of your favorite dark Rum

Glaze Ingredients:
1 stick of butter
¼ cup of water
1 cup sugar
½ cup dark Rum

Topping:
1 Package of Edible Flowers
Powder Sugar

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Nonstick spray bundt pan
Sprinkle nuts over bottom of pan
Mix all cake ingredients together
Mix on high for one minute.
Poor batter over nuts.
Bake 1 hour

Meanwhile make Glaze:
Melt butter in saucepan.
Stir in water and sugar.
Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Off the heat, carefully stir in the rum. 

After removing cake from oven, cool in pan then invert onto a serving plate.

Using a toothpick or fork, prick holes on top for glaze.

Next, drizzle glaze over top of cake. Go slowly so the glaze sinks in the cake.

Add powdered sugar and arrange fresh flowers on top.

Mentioned above:

My dad in Scotland

Glenmorangie Scotch

My sister

Afaf

Peter

Depaz Rum

Bacardi Rum

Note: The lovely “Sunflower” cake pan I use can be purchased on Amazon

Rum Cake on Foodista

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Gjelina

I was in no rush to dine at Gjelina (pronounced “jelina”) when it opened last summer, adding it to my lengthy list of “places to eat”.

To be honest, I just didn’t care about ANOTHER pizzeria opening, so I pretty much just forgot about it. Then I read Patrick Kuh’s review in Los Angeles Magazine (Feb 2009 issue).

Gruyere Arugula Pizza, MyLastBite.comKuh wrote:
The cooking of Travis Lett is the main draw… only 30 years old, he has developed a remarkably sustained culinary style…

That sparked my interest a little because I love supporting our local up-and-coming chefs.

Then I read: 
Back when he was starting out, Lett had an epiphany while eating a meal at Mario Batali’s breakout restaurant, Babbo, shortly after it opened in Greenwich Village. “It wasn’t one thing they did. It was how they did everything,” he recalls of the food’s exacting forthrightness.

With Mario Batali, MyLastBite.comOne of my best dining experiences ever was at BABBO restaurant in New York. Peter and I had dinner there in October 2005, and we still talk about the amazing Bucatini all’Amatriciana. To this day, we’ve never tasted a better pasta dish and Mario Batali is a culinary king in our home. I’ve learned so much about Italian cooking AND culture from his old series, “Molto Mario” and it’s a shame he doesn’t “teach” on television anymore. If Gjelina’s chef was pulling inspiration from BABBO and Batali, then it could only mean good things for the restaurant.

Patrick Kuh ended his review with the following:
Certain restaurant openings are cautious, some careless, and some overproduced. Then there are those that sing. Gjelina is one of them. It has the snap of originality, a little strut. It knows it’s good. It captures a neighborhood.

At this point I opened my “places to eat” list and moved Gjelina up near the top. When our friends Kevin and Tamara (both oenophiles) wanted to meet for brunch in Venice recently, of course it had to be at Gjelina. They brought along a gorgeous bottle of Williams Selyem 2005 Chardonnay, which was a refreshing and crisp companion to our delicious brunch of pizzas, salads and sides.

Niman Ranch Bacon, MyLastBite.com
Niman Ranch Bacon $5. Is there any better way to start off a brunch?

Spinach Salad, MyLastBite.com
Heirloom Spinach Salad with Tomato, Olive, Feta, Pinenuts and Croutons $9. This was devoured within minutes of hitting our table. The large crouton pieces were a terrific crunch mixed with the super fresh vegetables. 

Guanciale Pizza, MyLastBite.com
Guanciale Pizza with Crushed Olive, Fresno Chili, Buffalo Mozzarella & Rosemary, $15
I LOVE guanciale, it’s my favorite type of bacon (the pig’s jowel) which is extra fatty. Notice how THIN the pizza crust is in the upper left of the photo. All the flavors were baked into (and almost through) the crust. I love thin-crust pizza so this wafer-thin heater was my kind of pie (or maybe I should say “cracker bread”!).

Chickpeas & Truffle Potatoes, MyLastBite.com
Two more sides we enjoyed:
Chickpea Stew with Greens, Cous Cous, Spiced Yogurt and Harissa, $12. It was more like a belly-warming soup than a stew and I found myself craving it when I had a cold last week.
Crispy Fingerling Potatoes with Truffle Oil, Herbs and Parmesan, $5. Perfectly crispy on the outside with just a hint of truffle oil.

Gruyere Arugula Pizza, MyLastBite.com
Gruyere, Arugula Pizza topped with Caramelized Onion, Fromage Blanc Pizza and Sunny Eggs, $18. This pizza came after the Guanicale, and we all decided that this one was our favorite. Again, the toppings were almost baked through the thin crust and the runny eggs on top added a creamy-like richness.

