Manly Food – Girly Presentation. Father’s Day Brunch was both!

Breakfast/Brunch / June 16, 2014


My Dad is a huge fan of my cooking. Suffice it to say he IS MY groupie when it comes to what I put on a plate. Certain I should be hanging among the culinary superstars, there is a perpetual insistence I have my own show, my own food line, and my own restaurant.

Maybe someday, but for right now, “bless his heart!” (And isn’t that how you should be viewed by your Dad?)

To let him know how much I appreciate his fabulous, if not somewhat biased view of me, I invited him over for a Father’s Day Brunch that featured all the manly, rich, buttery, and meaty food he loves so much. But — with a girly twist so I could have a little fun, too.

At the starting line are the eggs. MAN VERSION: Lots of buttery scrambled eggs and cheese, with onions. GIRL VERSION: A light Frittata featuring peppers, scallions, squash, chevre cheese and fresh rosemary and thyme. Maybe even dotted with fresh raspberries?

Next is the bread. MAN VERSION: A hot, flaky southern biscuit that is barely recognizable under the butter that is slathered upon it, and is eaten is seconds. GIRL VERSION: Bite sized, garlic and Parmesan biscuits to dip into the maple syrup…more on that later. (BTW, all I did was add a handful of fresh grated parmesan and some pureed roasted garlic to the Bisquick Recipe for biscuits on the box and then a little extra milk.)

Finally, the meat!!! MAN VERSION: Anything from the pig! And then give me something gooey to dip it all in like a great, sugary syrup. GIRL VERSION: Hot Sausage Mini Medallions finished with a Thai sweet chili syrup.

Finally we have to have something with oranges. I mean, who doesn’t start their Sunday breakfast with oranges?  MAN VERSION: Squeeeeze those oranges and let me gulp it. GIRL VERSION: Delicate and composed into a piece of art with a chocolate graham crust beneath a thick, sweet Valencia orange pudding that is topped with a decadent cocoa cream mousse.

Okay, and the resulting opinions are —– 

MAN VERSIO….ooops. It’s already gone. Please excuse yourself after you burp.

GIRL VERSION: Ah, the juxtaposition of flavors and textures! Sharp and tangy, creamy and crunchy, colorful and artistic! Oh my how the goat cheese pairs wonderfully with the sweet onions, raspberries and syrup. The vegetables are brought to life by the rosemary and the thyme and the sausages floating in that hot, sweet syrup are the bomb! Uuuurrrp. — Ooops. Guess I liked it too.

Pepper, Scallion and Chèvre Frittata

With Hot Sausage Medallions, Raspberries and Thai Chili Maple Syrup

Serve 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30


1 package Jimmy Dean Hot Sausage
1/3 C maple syrup
1/3 C Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
T fresh chopped thyme
2 t fresh chopped rosemary needles
6 eggs
¼ C heavy cream
One quarter of a yellow, red and green pepper, julienned
into 3 inch stalks
2 large scallions, julienned into 3 inch stalks and reserve
the very ends for garnish if desired
1 small yellow squash, cut the same way as the other
vegetables (In total, you’ll have about 2 C veggies)
4 oz fresh chèvre. (Goat cheese in the package, not the
feta chunks.)
1 carton fresh raspberries
1 t salt, ½ t pepper or more to taste
3 – 4 T olive oil


  • Prep vegetables, whisk eggs and cream and set aside. Then take the sausage and roll into small, 1 inch diameter balls. I used only about ¾ of the package and it made 16 small ones, but you may want more. Cook them until almost done. Remove from pan and drain. Wipe most of the oil out of the pan, but not all of the fun meat bits. Then add the chili sauce and the maple syrup and then put the sausage back in. Turn heat to low, and cover. When it starts to bubble, it is ready. Set aside/keep warm and reheat if needed when plating.
  • Preheat a 9 inch, oven safe saucepan, and add the olive oil. Add the veggies and the onions and sauté on medium high until transparent with a bit of browning. But don’t cook them to soft. Add S and P and right before adding eggs, fold in herbs. Then add the eggs and turn the heat down to medium low. In about a minute or two, the bottom will be set and you will see a tiny bit of set egg around the edges. Don’t blend or scrape. Take off the heat and dot with chunks of the chèvre cheese. Place in a preheated 400 degree oven and cook until the center is done and it’s a bit brown on the edges.
  • To plate, place a wedge of frittata on the plate, add a few of the sausage medallions and then drizzle with the chili syrup, the raspberries and fresh herbs.

Valencia Orange Pudding Over Chocolate Graham Crust and Cocoa Cream Mousse

This dessert has the distinct taste of those fun Orange Stix. Remember? It was the orange gumdrop filling and dipped in the chocolate? But this is so grown up and has a more sophisticated flavor profile! You could add a tiny bit of Grand Marnier to the liquid after you take it off the heat but be careful not to thin it too much.

Serve 6
Prep time: 25-30 minutes (Then cool for 20 minutes or overnight)
Cook time: 10


1 ½ C white sugar
2 ½ t cornstarch
1 ¼ C water
½ C less 1 T fresh squeezed Valencia orange juice or other sweet orange
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 t salt (plus more at end for zing!)
3 egg yolks blended
Zest from one whole orange
3 T butter


6 whole regular graham crackers, ground coarsely (I put them in a zip lock bag and crush with rolling pin)
1 T honey
¼ C white sugar
½ t vanilla
Heaping T of unsweetened cocoa powder
3 – 4 T of melted butter to bend


1 C heavy cream
1 t vanilla
3 heaping T powdered sugar
1 heaping T unsweetened cocoa powder


  • Blend all crust ingredients. Press mixture evenly in 6 ramekins. Press down with the bottom of a ¼ C measuring cup so that there’s a recession in the crust and parts of it stick up a bit around the inside of the dish.
  • In a medium saucepan. Add the sugar, cornstarch, and water. Whisk constantly on high heat until boiling and then stir while boiling for 1 minute. Take off heat. Take a few spoonfuls and add to the eggs and whisk quickly. Then a few more spoonfuls until you’ve added about ½ C of the hot liquid to the eggs and tempered them. DO NOT add hot liquid all at once or dump the eggs into the hot liquid. They will lump and cook all at once. YUK! Once you’ve tempered the eggs, then pour the eggs in a thin stream back into the pan liquid, whisking briskly the whole time. Return to the high heat and then boil for another minute. Remove from heat, add the juice, zest, butter and whisk, and a bit more of the salt until the super-sweetness is balanced. I added a little less than a ½ tsp salt to make it right. Let it cool for about 20 minutes. Then pour into the ramekins. I had a bit leftover. It was more about making the dessert look right than using it all, and its fun to have some leftover to dig your spoon into while you finish the rest of your meal. Right? Then you can let sit until cool, or cover and put in the fridge overnight. Although I think serving them slightly warm is the BEST way.
  • For the topping, whip the cream to thick, but not stiff. Add the vanilla, cocoa, sugar and whip until stiff peaks. Place in a baggie, snip off the bottom, and pipe onto the dessert. Serve with lengths of orange zest and a small chocolate wafer cookie of your choice!

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