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This elegant Brunch menu is a delightful way to start the New Year. Veuve Cliquot Champagne with mango nectar starts the celebration...assuming you didn't drink it all on New Year's Eve!  In these unstable economic times, if Champagne is not in your budget, you can find excellent tasting sparkling wines to have such as Italian Prosecco, Spanish Cava as well as many California producers of sparking wines.

Crostini with sautéed mushrooms is a delicious accompaniment to the Champagne. A tasty Spanish Tortilla with chorizo, thinly sliced potatoes and a sprinkling of smoked paprika is a perfect brunch dish.  If you've not tried smoked paprika as yet, it will amaze your taste buds!  It is now available in most larger supermarkets and specialty food stores.  The sweet smoked paprika is mostly used in Spanish cooking but there is also a hot smoked paprika for certain dishes and for those who like the kick!

The salad is a taste of wintery greens and is very refreshing with the bitterness of the greens and the sweetness and tropical sensation of fresh mango. I'm buying mango in the supermarket which is coming from Brazil and other countries during our winter months.  You can serve the salad after the main dish or as a side dish. 

For dessert, to make things easy, I buy an assortment of cookies from the many wonderful bake shops and bake goods departments in almost every specialty food shop in NYC. I've recently discovered the most delicious chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies made by Tate's - sold at Whole Foods Markets stores and through their website as well as at other special food stores.  Be forewarned, the cookies are addictive!

New Year's Day Brunch 2012

Recipes yield six servings

Champagne with Mango Nectar
Crostini with Mushrooms
Spanish Tortilla with Chorizo & Potato
Endive, Radicchio and Mango Salad

Assorted Cookies


Chill two standard 750 ml bottles of your favorite Champagne to 45 to 48 degrees F. in a bucket with ice and water for 30 minutes before serving. Mango nectar can be found in the produce section of most large supermarkets.  Pour about one ounce of nectar into the Champagne glasses and fill with chilled Champagne.




Crostini with Mushrooms

18 ½-inch thick slices of Italian or French Bread  
  Extra Virgin Olive oil for brushing on bread  
2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved  
1 ½ lbs. Assorted fresh mushrooms (cremini, chanterelle, oyster, portabello, etc. or use regular button mushrooms if other varieties are not available)  
4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil  
3 Tablespoons Italian parsley (flat leaf) minced  
  Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat up the broiler unit in your oven. Place bread slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet and broil until lightly browned on each side. Don't leave the kitchen while broiling the bread as it browns very quickly and can easily burn. Remove pan from oven and brush each slice lightly with olive oil. Rub the cut side of the garlic halves over each bread slice. Reserve.

2. Thinly slice mushrooms; heat the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet until it shimmers and add the mushrooms. Sauté over medium-high heat until mushrooms have released their juices and are slightly browned, approximately 10 - 15 minutes. Stir in minced parsley, salt and pepper.

3. Spoon an even amount of mushrooms on the toasted bread slices and arrange crostini on a serving platter and garnish with additional flat leaf parsley sprigs.



Spanish Tortilla with Potato & Chorizo

2 baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
¾ cup Extra Virgin olive oil
12 large eggs, beaten with ½ teaspoon each salt & pepper in a large mixing bowl
4 oz. Goya chorizo, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika  (pimenton) click here to purchase from
2 Tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Heat the oil in a large (14-inch non-stick)  fry pan, and over medium heat, lightly fry the sliced potatoes and onion until slightly softened. Potato slices should remain separate and not stuck together. Remove potato/onion mixture from the oil and add them to the bowl with the beaten eggs.

In the same fry pan, lightly sauté the chorizo slices for 2 or 3 minutes.  Remove chorizo and add to the egg/potato/onion mixture.

Turn on oven broiler to heat up.

Remove all but 3 tablespoons of the oil in the fry pan.  Add the egg/potato/onion/chorizo mixture to the pan and spread out the potato and chorizo slices evenly.  Using a heat-proof spatula, run it along the outside edges of the tortilla to be sure it is not sticking to the pan and also to allow some of the uncooked egg to run underneath.  Continue to cook tortilla until the egg looks almost set with the exception of the top.

Remove pan from the stovetop and place under the heated broiler unit.  Cook just until the top is set and slightly puffed.  Using an oven mitt, remove the pan from the broiler.  Shake the pan to loosen the tortilla and transfer the tortilla to a serving platter. Sprinkle top of tortilla with smoked paprika and chopped parsley.  Let cool slightly and then cut into six wedges.



Endive, Radicchio and Mango Salad

½ cup walnut halves, lightly toasted
4 heads Endive, cut into julienne strips
1 medium head Radicchio, cut into julienne strips
2 fresh mangoes, peeled and sliced into thin wedges
  Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano


¼ cup Extra Virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons Sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  Salt and freshly ground pepper

Toast the walnut pieces in a non-stick skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan to prevent burning. Make dressing in a small mixing bowl; whisk together the dressing ingredients; taste and make any adjustments necessary (more oil, or more vinegar, etc.) When ready to serve, toss the Endive and Radicchio with the dressing in a large mixing bowl; arrange a portion of the Endive/Radicchio mixture on each of 6 salad plates. Place two or three wedges of mango on each serving; place one or two walnuts on each plate. Garnish each plate with one or two shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Use a vegetable peeler to make the shavings.




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