Sunday, August 23, 2015
23 August 2015 – Brunch Edition
Welcome to the Brunch Edition of Bill's Sunday Suppers!
Last week was very busy but also a lot of fun. Mayor Hobgood was out of town and had to miss his first City Council meeting in seven and a half years, so I had an opportunity to act as Mayor Pro Tem at Thursday's meeting. The meeting went well, and we got a lot accomplished in just under 45 minutes, including passage of the 2016 fiscal budget that represented a slight tax decrease.
Saturday began as usual with a trip to the Canton Farmers Market and a stop for coffee and bagels at Cup-Up. I also made it out to Cherokee Market to pick up some additional produce and farm eggs since there were none left at the market. The rest of the day was spent cleaning and prepping for today's special brunch guests. After cleaning and then baking some cheese wafers, we cleaned up and went over to Soleil to celebrate the birthdays of some friends, Frank and Micki Farley. They, along with two others, threw a big party in the clubhouse, and of course it was a lot of fun. Whenever there is a party at Soleil, I know it's going to be a great time. Afterward, we dropped by Downtown Kitchen to wish another dear friend, Jennifer Dunn, bon voyage on the eve of her two week European adventure.
So this brings me to Sunday, and today was all about brunch with three of my best girlfriends from Berry College; Kelly MCCafferty Christofferson, Wendy Grace Williams and Mary Clare Flaherty Phillips. Kelly was visiting Atlanta from Chicago for her high school reunion, so the girls decided they wanted to do brunch. Much to my delight, Kelly wanted to see Canton, so I offered to cook brunch. Wendy is a great cook also, and she brought a delicious Grits and Greens casserole. Mary Clare picked up some decadent jumbo cupcakes from Alpine Bakery, and Jeff whipped up some refreshing mimosas. For brunch, I made Southern cheese wafers, brown sugar and cracked pepper bacon, baby lettuces with strawberries, feta and smoked almonds, salt and pepper cream biscuits and Anne Quatrano's Frittata with Fresh Herbs. We had tried Anne's frittata at the Southern Betty Brunch in March during the Charleston Wine and Food Festival, and it was as nice as I remembered. I figured if it was good enough for the Food and Wine Festival, it would be good enough for my own Southern Berry Bettys.
We brunched on the Side Porch at One Britt and caught up with each other. Wendy brought an album of college photos from our Berry days, and it was a lot of fun reliving those awesome memories – eighties hairstyles and all. Of course, four hours had passed before we knew it, and we had to say our goodbyes. Hopefully, we will all get together again soon, along with the rest of our old gang. Brunch with these beautiful ladies and sharing "many memories of the silver and the blue" was a perfect ending to a busy week. Brunch was exceptional, and I ate a lot of food. Most of all, my heart is full, and I am very thankful to have such wonderful memories from college and lifelong friends that never
seem to age.
L to R: Kelly, Mary Clare, Billy, Wendy
- Southern Cheese Wafers
- Bacon with Brown Sugar and Cracked Pepper
- Frittata with Fresh Herbs
- Baby Lettuces with Strawberries, Feta and Smoked Almonds
- Miss Wendy's Grits and Greens Casserole
- Salt and Pepper Cream Biscuits
The Recipe – Frittata with Ricotta and Fresh Herbs (adapted from Anne Quatrano)
1 tablespoon chopped chives
4 garlic cloves, halved
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
8 large farm eggs, beaten
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
3 slices of white bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small saucepan, simmer the garlic in the olive oil over medium low heat until soft and golden, around 7 minutes; discard the garlic. Toss the diced bread with 1 tablespoon of garlic oil in a pie pan, and bake for 6 minutes, or until crisp. Leave the oven on.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the Parmesan, cream, chives and tarragon; season with salt and pepper. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the garlic oil.
In a 10-inch nonstick, ovenproof skillet, heat the remaining garlic oil until shimmering. Whisk the eggs again, then add to the skillet and cook without stirring for 1 minute, until just set around the edge. Using a rubber spatula, lift the edge and tilt the pan so the uncooked egg runs underneath. Continue until the eggs are mostly set, about 3 minutes. Spoon the ricotta in small dollops over the frittata; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the croutons. Bake for 4 minutes, until fluffy and set. Slide onto a large plate, cut into wedges and serve immediately.