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EASTER BRUNCH....For Two

Okay. before we get into our Easter Brunch menu, let's talk about another Easter tradition.. Why did you just have to rock a brand new outfit Easter Sunday? Shopping for that perfect Easter dress, suit, and shoes (usually pastels) was a big tradition in black culture. You went to church and stood before the congregation nervously reciting the "Easter Speech" you practiced all month...HE ROSE, HE ROSE, HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD....


Research suggest this tradition derived from several areas; The Easter Parade tradition dates back to the 1800s, when the high society folks in Manhattan strolled down the avenue after Easter service showing off their spring hats and outfits... Superstition,....some say wearing new clothes on Easter will bring you good luck for the rest of the year; a 15th century proverb stated "At Easter let your clothes be new; Or else for sure you will rue" Religion, certain biblical scriptures stating that women cover their head during worship led women as far back as slavery, to creatively add flowers, ribbons and bows to their hair, and eventually wearing bonnets and elaborate hats... Capitalism, over time marketing of the Holy Weekend, like Christmas and Valentines, became a big selling point for retailers to promote their latest spring styles.






CHURCHGOERS OUTSIDE OF PILGRIM BAPTIST CHURCH Easter Sunday South Side of Chicago 1940



CHICAGO BOYS EASTER SUNDAY 1941 by Russell Lee












EASTER PARADE AND BONNET FESTIVAL STREETS OF MANHATTAN








Now,.....let's get to the Easter for Two brunch menu. The Covid-19 pandemic has been a challenge to say the least; big family dinners are simply not safe. So,..... I decided on an intimate brunch, but I'm not skimping on the food😁.


"EASTER FOR TWO" BRUNCH MENU


ROCK'S WHOLE FRIED OKRA

SMOTHERED TURKEY WINGS NADINE'S BAKED COUNTRY HAM

ROCK'S SAUTEED MUSTARD GREENS

MAMA ESSIE'S FRESH FRIED CORN

NADINE'S ENGLISH PEA SALAD

JALAPENA CORN BREAD

TRES LECHES CAKE WITH STRAWBERRIES


Okay, so the recipes for the Smothered Turkey Wings and Nadine's Baked Country Ham were posted in the 03/09/2021edition of "Dinning With Rock". Today let's add all the fixins.....


ROCK'S WHOLE FRIED OKRA


Rock's Whole Fried Okra is a unique twist to the traditional cut fried okra. It's crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.





2 pounds fresh small to medium size okra

3 cups cornmeal

4 eggs

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

2 tablespoons water

½ cup Vegetable Oil


Wash and pat okra dry. Use a sharp knife to remove the caps, try not to cut into the body of the pod this will reduce the sliminess. Mix the corn meal, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a large bowl, and set aside. In a separate medium bowl, beat the eggs and water thoroughly. Heat the oil in a large heavy pot to 375 degrees, toss a pinch of meal into the oil; if it sizzles quickly the oil is hot enough. Place the okra in the egg mixture and coat each pod well. Dredge the okra in the cornmeal mixture, until evenly coated. Carefully put the okra in the hot oil in single layer batches, do not over crowd the pods. Reduce the heat when the okra starts to brown. Fry the okra until its golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with more salt and pepper if needed.


ROCK'S SAUTEED MUSTARD GREENS

Start with fresh, washed, and clean mustard greens. Make sure to remove the large stems and don't add water; the greens will make a healthy broth we call "potlikker"


3 large bunches mustard greens washed, stems removed

½ large onion, sliced

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 ½ tablespoons sesame oil


Sauté the onions and garlic in sesame oil over medium heat. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the greens to the skillet by the handful, stir with a wooden spoon until all the greens have been added..do not add water. Cook until greens are tender, about 10 minutes. Taste and add more seasoning if needed.





The onions and garlic smell sooooo good sautéing in that sesame oil.....






Sauté until the mustard greens are tender...add more seasonings to taste, spice it up with some dried red pepper flakes if you're "spicy"😜





MAMA ESSIE'S FRESH FRIED CORN


Spring is here and the corn is fresh and sweet. Check out the recipe for Mama Essie's Fresh Fried Corn in my cookbook, Rock's Soul Food Sunday available on Amazon in paperback and eBook. https://www.rockssoulfood.com/....., watch the full how to video on my YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKrBryNhXeQ&t=86s





Select fresh corn with plumb kernels and no sign of insects. I used yellow corn in this recipe which has large kernels; white corn has smaller sweeter kernels. My favorite is Butter and Sugar corn, which has mixed kernels.










TRES LECHES CAKE

Tres Leches "Three Milks" is a traditional cake of Latin America; many historians seem to agree it originated in Nicaragua. It's made with a base of sponge cake that is soaked in three types of milk, whole milk, condensed milk, and evaporated milk.




Dough:

5 eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 stick unsalted butter

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract


Cream:

1½ cup whole milk

1 12 oz. can evaporated milk

1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk


Topping:

1½ cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Strawberries, garnish


Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a large gratin pan (shallow oven proof ceramic dish).Sift the flour and baking soda together in a medium bowl. Beat the sugar and butter in a separate large bowl until fluffy. Add the eggs to the sugar mixture one at a time, continue to beat on medium. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat until smooth. Pour the batter into the gratin dish and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a cake rack for 20 – 30 minutes. Use a fork to gently prick holes in the top of the cake.



Cream: Mix the whole milk, evaporated milk, and condensed milk together. Gradually pour the mixture over the cooled cake. The mixture will soak into the cake.





Topping: Beat the whipping cream with an electric mixer until it thickens. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat on medium until creamy, about 10 minutes. Spread the creamy mixture over the top of the cake. Serve with strawberries on the side.






A cup of ginger tea is perfect with a slice of Tres Leches Cake.






ROCK'S EASTER BRUNCH FOR TWO TABLE SETTING



I was so excited when I found the rhinestone bunny napkin ring at Tuesday Morning, one of my favorite shopping spots. It was made for a much larger napkin so, checkout the video below to see how I made it work......





You'll find these recipes and many more in my cookbook, ROCK'S SOUL FOOD SUNDAY, available in paperback and eBook on Amazon and also on my website https://www.rockssoulfood.com/



Happy Easter to you and your family; I hope you enjoyed "Dinning With Rock" today. Stay tuned for the next edition, posting, 04/02/2021. Don't forget to sign in and let me know what's on your mind🤔






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