Friday, November 25, 2011

Post-Thanksgiving Brunch

For the last five years, I've been having brunch the day after Thanksgiving with three of my college roommates who come home to the Connecticut/Rhode Island area to do Turkey Day with their families. Some people camp out at Best Buy or fight the crowds in Target, but I love knowing that every year I'll get to see my dear friends and catch up over some good food.  We eat at different local restaurants every year but since my house is relatively central for my friends and since some of them haven't seen it yet, I invited them to come here instead of going out.

I know that turkey sandwiches are relatively standard post-Thanksgiving fare, but I wanted to think outside the box...and let's not forget, I don't eat turkey.   I decided to start with baked brie and serve a spinach & apple salad and a garlicky leek pesto.

First, I started with the brie...

one round brie
jam of your choice (I used raspberry, but I've also used black cherry and it was amazing)
dough (I used Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, but puff pastry would also work)
crackers for serving

Unroll the dough and place the brie down on it.  Spread the jam on top of the brie...

and wrap it all up.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until it looks nice and golden and crispy.  Serve with crackers.


Once the brie was ready to go, I started on the salad:

granny smith apples
dried cranberries
oil & vinegar & salt & pepper for dressing

This one was simple - mix all together in a bowl and serve:

All that was left was the pesto and it was pretty quick. I adapted the recipe (barely!) from Mark Bittman.  I just took out the bacon (sorry).  Start with chopped leeks and garlic...

and cook them down in olive oil...

Blend with parsley, an egg, and salt & pepper...

...and serve over hot pasta.  Yum!

This was also an opportunity for me to fool my friends into thinking I'm a fancy adult by using cloth napkins and placemats:

Voila!  A lovely (and not too heavy) brunch on Black Friday.  Whether you're cooking, sleeping, shopping or seeing friends today, stay homey and stay hungry!

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