Sunday, June 17, 2012

New Last Week: Sunday Brunch by Betty Rosbottom

A special Father’s Day begins with breakfast. Though, of course, so many special days do. The fact is, though, you don't need a special occasion at all to enjoy Betty Rosbottom’s truly terrific Sunday Brunch (Chronicle Books), perhaps the best breakfast book I’ve enjoyed out of a sea of them.

In addition to the standard scones, popovers and pancakes, Rosbottom wins by filling her book to the brim with great new takes on really satisfying standards.

The breakfast on the cover of the book is as good a place to start as any. Though it’s visually arresting -- not to mention delicious-looking -- the food represented here is surprisingly simple. Pan-Fried Eggs and Mixed Mushroom Sauté on Toasted Sourdough Slices. That's the name of the dish, but that’s also what it is: perfectly fried eggs on a big bed of mushrooms and some toast. What could be simpler than that? Yet Rosbottom’s elegant touches elevates the dish to something you could happily serve at your best brunch.

For those who like things rich but can do without the sweet, I was simply blown away by the Parmesan Flans with Parmesan Crisps. Essentially savory puddings, flavored with garlic and rosemary, an elegant touch for a brunch where you're wanting to impress without actually taking the time you’d like to in order to do it. The flans can be mixed and even poured in advance, then bake them off while you calmly greet your guests.

And though this is meant to be -- and is -- a book about brunch, there are several recipes here that would work for lunches and dinners when you’re trying to impress. For instance, The Grape Tomato and Blue Cheese Tart would be lovely with a nice salad at lunch-time, or even dinner. However, if you do that, make sure you make a lot of it: this one is easy and delectable.

Eggs benedict, pancakes, waffles plus various hashes, omelets and coffee cakes, Sunday Brunch is a very good book. It collects all of your favorite morning flavors and recreates them in a way that is both understandable and modern. ◊

Aaron Blanton is a contributing editor to January Magazine. He’s currently working on a book based on his experiences as an American living abroad.

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Blogger Betty Rosbottom said...

Hello Aaron,
Thank you so much for your wonderful review of my new book, Sunday Brunch. I was so thrilled with your enthusiastic response. BTW I love those eggs and wild mushrooms on grilled sourdough, and also those simple Parmesan flans. Hope you'll continue to cook from this collection whenever you need a brunch dish. Best, Betty Rosbottom

Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 6:55:00 AM PDT  

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