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Brunch is one of the weekend's best assets, but people often think they must rely on the same old recipes, or else eat out, to enjoy it. Pastry chef and restaurateur Gand (Short and Sweet Dessert Deck) shows that plenty of brunch dishes, many of them even better than what is served at restaurants, are within reach. Gand, writing with Matheson (coauthor of Wine Mondays) starts with an enticing assortment of drinks (e.g., white hot chocolate and a three-alarm Bloody Mary), then a chapter on brunch's eggy foundations-omelets, stratas, frittatas, quiches and crêpes, each with appetizing variations-that will please any brunch crowd. In subsequent chapters, Gand hits the sweet and savory high points, from pancakes and doughnuts to onion tarts and cheddar grits. She amps up classics like French toast by using sliced almonds and ciabatta bread and transforms others, so that a bacon-scallion scone, for instance, comes out light and flavorful rather than resembling the usual floury hockey puck. She also mixes things up with less common items such as pretzels, pot stickers and a lemony wheat berry salad. Accessible instructions, basic preparation tips and make-ahead hints ensure that both beginners and those who think cooking brunch is too bothersome will find this volume to be inspiring. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.