View from our table, MyLastBite.com
In the relaxing, sunny back patio area, the view from my seat.

Butterscotch Pot de Creme, MyLastBite.com
Butterscotch pot de creme. Very similar to Mozza’s Butterscotch Budino, (except you don’t get the rosemary cookie here). Gjelina’s version was rich enough that we were happy sharing one together.

Blackberry Crisp, MyLastBite.com
Blackberry and Cornmeal Crisp. I only had one bite (too full!) but my husband said he loved the tartness and crunch.

Beautiful Fixture & Wall, MyLastBite.com
I loved the decor, especially the chocolate brown wall, with what looked like “tooled leather” engravings. The light fixtures were also fun and funky throughout.

Gjelina, MyLastBite.com
From top left: Lighting above bar, Back patio, Vintage glass, Wine bottle chandelier.

I can’t wait to go back!

The L.A. Times writes: Though they’re only a small part of the menu, the pizzas at Gjelina in Venice keep getting better. Six months in, chef-owner Travis Lett has his pizza mojo down. His pies have a graceful aesthetic, beautiful to look at, even better to eat, and farmers market all the way. Like the seductive vegetable dishes here from the wood-burning oven, the eight pizzas on offer shift with the seasons. A pie blanketed in Fontina cheese and bitter greens accented with bacon lardons or one that melds Taleggio cheese with dusky wild mushrooms and pea shoots may give way to a pizza topped with sweet porky guanciale, crushed olives and bufala mozzarella. The crust is very thin, very crisp. Pizza is such a popular item, though, you may have to wait for yours: The oven is only big enough to cook four pies at a time.  Full Article Here

Gjelina
1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 450-1429
(no website as of this writing) 
Dining Date: 3/7/09 

Mentioned Above:

LA Magazine Gjelina Review by Patrick Kuh

BABBO

Mario Batali

Molto Mario

Williams Selyem Chardonnay

Niman Ranch

Gjelina on Urbanspoon

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Leftovers – Stuffing Frittata

This is my favorite “Thanksgiving Leftover” recipe and I also use it when it’s not the day after turkey day! An easy-to-do frittata for breakfast or brunch.

Stuffing Frittata by MyLastBite.com

Stuffing Frittata

–Ingredients 
Cooking spray
2 cups leftover stuffing 
1 cup of diced leftover turkey
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
8 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon ground fresh nutmeg
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan 
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
–Directions
Preheat oven to 400
Coat an ovenproof nonstick skillet with cooking spray.
Place over medium heat (on stovetop).
Mix stuffing and turkey in a bowl, then put mixture in the bottom of pan to warm through.
Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese over top.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, 1 tablespoon of parsley (save the rest for later), red pepper flakes, and nutmeg. Add salt and pepper to taste… it depends on how much seasoning was used in the stuffing.

Pour egg mixture over stuffing and cheese to cover stuffing. Sprinkle Parmesan over top.

Carefully transfer to preheated oven.

Bake until the eggs are set and the sides have puffed up a little bit and cheese is golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. 

Cool before cutting.

Sprinkle with remaining fresh parsley.

Remember: This isn’t just for “Thanksgiving Leftovers”. I’ve made it with good old Stovetop stuffing on a lovely Spring day. It’s fun, easy and super tasty!

Stuffing Frittata by MyLastBite.com

Stuffing Frittata by MyLastBite.com

Stuffing Frittata on Foodista

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Wanton Eggs (eggs baked in wonton squares)

Here’s a terrific little egg dish I tried out last weekend.

On Sunday evening I was with my 12 year old niece, Kindal, and her two best girlfriends at the Jonas Brothers concert. It was great fun and I loved feeling like a teeny bopper again. Although I have to say… the next morning I felt like I had a wicked hangover and NO I did not drink at the show. My ears and brain were just totally wasted from enduring FOUR straight hours of 7,000 screaming tweens (plus a few of us screaming boomers)!

For breakfast I wanted to make something easy and comforting… but I also wanted it to be a little bit special because it’s always a treat to have Kindal stay over. I grabbed my “recipes to try” binder and decided on the “Eggs in a Basket”. Luckily I had wonton wrappers in the fridge so it was a snap. My version was made with eggs, shredded Vermont cheddar cheese, a little cayenne (to make them wanton), salt & pepper.

"Wanton" Eggs, MyLastBite.com
"Wanton" Eggs, MyLastBite.com
Breakfast in the garden: Joya, Ilana and Kindal

Eggs in a Basket Recipe by Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh

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