Birthday Brunch

November 27, 2010

November has been a month of birthdays.  I have so many fantastic people in my life – richness of friendship, beauty in the hearts of those who walk this road alongside me. It is in the kitchen that I find the most satisfaction in translating love into something tangible. So for my dear Amber’s birthday, I made a celebratory brunch.

Menu

Homemade Spicy Bloody Marys with Tito’s Vodka

Topo Chico Mineral Water

Zucchini, Ricotta, Jalapeno Fritters with Smoked Salmon and Creme Fraiche

Roasted Yellow Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic

Arugula and Orange Salad with Roasted Fennel

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

David Lebovitz‘s Fresh Ginger Cake with Whipped Cream

Elemental Coffee

Zucchini, Ricotta, Jalapeno Fritters

4 cup self-raising (self-rising) flour, sifted
8 eggs
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/3 cup (2 1/2 fluid ounces) milk
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
3 zucchini, grated
1 jalapeno
Vegetable oil for shallow frying 

Place the flour eggs, butter, milk, salt and pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Fold through the ricotta, basil, ham and zucchini. Place two tablespoon of the oil in a small frying pan [I used a light coating of olive oil spray] and heat over medium heat. Add half of the mixture to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes each side or until bubbles appear on the surface. Set aside.

Add another two tablespoons of the oil and repeat with the remaining batter.  Serves [at least] 8.


Fresh Ginger Cake

by David Lebovitz

Ingredients
4 ounces fresh ginger
1 cup mild molasses
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil, preferably peanut
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup water
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs, at room temperature 

Position the oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9 by 3-inch round cake pan or a 9 1/2 inch springform pan with a circle of parchment paper.

Peel, slice, and chop the ginger very fine with a knife (or use a grater). Mix together the molasses, sugar, and oil. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper.

Bring the water to the boil in a saucepan, stir in the baking soda, and then mix the hot water into the molasses mixture. Stir in the ginger.

Gradually whisk the dry ingredients into the batter. Add the eggs, and continue mixing until everything is thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 1 hour, until the top of the cake springs back lightly when pressed or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If the top of the cake browns too quickly before the cake is done, drape a piece of foil over it and continue baking.

Cool the cake for at least 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Remove the cake from the pan and peel off the parchment paper.

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