For those weekends when you just can’t be bothered to go out for a big brunch affair, try these simple yet delicious bites and beverages at home. Whether you have guests to impress or plan on brunching in bed, these easy-to-follow recipes will turn any Saturday or Sunday into something extra-special.
Mediterranean Stuffed Mushrooms
•18 small white mushrooms, cleaned
•150 grams light cream cheese (room temperature)
•2 tablespoons ready-made pesto
•½ cup semi-sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
•½ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
•Salt and pepper
•¼ cup breadcrumbs
•¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
•Parsley to garnish
•Preheat oven to 200°C.
•Gently pull stems out of mushrooms. If the top of the stem breaks off, dig it out with a teaspoon. Discard about a third
of the stems; finely chop the remainder.
•Thoroughly combine chopped stems with cream cheese, pesto, tomatoes, pine nuts, salt and pepper.
•Place grated Parmesan and breadcrumbs in a small bowl.
•Spoon cheese mixture into mushroom caps and dip into breadcrumbs to coat the top of each mushroom.
•Drizzle a little olive oil on each mushroom.
•Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the mushrooms are fairly tender and the bread crumbs are golden.
•Garnish with parsley leaf, and serve hot.
This recipe is courtesy of Expat Kitchen.
Caitlin’s Bloody Mary
American expat Caitlin McNeal makes a mean Bloody Mary. Here’s her recipe, plus some fun ways to garnish a bloody good beverage.
‘I love brunch with a good Bloody Mary, but have had a hard time finding good ones here in Singapore. Since I started making these a few years ago, my friends always request them when they’re over for a weekend brunch. The recipe was inspired by Barefoot Contessa star, Ina Garten.’
•3 large celery stalks from the heart, including leaves
•1 litre tomato juice
•2 tablespoons prepared horseradish (not creamed!); you can usually find this at Cold Storage supermarkets
•¼ yellow onion, chopped
•1 lemon, juiced
•½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
•½ teaspoon celery salt
•¼ teaspoon kosher salt
•12 dashes hot sauce, or to taste (I recommend Tabasco)
•1½ cups of vodka
Use one, none or any combination you fancy.
•Large, poached shrimp
•Salted rim (run a lemon around the top of the glass, fill a plate with a mix of celery and kosher salt and slowly turn the top of the glass on the plate)
1.Pour half the tomato juice into a high-powered blender, add celery and onion, and blend until smooth.
2.Add the rest of the tomato juice and remaining ingredients (except the vodka) and blend again.
3.Pour the contents of the blender into a large pitcher; add the vodka, mix and chill.
4.Serve in tall glasses over ice with garnishes of your choice, and enjoy!
Austrian expat Nadine Gasser shares her favourite recipe for The Hugo, a delightfully refreshing drink that’s become quite popular, particularly in Austria and Germany – and a tasty accompaniment to your next brunch.
‘I love this cocktail because it’s light and refreshing, and something different than your average Aperol spritz or mojito. Elderflower is big in Austria, so for me, it’s a little taste of home.’
•100ml prosecco or champagne
•150ml sparkling water
•1 to 2 teaspoons of elderflower syrup (available at IKEA)
•Juice of 2 limes
•1 lime, sliced
1.Crush or muddle 4 mint leaves in a champagne or large wine glass.
2.Add elderflower syrup to taste – just 1 teaspoon if you don’t want it too sweet.
3.Pour in the lime juice, the prosecco or champagne and the sparkling water, and stir well with a cocktail spoon.
4.Add more mint leaves, lime slices and ice as desired.
5.Serve with a straw. Prosit!
This story first appeared in Expat Living Singapore’s April 2015 issue.