Wednesday, August 17, 2011

UnRecipe: Happy Brunch-Day to You

I don't know who invented the concept of brunch. It was likely some restauranteur who had a fondness for late Saturday nights and equally late Sunday morning breakfasts to cradle the hungover masses with copious amounts of greasy protein. Or maybe it was someone who just likes breakfast for every meal. I'm gonna have to go with option B.

Stick a candle in this mofo and make a brunchy birthday wish! - Photo by Wasabi Prime

I'm all for any meal that justifies cake (or coffee cake) as a main course and allows for alcoholic beverages before noon without judge-y stares. It's also a nice way to celebrate someone's birthday. A while back we had a little brunch gathering at the house. It's tricky to get people together, lives are busy and a lot of our friends have young children or new babies, so the days of late-night wine-ing and dining aren't necessarily over, just a little harder to put on the books. So instead of evening gatherings, we do the dine and wine in the morning, under the socially acceptible umbrella of brunch. Mimosas for my homies!

Another nice thing about brunch is it widens the margin for what to serve. Sure, there's the typical eggs n' bacon offerings, but I've done chicken and waffle brunches, and gone the Hawaiian route to locomoco-it with eggs, rice, hamburger and gravy. There's nothing that's off limits, and when in doubt, the old adage of throwing a fried egg on something will convince crowds it's breakfast-acceptible. Brunch is like a bright, wide, delicious future waiting to happen. And so I made pulled pork BBQ over corn fritters for a birthday brunch gathering. And yes, I Put a Bird's Egg on It. Twice. With the lid off.
Pulled pork with pancakes - the only reason to wake up early in the morning - Photos by Wasabi Prime

If you've been following the blog, you of course realize I was inspired by the BBQ pork pancakes from Hogshack in Richmond, BC. It wasn't convenient for me to drive several hours north and leave the USA, so I just paid them homage by this brunch and recommended friends to check them out the next time they're visiting the Great North. As for the birthday cake, it was a coffee cake baked from the Grand Central Bakery cookbook, probably one of my favorite collection of recipes that will totally rock your socks off. I recommend folks picking up this book. I would have included the recipe for the pulled pork and corn cakes, but everything was sort of modified, just due to some dietary needs of guests. I'm trying to learn how to cook with less sugar and salt, finding different ways of seasoning food and just being more conscious of ingredients that have any kind of pre-preparation, which often has a lot of hidden sodium for preservation purposes. I know it sounds really restrictive, keeping salt, sugar and carbohydrates in check, but I do think it's a good exercise to think about food and seasonings as wholly as possible. It doesn't stop  me from enjoying salty, sugary goods now and then, but this meal was a good way to think simply, but not feel like anyone was missing out. That's a good way to ensure many more birthdays and brunches to come.

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